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Sep 28, 2021

UDP Turns 48 with a New Pledge for Unity

At forty-eight years old, the United Democratic Party is putting unity first after a tumultuous three months that saw the organization plunge into a downward spiral. With an appearance of togetherness, despite the absence of Shyne Barrow, Sista B and Hugo Patt, the UDP brought out several familiar faces, including former Belmopan Area Representative John Saldivar, Darrell Bradley and Beverly Williams.  Tonight, we look back at the celebration of the party’s anniversary. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The United Democratic Party is celebrating its forty-eighth anniversary at a time when deep division has taken hold of its ranks.  Not only is the UDP in opposition, following massive losses during the general and municipal elections, but the transition in leadership has also proven to be somewhat rocky.  Nonetheless, with unity as its primary objective since the return of Patrick Faber as head of the party and Leader of the Opposition, the UDP is forging ahead.


Beverly Williams

Beverly Williams, Belize Rural Central

“The UDP was founded on September 27th, 1973.  As you all know, the UDP has a long, storied and proud history that was born out of the unification of three political parties.  In the beginning, it wasn’t all that rosy, but the UDP has always been a strong, resilient and determined party.  We have known defeat, but we also know victory.  We have the distinction of being the most successful political party post-independence.  It is only fitting then, that I also take this opportunity to pay tribute to some of our past champions such as the Honorable Philip Goldson, Honorable Dean Lindo, Sir Manuel Esquivel, and of course the Right Honorable Dean Oliver Barrow.”


Albert Area Representative Tracy Taegar-Panton, one of only five opposition parliamentarians speaks of the move within the party to return to its fundaments, including freedom, justice and patriotism.


Tracy Taegar-Panton

Tracy Taegar-Panton, Area Rep., Albert Division

“Today we celebrate the movement for greater representation, greater inclusion, greater democracy on the shoulders of all those who have worked in the trenches for us and all those throughout our young history has taken up the mantle to lead the thirty-one constituencies that form our political system.  Today we celebrate all those who have kept the faith in the United Democratic Party, in the good times and in times like these when we are now in the process of righting our ship.  Today we celebrate the core principles and ideals we believe in: freedom, justice, democracy, patriotism and respect for our Belizean identity and nits rich history.”


Cutting the anniversary cake and sharing slices with his colleagues in the party is a small token of appreciation on the part of Faber whose leadership has been challenged very early into his tenure.  That notwithstanding, Faber takes to time acknowledge that the parties storied history does in fact include moments of being the political underdog.


Patrick Faber

Patrick Faber, Leader, United Democratic Party

“It is not new to the UDP, it is not uncommon to the UDP for us to be in tough times and I think the viewing of the history, the recounting of the history, the filling in of the blanks, even beyond what is shown to you on the video, is really what this party needs now to understand that while we are down, we are certainly not out and, in fact, the glory days of the UDP, even more glorious days than those that we’ve enjoyed in the five victories that we’ve had since our independence are still ahead of us.  But what is needed is for us to understand that history and while it is that we highlight the history at this time of our birthday, it is my pledge as the new leader of this party that we will do more in order to help our faithful supporters and in fact the young people.”


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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