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Jul 6, 2011

John Briceño says P.U.P. leadership is strong

John Briceño

This morning’s press conference lasted well over two hours at the Biltmore Plaza. John Briceño, the P.U.P. party leader zeroed in on a number of pressing issues, but his leadership also came under question. Two elected representatives have been absent from party appearances, including Briceño’s Team 31 Convention in Orange Walk Town a week ago. Cordel Hyde from Lake I and Mark Espat from Albert, who were both named deputy party leaders recently, have dwindled to a dynamic duo of sorts; P.U.P. voices in absentia, going against the grain of the party. Today again, Team 31 was mostly present, minus Espat and Hyde. The strength of Briceño’s leadership came under scrutiny.

Jose Sanchez

“The cases for the B.E.L. and Telemedia acquisitions have been sold to the public as patriotic, nationalistic, etcetera. If you’re not, then you’re a traitor. Essentially a moral argument. But during that time in interviews there was no clear position from the P.U.P. on any of these acquisitions. But the timely emails of Mark and Cordell afforded a clear-cut polarization within the party itself. It gives the impression that the constitutional duty of the P.U.P. as the Opposition is weak. Please respond.”

John Briceño, Leader of the Opposition

“Well both honorable members—honorable Cordel Hyde and Mark Espat—were part of the team that drafted the position of the party. So I was surprised as many other people when they took out a position that was a little bit, somewhat contrary to the position of the party. Those gentlemen are also elected representatives and they also have to speak for their constituency. What is most important Jose is that today we made it absolutely clear that when it comes to the issue of nationalization; the party has a proud history. Let’s remove all the glitter and substance of Mister Barrow. When it comes to the real facts that the P.U.P. started a nationalistic movement from adult suffrage to self government to independence to our whole identity to acquiring lands all across this country to help poor people to get out of poverty and the list can go on. We have nothing to be ashamed of. We have a proud, stellar record when it comes to that issue. We even have it in our constitution where we stated very clear in the aims and objects. When we look at that it is the sacred duty of government to intervene actively in the economic life of the nation in order to achieve full employment and the eradication of poverty and secure a better life for all Belizeans. That is clearly enshrined in our constitution.”

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