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Sep 17, 2021

Rivals Reconnect: Faber & Saldivar Join Hands at Press Conference

He was sworn in again as Leader of the Opposition on Thursday and today, Patrick Faber held a press conference to give more details of his return to that position and to project a sense of unity to a public that has been getting whiplashed watching the challenges and changes at the head of the United Democratic Party over the last few months. Paul Lopez reports on the proceedings today.


Paul Lopez, Reporting

This is the Leader of the Opposition and Party Leader Patrick Faber, today, side by side with a man he has been rivals with for the better part of two years. But, back in December of 2020 after his party’s historic defeat at the polls, he gave the impression that Saldivar and other UDP members who were unsuccessful at the polls would no longer had a role to play in the Party.


Patrick Faber, Party Leader, U.D.P. [File: December 9th, 2020]

“We tried to listen to the message the people sent on Election Day. We said, listen, we want a Party that is vibrant. We want a party that is energized. We want to see some fresh new faces. We want greater ideas from you.”


But, today all that changed. Faber says that since then he learned new lessons.


Patrick Faber

“All, I’m saying is let us including everybody in assessing, and you may say it is a departure from what I was saying before, but the move you live the more you learn. The more you are in this leadership position, the more you have to learn. And, I have no difficulty saying that.”


After a resounding loss at the polls in November of 2020, Former Belmopan Area Rep John Saldivar turned his time and attention to farming. In the background, he plotted with several of his UDP colleagues, with the formation of the Caucus for Change, against Faber’s leadership. Today, Saldivar was singing a new song.


John Saldivar

John Saldivar, Leader of Caucus for Change

“Truth be told, I examined the field, I looked at our options, and I concluded, along with my colleagues, that Patrick Faber is the best person to lead my party, at this time.”


But, as one reporter reminded him, his position only two months ago, contradicts his position today.



“The statements on your Facebook page, on the recall day, “more than fifty percent of the delegates voted against Mr. Faber. You have no mandate to lead. Step down sir.” You quoted the Maverick Fletcher situation, “she stepped down after winning the first vote by a small margin.” You said to Mr. Faber’s brother, “your p**k a** brother will not step down after getting less than fifty percent.”


John Saldivar

I have learnt. Life is a learning process. I have learnt, I have weighed all the options. My colleagues have weighed all the options and our position has changed. My position has changed. Their position has changed. I believe, in earnest, that honorable Faber is the best option for us.”


Patrick Faber

Also seated at today’s press conference were UDPs Tony Herrera and Phillip Willoughby. As you will recall, they are the two UDP members that submitted the petition to recall Faber back in July. It appears that they too have learnt and had a change of hearts over the last two months.


Patrick Faber

“Chief among those colleagues were those that were a part of the caucus for change, headed by John Saldivar, and Mr Tony Herrera. I did engage with those colleagues. But, one of the colleagues I did not engage with was Phillip Willoughby. I don’t know for some reason I may have been leaving Phillip for last. Phillip approached me, through a mutual friend, and said Party Leader we really need to bury the hatchet; we really need to move on.”


And so while it seems like there is no possible way this unification could have been formed without deals being cut, and special favors being promised, Faber maintains that the band got back together with no strings attached.


Patrick Faber

“Nobody was promised a free ride. Nobody was offered any fat cushiony positions. No exchange of money. I heard too. This Party does not have that kind of money and certainly this leader does not.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Paul Lopez.

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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