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Apr 24, 2017

Minister Congratulates Elena Smith, Scorns Luke Palacio

Elena Smith

Senator Elena Smith will assume office in July as president of the Belize National Teacher’s Union, after a hard-fought victory in the national convention in San Roman, Corozal last week. She will be the third female in the post after Helen Stuart and Linda Bennett. Over the weekend, Minister of Education and Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber was among the first to issue congratulations, on his Facebook page, which some saw as a face-saving gesture. That is because he was widely thought to be orchestrating the movement against Smith’s election. The minister dispelled those reports today, while also managing a swipe at former president and elected first vice-president Luke Palacio.


Patrick Faber

Patrick Faber, Minister of Education

“It is no secret that the leadership of the B.N.T.U. under Luke Palacio was a very rocky time in terms of that relationship with me and also with the wider Government. I will not tell you that I am not happy that that has come to an end. But I was genuine when I made the comment to congratulate the new president; I have known Miss Elena for a good many years – in fact when I was serving as a part of the Belize District Branch of the B.N.T.U. some years ago, when I was a teacher, we served together. So that I was genuinely offering my congratulations to her as the new president, and I was also genuine when I said that I look forward to the relationship continuing, the productive relationship continuing. Because despite what people put on Facebook and people speculate and people drag through the mud, the relationship between the B.N.T.U. and the Ministry of Education has always been a very productive relationship. There are other factors as you know – the national issues have clouded things – but the relationship, Ministry to Union, has never been non-productive, and I look forward to that productive relationship continuing under the leadership of Miss Elena.”

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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