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Jan 24, 2022

Faber to Step Down Amid Political Firestorm

What should have been a press conference to face the media, amid the latest scandal involving the alleged physical abuse of his fiancée, ended up being an almost two-minute long recorded message announcing his pending departure.  Tonight, beleaguered politician Patrick Faber has decided to step down as Leader of the Opposition and head of the United Democratic Party.  It comes in the midst of a flood of condemnations from all corners, including the trade union congress, the People’s United Party, as well as the Office of the Special Envoy.  On Friday, Faber took what can be considered a cheap shot at the chairman of the U.D.P. whom he referred to as a vulture.  Today, however, Faber seems to have eaten crow and decided that his resignation is indeed best for the party.  News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

 

Patrick Faber

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

“It is with a very heavy heart that I stand before you today to signal my departure as Leader of the Opposition in the House of Representatives and leader of our great United Democratic Party. Both resignations I wish to become effective in a few days, on January 31st, 2022.”

 

…and just like that the beleaguered party leader is falling on his own sword to spare the party the hemorrhaging that it suffered under a similar scandal last year which almost resulted in his ouster.  The death knell was sounded on Friday when the chairman of the United Democratic Party publicly condemned Patrick Faber’s behavior, in the wake of yet another ugly mess involving an allegation of domestic violence.

 

Michael Peyrefitte

Michael Peyrefitte, Chairman, U.D.P.

“If we stand with the current situation, we will not get the respect of the Belizean people and it is my job as chairman of the party to say that we do not stand by that, me specifically as well.  I do not support that, I do not defend that. Under the circumstances, of the best interest of the party, he needs to resign and he needs to resign now.”

 

Earlier today, Faber cancelled a scheduled press conference and opted, instead, to release a recorded statement announcing his pending departure.  In the face of a formal statement given by his fiancée, Dr. Shanika Arnold, to police at the Domestic Violence Unit last Wednesday, the besieged politician boldly attempted to save face.

 

Patrick Faber & Dr. Shanika Arnold

Patrick Faber

“While I maintain that the information circulating about matters with Dr. Shanika Arnold are not the facts, the ills that come with these allegations are simply too much of a burden for me to place on the shoulders of our beloved party and its faithful membership.  I have made a decision to focus my attention on giving my fiancée in this her time of need my full attention and support.”

 

In her report, Dr. Arnold claimed that Faber told her during a physical confrontation at their residence in Lord’s Bank that, “one of us will die tonight and it won’t be me”.

Michael Peyrefitte

“I have a seventeen-year-old daughter, how do I face her as the chairman of an organization whose leader, not once, not twice, three times involved or from what we know in these situations.  So I would hope that he would do the right thing and just step down.”

 

Perhaps heeding the advice of his inner circle, Faber has decided to demit office at the end of the month and bade farewell to his supporters while reassuring his constituency that he will continue to work in their best interest.

 

Patrick Faber

“First of all, let me thank all those who have supported me in my journey this far, in particular my family, my constituency, the greatest of them all, the Collet Constituency, my colleagues, the shadow cabinet, the central executive of the party and most of all, the faithful members and supporters of the U.D.P. Rest assured that my efforts remain committed for the people of Collet whom I will continue to represent and that I will still give my all to fight, as a member of the U.D.P., to secure a better country for all of us.  Long live Belize, long live the U.D.P.”

 

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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