Posted: Thursday, November 12, 2020. 8:54 am CST.
By Aaron Humes: Juan Antonio “Johnny” Briceno will be sworn in later today as Prime Minister after his Peoples United Party won a wide majority in Wednesday’s general election.
Needing four seats to take control of Government from the United Democratic Party, the PUP are projected to win as many as 26 seats after voters defied COVID-19 restrictions and flooding problems in the aftermath of Hurricane Eta to vote – some 81 percent of registered voters.
The UDP, led by Patrick Faber, are projected to win just five seats, a stunning reversal of fortunes as they were going for a fourth consecutive term in office.
Briceno, speaking from his native Orange Walk Wednesday night, extended the hand of cooperation to Faber as he promised that his Government would be one that would work for all Belizeans.
Faber, meanwhile, pledged that his UDP would be a formidable Opposition, holding the new Government to its promises.
Jubilant supporters defied a curfew to participate in motorcades, particularly in the capital city of Belmopan, whose Representative John Saldivar was heavily defeated by Oscar Mira after being plagued by corruption scandals.
Several prominent current and former Ministers of Government were defeated in their constituencies, including former Minister of Tourism Manuel Heredia Jr. in Belize Rural South which includes the tourist mecca of San Pedro; Minister of Health Pablo Marin in Corozal Bay; Minister of Transport and NEMO Edmond Castro in Belize Rural North; Minister of Works Rene Montero in Cayo Central, Minister of Economic Development Erwin Contreras in Cayo West, and Minister of Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development Dr Omar Figueroa in Cayo North.
Also defeated were several Ministers of State: Frank Mena in Dangriga, Beverly Williams in Belize Rural Central, Dr Angel Campos in Corozal Southwest and Elodio Aragon Jr in Orange Walk East.
The election was also marked by the high profile retirements of Prime Minister Dean Barrow, former Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega, Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington and others.
Official results are to be certified today.
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