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Corruption, employment, economy and health top list of critical issues going into general election, says BBN poll

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Posted: Monday, November 9, 2020. 10:03 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Belizeans have a lot on their minds heading into Wednesday, as Breaking Belize News found in an online poll that ended earlier today after being launched in October. 

The top issue voters believe will be key in this election, by 61 per cent, is corruption. While neither major party has a stellar record on corruption – something the smaller parties hope to take advantage of – both have acknowledged that corrupt practices cannot be tolerated or encouraged by the rank and file or those in charge as they are detrimental to the Belizean economy. 

And speaking of the economy, Belizeans, by a 58 per cent margin, want to know who will restore jobs lost to the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in tourism and its related services. Virtually the entire tourism industry was shut down by the pandemic and is slowly getting back to its feet. Agriculture thrives, but shocks to the system include a potential migration of the northern Mennonite community and hiccups in promoting the export of cattle to Guatemala and Mexico, not to mention the lingering effects of last year’s drought, supplanted more recently by damage from hurricanes (Nana and Eta). 

55 per cent list COVID-19 and health generally as key. More than 4,000 Belizeans contracted COVID-19 and the death and active infection rate continue to creep up. But one cannot turn their back on other health maladies such as non-communicable diseases like cancer, heart attacks and strokes, and diabetes, which continue to rob the population of critical minds.

In descending order, other key issues are the economy (53.5 per cent); education (45 per cent); land and housing (44.6 percent); crime (44 percent); national security (in this case referring to Guatemala) (30.2 per cent); and infrastructure development (28 per cent). 

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