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Mar 2, 2020

UDP Sets Date for New Leadership Convention

The United Democratic Party is calling out its supporters to head to Belmopan for Thursday’s House Meeting which will see the budget presentation for the 2020/2021 fiscal year. The P.U.P. will also be moving a motion of no-confidence against the government. So the show of supporters is expected to signal that the U.D.P. is alive following a most turbulent period. On Saturday, its National Party Council met to set the date for another leadership convention following the short-lived election of John Saldivar that lasted as much as seventy-two hours. The meeting was nothing but smooth as supporters of Patrick Faber turned up in numbers. Here is Isani Cayetano with a report.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The United Democratic Party returned to the drawing board this weekend in a meeting of the National Party Council to set out a timeline for a subsequent leadership convention.  The UDP, following the February ninth convention which saw John Saldivar trounce Patrick Faber to become the new leader elect, is forced to seek another frontrunner in the wake of Saldivar’s abrupt resignation a few days later.


Michael Peyrefitte, UDP Chairman

Michael Peyrefitte

“The meeting was not extended.  The National Party Council meeting was fairly short, as I had indicated before, I didn’t even see the need to have one just to set dates, but we had one.  The constitution of the party says that once we declare that we are in an emergency situation today then within thirty-five days or at least thirty-five days must pass before we have a convention.  That puts us at April fifth.  So on April fifth, we will have a convention and the persons who are interested from the National Assembly who want to put in their names for the leader, they have up until March twenty-sixth to do so.  That’s all that was officially decided here today.”


Despite suffering an embarrassing defeat three weeks ago, former Deputy Leader Patrick Faber is still very much a factor in the leadership of the United Democratic Party going forward.  Support for the Collet Area Representative from his constituents on Saturday was quite apparent.


Patrick Faber

Patrick Faber, Area Representative, Collet

“There’s been a long period of people not being certain of what is happening and for me it’s dragging on, of course for all of us it’s dragging on and so people felt they need to express, of course the National Party Council is not an ultimate decision making body, the only entity that really can decide on the leadership of the party is the national convention.  But this is a step higher up than a regular membership in the party, so to speak, and so a group of my supporters decided that they wanted to come to say this morning, there’s nothing wrong, this is the home of the UDP and it’s home to this party, to say just what they are feeling and I am positive that there are many, many more supporters of this party who feel this way.”


Outgoing Port Loyola Area Representative Anthony ‘Boots’ Martinez was among those in attendance.  When questioned about the urgency of choosing a new leader and the fact that the party cannot afford to continue haemorrhaging in the manner in which it has, here’s how he responded.



“The UDP cannot afford another thirty-five days of fighting over who gwein lead and ah di fight fi wahn delegate ya… dehn cyan’t afford that, that’s hemorrhaging.”


Anthony ‘Boots’ Martinez, Area Representative, Port Loyola

Anthony ‘Boots’ Martinez

“So da who wahn dead in the next thirty-five days?  As opposed to wahn dead, at the end of the day, who wahn dead?  The party’s constitution mandates that the new leader is the leader-elect, so who wahn dead?  Da noh like we wahn get leadership.”



“But it’s not like it’s a desirable state of affairs.  I am certain, but it is what it is because they have certain processes in the party that must go on.”


Pickstock Area Representative, Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington, whose support in the last leadership race was never divulged was back at it again on Saturday.


Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington

Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington, Area Representative, Pickstock

“What you call hemorrhaging is what I call natural, democratic interaction.  I have this type of interaction with my people all the time, explain to them and let them know what is happening.  This is democracy.”



“Is it a disrespect to you that in all these names being put out there and many of them neophytes, novices, your name has never been called.”


Wilfred Elrington

“If I had an interest in leading I would have put my name in but I don’t want to put my name in largely because I am now a senior citizen.  I have been in politics actively since 1964.  I don’t think there’s a person in the country apart from Finnegan who has that kind of longevity.”


Going back to the Faber factor, despite having lost the last convention, the defeated leadership candidate still seems to be the best option for the party to field ahead of the upcoming general elections.  Here’s his take on what has happened since.


Patrick Faber

“The truth of the matter is that for me it would be better for the masses of this party, even if the five hundred and seventy delegates, even if it is them, to make that determination as opposed to this party, in closed doors, try to push something down the throats of the party.  And so needs at this time.”


Isani Cayetano reporting for News Five.

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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