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Aug 12, 2022

P.U.P. Chairman Reels in Belmopan Mayor and Councilors

Two days after Belmopan Mayor Sharon Palacio went public to announce that Pauline Soberanis-Tillett was the new deputy mayor, Chairman of the People’s United Party, Henry Usher, called a press conference at the Belmopan City Hall to essentially nullify the new nomination. Usher also informed that Palacio and the councilors have agreed to set aside an ongoing internal rift, and to work together to deliver on their collective mandate. News Five’s Marion Ali was present for the afternoon conference. Here is that report.

Marion  Ali, Reporting


Henry Usher

Henry Usher, Chairman, P.U.P.
“Can I guarantee that there will be no more infighting, no. Nobody can guarantee that. What I can guarantee is that if it happens, there is a procedure to solve it rather quickly, rather than having to call the media every time something like this happens.”

P.U.P. Chairman, Henry Usher who met with the Council before speaking to the press, clarified that there need to be consensus before a new deputy mayor can be named.

Henry Usher

“In March of this year, Councilor Darren Swasey was elected by the Council, by his colleagues, to be the deputy mayor. At that meeting it was also decided that there would be a rotation so that everyone could have a chance to be deputy mayor of Belmopan. Of course, before the next person could be selected there had to be a meeting to make that selection. This meeting did not happen in time and so that press release went out. Really it was jumping the gun a little bit in terms of who would be the next deputy mayor, but we wanted to be very clear that Councilor Darren Swasey remains the deputy mayor of Belmopan until the next caucus meeting which is usually scheduled for the last Wednesday of the month, so we should be having a meeting on August thirty-first and if that item is on the agenda then it will be made public who will be the next deputy mayor of Belmopan.”

Usher declared that Darren Swasey will remain in that position until another Caucus meeting is held on the last Wednesday of the month, which is August thirty-first. Usher also chided the Councilors who took to social media to take aim at Mayor Palacio.

Henry Usher
“On the issue of the social media posts, we want to be very clear that the party does not condone this type of behaviour coming out. It’s negative comments, negative posts being put out there when really what should be done is that you have a proper meeting inside.”

The Councilors who criticized the mayor publicly have been missing from Council meetings for months, according to Palacio. But today, there was one hundred percent attendance, with two of the Councilors joining in virtually. Guadalupe Chicas who was one of the Councilors who bashed Palacio on Facebook, sat beside her today at the head table. And while there couldn’t be any assurances made that all is well internally, there’ll be an effort to put the people’s business first. And the man who remains Deputy Mayor, Darren Swasey spoke along the same lines.

Guadalupe Chicas

Guadalupe Chicas, Councilor, Belmopan
“I cannot assure you that the differences will just disappear but that’s part of us being a team. We work together from day one no matter what and what I said or posted on social media it’s sad but I don’t want to speak about it anymore. it’s just the way forward.”


Darren Swasey

Darren Swasey, Deputy Mayor, Belmopan

“While we will never stop having disagreements, we’ll never agree on every single thing, today we have found unity of purpose as is one of the tenets of the People’s United Party, and we’ll move forward.”

Sharon Palacio

Sharon Palacio, Mayor, Belmopan
“Today was a very good example of the usage of consultative approach whereby you can see us here today and there’s where opinions clash definitely but we come out with a unified approach.”

Oscar Mira who represents the City of Belmopan in the House, explained that while he too had had some differences with the Council in the past, there is now common ground moving forward.


Oscar Mira

Oscar Mira, Area Representative, Belmopan

“Whatever was said in the past, I have passed that a long time ago. We continue working. The important thing is that we work towards what we were elected for. And I’m here to serve, I’m here to work shoulder to shoulder with the Belmopan City Council.”


Marion Ali For News Five.


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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