Posted: Tuesday, November 10, 2020. 5:07 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: People’s United Party leader John Briceño sat down with the press virtually for a final briefing before Wednesday’s general elections this afternoon.
He expressed confidence that the PUP will gain the majority in the House of Representatives that has so far eluded them under his leadership and that of Francis Fonseca, dating back to 2008.
On the streets, he described a certain kind of energy in the greetings given him and his campaigners; online, the PUP is gaining positive responses to its content.
But the veteran parliamentarian and campaigner knows all too well the sting of defeat, and so he told reporters he would never take the Belizean people and their votes for granted. Should it come to that, he is prepared to concede and work with the new administration.
However, Briceño contends that Belizeans are ready for change, ready to support his party and its #planBelize which will support economic development, rebuild tourism, address crime and security, reduce corruption and stabilize a fragile society.
The PUP leader says he has met with the Public Service Union (PSU) and assured there would be no mass retrenchment (‘a UDP word’), and there would be a plan to address the wage gap of approximately $45 million. He has told cattle ranchers they will be able to sell their livestock, and Commercial Free Zone operators they can reopen in time for Christmas.
But what about COVID-19? Well, Briceño has a plan for that too. He said the National Oversight Committee would be re-opened and taking a fresh look at the stringent measures currently in place, focusing on reopening vital industries and services while addressing the issues of testing, contact tracing and stockpiling treatment and, eventually, a vaccine.
The bottom line, he said, is that too many are hungry; too many are without hope; too many have lost faith in the system and a UDP which has “deceived them” and made them “worse off” than in 2008.
He asks that Belizeans come and vote – safely and responsibly (even those with COVID-19, though not at risk to their health).
We’ll have more later on.
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