Posted: Thursday, September 21, 2023. 7:18 am CST.
By Horace Palacio: The political landscape in Belize saw a significant shift yesterday when the United Democratic Party (UDP) announced that Danny Guerrero, a former three-term mayor, will replace Jazeli Azueta as their standard bearer for Belize Rural South.
Azueta was removed by the party’s national executive after her committee publicly criticized the UDP in a Facebook post.
Leader of the Opposition, Shyne Barrow confirmed the appointment of Guerrero during a press briefing. The decision came after weeks of consultations and deliberations with potential candidates.
When asked about the choice of Guerrero as the standard bearer, Shyne Barrow remained optimistic. “Mr. Guerrero, a former three-time mayor who left as a winner, is going to bring his winning ways to Belize Rural South and deliver that seat for us,” said Barrow.
The decision was met with questions about the party’s actual chances in the upcoming general elections, given the circumstances surrounding the removal of Azueta and the overall performance of UDP in recent polls. The media questioned whether Guerrero was the best choice or merely the only willing candidate.
Barrow dismissed concerns about the UDP’s prospects in the election. “We will win Belize Rural South. If we don’t win anything, Belize Rural South will be one of the constituencies we do win, and Mr. Guerrero left politics as a winner,” he stated.
The bold proclamation sets the stage for what promises to be a highly contested race, especially given the controversies that have plagued the UDP recently.
The choice of Guerrero as the standard bearer was the result of extensive consultations among party executives and stakeholders. “After many weeks of deliberation, I had been going out there quietly, not asking or telling anyone what I thought, but just listening. This is the result of consultations,” Barrow explained.
Elsa Paz, another potential candidate, had been one of the names mentioned during the decision-making process, according to Barrow. “The executive believes that Mr. Guerrero is the suitable candidate to lead Belize Rural South to victory,” he said.
While the UDP appears confident about their choice, only the upcoming elections will reveal whether Danny Guerrero can indeed bring a win for the party in Belize Rural South. The election campaign is expected to heat up in the coming months, and it remains to be seen if Guerrero’s past political success can translate into a much-needed victory for the UDP.
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