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Feb 18, 2005

Sylvia Flores seeks Deputy Party leadership

Story PictureIt’s a big weekend for the ruling Peoples United Party with its national convention on Sunday in Santa Elena, Cayo, and perhaps a more important meeting of the National Party Council on Saturday in Belize City. At stake are the two co-equal posts of deputy leader and–by extention–the future top spot in the party hierarchy. It’s serious business and the six candidates have been campaigning with the vigor of a general election. This morning News 5′s Stewart Krohn caught up with Sylvia Flores, perhaps the most low key of the six but also the one with perhaps the greatest claim to legitimacy. With women forming the backbone of both political parties but holding only one out of twenty-nine seats in the House of Representatives, we asked her where things were headed.

Sylvia Flores, Seeks P.U.P. Dep. Leader Post
?The reality of only one woman in parliament speaks very loudly to whether we have taken an active approach to promoting women interests in our parliament. I would hope that we can make the changes necessary because this Saturday, where crucial decisions are going to be made, it?s an opportunity for women to step up and I am stepping up and I?m hoping that the rest of our party members recognise that we need to have more women involved in the activities of our party.?

Stewart Krohn
?Traditionally, the P.U.P. is kind of famous for coming together in times of crisis. The conventional wisdom says that on Saturday at the National Party Council meeting prior the convention on Sunday, the Prime Minister is going to get everyone locked in a room and say, look here this is the way it?s going to be, you all get in line. He?s going to anoint two candidates and the other four, well they stand down. Are you in this race for keeps??

Sylvia Flores
?Yes I am. I hope that doesn?t prevail, but certainly we have to be able to give the Prime Minister an opportunity to be able to be flexible in working along with the people whom he feels–perhaps more comfortable with. But we are going to certainly push our agenda as women and certainly feel that he is going to accommodate.?

Stewart Krohn
?Minister, your party is in trouble…?

Sylvia Flores
?It is??

Stewart Krohn
?It appears to have poorly managed the nation?s finances, it?s under assault from outside, and if I may say so, assault from within. You want to be the deputy leader of this party, how are you going to help get your party out of what appears to be a pretty deep mess??

Sylvia Flores
?Well, I wouldn?t ever want to think that it is in a deeply…it?s in bad shape to that point. Sometimes there comes a period in our life when we need to do some self-assessment and I think our party has tried to do that. It recognizes that there are some mistakes that have been made, that there were some decisions that were not done right, but certainly feel that it?s an opportunity for us to grow. Every difficult moment of our lives, every adversity gives us an opportunity to rise above the level at which we?ve been operating. I have a feeling that if elected or if nominated to that office there is a new balance that I will bring as a woman. The reality that I am a Garifuna woman and the fact that I come from the south, I bring a fresh prospective. And all the experiences that I have garnered, both as a teacher and having been in politics both local and national for almost twenty years, should afford me an opportunity to have new perspectives on where we should go as a party.?

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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