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Nov 25, 2014

P.U.P. Leader Says Joe Mahmud Disrespected the Party


Francis Fonseca

The People’s United Party is still reeling from the devastating blow it has suffered in the wake of that announcement.  Party Leader Francis Fonseca has gone on record to express dissatisfaction with the manner in which Mahmud went about his abrupt departure.  The bitter pill succeeds all previous indications by Mahmud in October that he would remain an elected official under the P.U.P., despite announcing that he would not be contesting his seat in the 2017 general elections.  This morning, Fonseca convened a press conference at Independence Hall where he informed the media that the party will be expediting the process of finding a new standard bearer to run in the upcoming bye-election.


Francis Fonseca, Party Leader, P.U.P.

“Yes, [I’m] disappointed that Mr. Mahmud has resigned from the National Assembly, you know, and I think, you know his decision to do so, let me say this, let me make it clear.  I think his decision to do so without consulting the party, without informing the party, without informing his executive in Cayo North, I think, reflects poorly on him and I view that as disrespectful to the party.  We all won under a party banner and people vote for us as representatives of a party and not just as individuals.  So, I like Joseph Mahmud, I have regard for him but I certainly think that was a very poor decision on his part.  Moving forward, the party has to fast-track, as you know, I said this earlier, we have a process in place where we are inviting candidates.  In fact, we have already set a date, we’ve already put out an application deadline.  We’ve received two applications, one from Mr. Richard Harrison, a businessman, and one from Mr. Michel Chebat, attorney at law, and the party will now fast-track that process of selecting a candidate.  Later this week we will have a national executive meeting of the People’s United Party and how we proceed in Cayo North will be a major topic for discussion, deliberation and decision at that meeting.  So coming out of that meeting would be an opportunity to say to the Belizean people, through the media, exactly how we will proceed.  But we are preparing for and anticipating obviously a very early election that is to the advantage of the United Democratic Party.  True to form, they will obviously exploit every advantage that they have.  So we have to look forward to a very early election, probably very early in January.”


Late this evening, News Five obtained a copy of a letter from Mahmud to the Cayo North constituents. Mahmud says he is humbled and touched over their support and he is deeply sorry to have to resign due to personal reasons.  He says he has worked hard, on his own and from his heart. But he makes no mention of his future with the P.U.P. 

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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