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Feb 10, 2020

John Saldivar is the New U.D.P. Party Leader

It is a fast moving news day with numerous developments with serious implications, but first, John Saldivar has emerged as the favourite to lead the United Democratic Party.  Of the five hundred and sixty-nine votes cast, Saldivar got three hundred and forty-two votes, beating Patrick Faber, who got two hundred and twenty-seven votes.  That’s on Sunday at the Civic Center in Belize City. But in a Salt Lake City, Utah court this morning, damning revelations were made about the next leader of the U.D.P. to the effect that bundles of cash were given to him by accused fraudster Lev Dermen.  The convention proceeded and without a doubt, Saldivar enjoyed the party apparatus behind him and the massive convention appeared superbly funded as delegates and supporters were bused in from all over the country.  Before four o’clock, Saldivar had garnered the majority votes to win.  Here is News Five’s Isani Cayetano with the convention results.


John Saldivar

John Saldivar, Party Leader Elect, U.D.P.

“I, John Birchman Saldivar, do solemnly swear that as the United Democratic Party leader, I will work diligently to bring victory to our United Democratic Party.  I pledge to be true and faithful to the principles and ideals of the party.  I will uphold the party’s constitution and will work hard to the very best of my judgment and ability, so help me God.”


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The ascension of Belmopan Area Representative John Saldivar within the hierarchy of the United Democratic Party to become leader elect has been a long fought battle.   At a time when there is no shortage of controversy surrounding his reputation, the Minister of National Security has emerged victorious, besting his political opponent to whom he has fallen twice on prior occasions.  On this, his third attempt at reaching the highest rung on that proverbial ladder, Saldivar has enjoyed the most support from the upper echelon, as well as the rank and file of the U.D.P.


Phillip Willoughby

Phillip Willoughby, U.D.P. Standard Bearer, Port Loyola

“It’s a collective one and collectively we’ve sought and decided to throw our hundred and ten [percent] support by casting our vote for John Saldivar and Team Saldivar.”


That slate, comprised of Hugo Patt and Beverly Williams for first deputy leader and second deputy leader, respectively, was endorsed by as many as twenty-two sitting area representatives and standard bearers, as well as their delegates.



Dianne Finnegan

Dianne Finnegan, U.D.P. Standard Bearer, Lake I

“From day one, what we were looking for is an individual who would put Lake Independence on the map.  I kept saying that the days of stepping on the constituents dignity is over, the days of handout is over.  We need a leader who, when he speaks he sees Lake Independence in the midst of gaining any kind of opportunity that is available to uplift my people within that constituency and that is the reason why I choose to support Team Saldivar.”


The Belize City Center, venue for Sunday’s National Party Convention, saw the convergence of U.D.P. faithfuls from all corners of the country.  They were bused in on dozens of charters and were greeted with the celebratory atmosphere of a family united.  The reality, however, was that the leadership battle was a duel to the bitter end where only one candidate would be named successor.  That individual, when all was said and done, is John Saldivar.


John Saldivar

John Saldivar

“Thank you.  Thank you very much.  I want to start off by thanking God.  I want to also call on my colleague, the Honorable Patrick Faber to please come and join me at the podium.  My colleague and friend Patrick Faber.  Together, we will bring victory for our United Democratic Party.  Thank you brother, good fight.  Thank you. A lot has been done for our country, we must shine our light so that the country can see that we are the best option to govern this country.  We are going to continue the work, the transformation of this beautiful country of ours.  Together we shall win.  Thank you all very much.  May God bless each and every one of you.”


That shining light, a beacon of high moral and ethical standards, is characteristic of any political leader from the perspective of good governance.


Darrell Bradley

Darrell Bradley, Senate President

“In terms of a candidate’s vision to lead the party and lead the country forward, that’s very important to me.  One of the things that’s also very important to me is, of course, in terms of publicly there has been hits to the party in terms of corruption and dealing with very significant issues.  That is something that looms very large over my consideration because I think that the person who leads the country and takes the country forward must be somebody who is above reproach, must be someone who can stand on credibility and stand on integrity and say that this is the type of leadership, a leadership based on character.”


Those distinct qualities are yet to manifest ahead of the upcoming general elections, notwithstanding serious allegations that have been made against Saldivar going into the convention. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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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