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PUP allows 6 candidates in convention race in Dangriga

Posted: Friday, June 15, 2018. 8:00 a.m. CST.

By BBN Staff:  The Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) has been criticized for many perceived shortcomings in its recent round of internal conventions to select constituency standard bearers.

The criticism is either that the party has no women representation or it has barred certain persons from contesting the conventions.

Well in Dangriga things are very different for the PUP.

That is because they have six persons contesting the convention including one woman.

One of the candidates is Dr. Louis Zabaneh, businessman, educator and former president of Galen University.

He had been a silent supporter and donor to many of the party’s candidates in prior elections.

Another candidate, Erica Jang, is a councilor at the Dangriga town council. Jang, also an educator was the only victorious opposition member to form part of the council. She is described as being vocal, eloquent and extremely passionate about young people and the future of Dangriga.

Joseph Sampson is also in the race. He is a lecturer at the University of Belize and had previously lectured at Galen University during the tenure of Dr. Zabaneh.

Sampson is a former Mayor of Dangriga.

Hilberto Arzu, another candidate, banks on being one of the youngest people in the race. As a matter of fact of all the candidates, he appeared to have had a head start in this convention.

Since the middle of last year, he announced his candidacy via a Facebook page. Gregory Ovado, another challenger, has been in politics for many years. However, he has not enjoyed much victory like his sister, Erica Jang.

In 2011 Ovado was defeated by Ivan Ramos in a convention such as this one. In 2015 he ran for Mayor of the town but again was defeated by Mayor Francis Humphreys and team.

Anthony Ramos, the final candidate is also considered a political giant. He too served as Mayor of Dangriga in the 90’s.

Additionally, he is the brother of Ivan Ramos, the Opposition’s last Area Representative in the town.

Our newsroom asked Opposition Deputy Leader in the south, Rodwell Ferguson, who would be the victor in this convention.

“Good question,” he said before suggesting that this convention was up for grabs.

“Dangriga convention are always low turnouts, who can bring out the most will win,” he added.

“Whoever becomes victorious will have to work hard and if the people want change they will win the upcoming general election,” he explained.

The winner will go on to face Minister, Frank Papa Mena in the 2020 General Elections. Mena has been in office since 2015 after former Area Representative, Ivan Ramos, stepped down from the post and triggered a bye-election which the Opposition lost badly.

The Dangriga convention is scheduled for June 24 at the Holy Ghost primary school in Dangriga town.

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