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Jul 12, 2021

Patrick Faber Retains Leadership of the U.D.P.

The votes are in and Patrick Faber lives to fight another day, but in the wake of a less than resounding victory at Sunday’s recall convention, his detractors are still asking him to step down as U.D.P. party leader.  Faber, who was been under fire from factions inside the United Democratic Party for several weeks, met the one-third threshold that was necessary for him to retain his seat; however, there is still great division within the beleaguered political organization.  Delegates poured in from all corners of the country as the historic Bird’s Isle was the venue for the first-of-its-kind recall convention.  Of the five hundred and twenty-one delegates that were eligible to participate in yesterday’s vote, thirty-eight did not cast their ballots.  Likewise, of the two hundred and ninety delegates who signed the petition to trigger a recall convention, only two hundred and fifty-seven maintained their initial position on Faber’s leadership, thirty-three of them either had a change of mind or opted to abstain from voting.  We begin our coverage of the convention with a comprehensive look at what transpired on Sunday afternoon.


Michael Peyrefitte

Michael Peyrefitte, Chairman, U.D.P.

“Four hundred and eighty-three delegates cast their vote.  Two hundred and twenty-six said yes, they wanted the honorable Patrick Faber to remain the leader of the United Democratic Party and two hundred and fifty-seven said no, they don’t want him to remain the leader of the party.  The two-twenty-six is more than the one-sixty-one, one-sixty-two, one-third that was necessary for Mr. Faber to remain the leader of the U.D.P. and so therefore, with those numbers the honorable Patrick Faber remains the leader of the United Democratic Party.”


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Retaining his seat as leader of the United Democratic Party is one of several challenges that Collet Area Representative Patrick Faber has been faced with since assuming that office last year.  What lies ahead is perhaps the greatest feat he would have to accomplish in his political career and that is to reunite a deeply fractured U.D.P. and make it viable once again.


Patrick Faber

Patrick Faber, Party Leader, U.D.P.

“Firstly, we’ll have to work at the unity and I want people to be clear that unity means that we’re going to work with those who, of course, are interested in working in unity, you know.  There are some who may feel that my victory today will cause them to not want to move on and if they absolutely feel that they can’t work with me, I’d hope that they’d walk away so that we are able to embrace those who are serious about rebuilding the party.”


Faber’s victory on Sunday is a mixed bag.  For his detractors, the new narrative being spun is that a majority of the delegates who participated in the recall convention voted against him.  On the other hand, the besieged party leader is simply content with having met the threshold to remain in a position of control.


Patrick Faber

“I would have hoped for a larger margin of course, but it’s not just the bare minimum either, you know, two hundred and twenty something when we only required a hundred and sixty-odd, I think is indeed very much convincing to me.  And given that everybody knows that these odds are stacked against me because of the way the delegates were selected originally, in some constituencies is a damn good showing and so I am proud of the results and I am happy that I get to continue to be the leader of our great party.”


Notwithstanding the outcome of a failed coup attempt, the growing chasm within the party still begs the question of whether or not reconciliation is at all possible.


Michael Peyrefitte

“We have one United Democratic Party and today is the beginning of the process to sort things out and come together as one unified party.  We will sort that out in the future, going forward.  Part of being retained today is bearing the responsibility to make sure that we move forward as a United Democratic Party, him along with the honorable Shyne Barrow as the Leader of the Opposition in the House.”


It’s a role that has, for all intents and purposes, never been bifurcated; a Leader of the Opposition who is not the head of his own party.  In this case, the ambivalence between Shyne Barrow and Patrick Faber, political leaders in their own right, certainly makes for an interesting chemistry.


Patrick Faber

“It was a disrespect for the Leader of the Opposition to put me at seat number four, below my deputy leader and below another member that clearly does not supersede me in terms of the number of years or even the margin of a vote, and I think all of you saw that.  But I am not gonna carry on, you know, I suspect that if I am able to regain the leadership of the parliament then things will change, but I don’t intend to carry on a back and forth with the Leader of the Opposition now.  As I’ve said, we have to get along.”


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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