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Feb 2, 2022

Tracy Panton: “I Abided by U.D.P. Constitution”

Following his swearing-in as Leader of the Opposition on Tuesday, Area Representative in the Mesopotamia division, Shyne Barrow, came out swinging at his fellow Albert Area Representative Tracy Taegar-Panton for comments she made about due process not being followed in making him Leader of the Opposition.  Barrow suggested that when she had the opportunity to stand up for gender-based violence victims, for women, and for the party, she refused.  But Taegar-Panton has maintained that she was merely abiding by the oath that she took to follow the party’s constitution.


Tracy Taegar-Panton

Tracy Taegar-Panton, Aspirant for U.D.P. Leader

“When I became a standard bearer for the United Democratic Party, I swore an oath of office that I would respect the Constitution of the party, I would uphold the procedures of the party, that I would respect the organs of this party and that is what I stand for. It is my principled position.  It was the position I took then and it’s the position I take now. It is not for the Member for Mesop to appoint me as Leader of the Opposition in the House. In my view, that decision ought to be taken by the decision-makers of the party, who are the delegates of the party. I believed then, as I believe now, that we had an obligation, a responsibility to consult with members of the National Party Council to determine the will of the party, and that was not done. I was not prepared to stand against the very oath of office that I gave to the United Democratic Party.  The Constitution of the country does provide that the majority of Members that sit on the Opposition side of the House can determine who the Leader of the Opposition is in the House. It trumps the party’s constitution – I don’t want to say it trumps the party’s constitution – there is a supreme law of the land and it indicates that in the National Assembly, there are three persons who can make that determination if they see fit. And that has been done and I understand that the Hon. Hugo Patt, who is our deputy leader, the Hon. Denise Barrow and the Hon. Shyne Barrow have signed that letter. My view is that three persons, although they have been elected, also swore to uphold the Constitution of the party. It is our first oath of office we take and in the spirit of the constitution of the United Democratic Party is that we ought to consult the organs of the party – the Central Executive Committee, and the National Party Council. That has done.”

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