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Jul 17, 2018

The Race for UDP Leadership Intensifies

Patrick Faber

The race for leadership of the United Democratic Party has been ramped up with Belmopan Area Representative John Saldivar putting together a fantasy league of U.D.P. standard bearers ahead of the 2020 general elections.  It’s a virtual dream team made up of Saldivar’s favorite candidates.  That wish list, however, may not be the roster of choice for political opponent Patrick Faber, who also has his eyes set on the party leader’s seat when Prime Minister Dean Barrow demits office in mid-2019.  Both ranking Cabinet ministers are deeply invested in their respective campaigns and according to Faber; his efforts to secure the leadership of the party have never stopped.

 

Patrick Faber, Deputy Prime Minister

“Well I’ve never stopped.  My life’s work is to become the leader of the UDP and one day prime minister.  I’ve never shun away from that.  Everything, everyday that I do, is geared toward my career objectives.  It is the reason why I always tell folks that I try my best at the portfolios that are assigned to me now, Education, Youth, Sports and Culture because if it is that I am asking people to have confidence in me to do a much bigger job, that they would first have to see the successes that I bring in this area and as it relates to the work with the UDP, as our prime minister winds down, I continue to take on more and more of the responsibility as the deputy leader of the party.  Much of the traveling across the country that the party requires, especially now that we are in full re-registration gear the party leader doesn’t engage with any longer and I take up that slack along with the party chairman and the secretary general.  So insofar as you’re asking me if I am working in that regard, yes, but it is continuous work and when the time before the convention comes, if people in the party feel that I am the best fit then, which, you know, is something likely to happen in my view, then they will decide then.”

Over the weekend, Saldivar defined on social media his dream team. If he could have it his way for the next general elections and that is if he wins the leadership fight, up north in Corozal; Saldivar wants to see the return of Pablo Marin, Hugo Patt and Angel Campos and supports newcomer Tony Herrera. In Orange Walk, he wants Elodio Aragon Junior re-elected, while he is gunning for Guadalupe Magaña Dyck who was unsuccessful in her bid in the last election. Homero Novelo and Evan Williams are his choices in the two other northern constituencies. In the two southern districts, Saldivar supports colleague Frank Mena as well as Ivan Williams, the Labour Commissioner who will have to leave that job since public officers should not engage in political activities. In the south, his picks are Senator Macario Coy and Dennis Garbutt. In a later post, Saldivar endorses western Cabinet members: Erwin Contreras, Rene Montero and Omar Figueroa and is throwing support behind John August and Ralph Huang. Saldivar, would, however, have to beat Faber and go on to lead the U.D.P.

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