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Feb 6, 2023

Will John Saldivar Seek Leadership of U.D.P. Once Again?

With this latest victory, is John Saldivar contemplating leadership of the United Democratic Party once again? It is a question that was posed to him and the chairman of the United Democratic Party following Sunday’s Belmopan convention. Leading up to the convention, current leader of the U.D.P. Shyne Barrow had made it categorically clear that he no longer wanted Saldivar as part of the party’s future. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Shyne Barrow

Shyne Barrow, Party Leader, U.D.P. [File: January 4th, 2022]

“It’s clear in the constitution that you can’t use your office for personal gain. And so, if a willful suppression charge could be slapped on Mr. Montero, I don’t see why it can’t be applied to Mr. Saldivar. And if they are not prepared to do that, then there are not serious about fighting corruption and they can have nothing to say to the opposition as we proceed. While I hope, I implore all eligible voters in Belmopan that can vote in the U.D.P. convention for Belmopan to vote for anybody except Mr. Saldivar.”


Duane Moody, Reporting

That was U.D.P. party leader Shyne Barrow, one month ago, speaking out publicly against Saldivar; the opposition leader openly supported Retired Colonel George Lovell for Belmopan standard bearer. But, the party supporters in Belmopan felt differently, and Saldivar secured a win by approximately three hundred and fifty votes. Following the results and Saldivar being returned as standard bearer, will there be animosity between Saldivar and Barrow?


John Saldivar

John Saldivar, U.D.P. Standard Bearer, Belmopan

“Our party is not a one man show. Our party is about many of us, many of those who are out here today supporting me. And so when we make decision to move forward with our party, it is a collective decision; it is not a one man. And that is what I am going to follow going through. I will respect the decisions of my party; I will respect my party leader. He is going to have to decide how he treats with me after this.”



“Do you expect he will be your party leader at the end of this year after another national convention?”


John Saldivar

“I can’t foretell that.”



“What will the caucus for change do regarding its support Shyne Barrow now that he broke every rule to come out against you, who lead the caucus?”


John Saldivar

“All I can say is that the caucus will always pick the right person.”


The machinery behind Saldivar’s win is the Caucus for Change group, a faction of U.D.P. politicians. They came out en masse at Sunday’s convention in Belmopan. The bloc is considered influential in prompting the leadership shift within the party last year, which saw Collet area representative Patrick Faber removed as Party Leader and Leader of the Opposition and replaced by Shyne Barrow. With the obvious difference in opinions between Barrow and Saldivar on several issues, News Five asked Saldivar if his eyes were still set on the party’s leadership.


Duane Moody

“The reality is that this is a year for national convention and for the leadership.”


John Saldivar

“No. I can say categorically no. I won’t be running for party leader the next time around.”



“When will the U.D.P. either reaffirm its support for Shyne Barrow or select a new leader?”


Michael Peyrefitte

Michael Peyrefitte, U.D.P. Chairman

“You can’t predict the future. We have a party leader in Shyne Barrow. That’s our party leader. We have a person who will represent the U.D.P. standard bearer in Belmopan; that’s John Saldivar. Those are the facts on the ground as we speak. What the future will bring? We don’t know. But I can tell you that my job will be mostly to make sure that we are organized from the ground up, this party, and to bring as much unity as we can.”


Duane Moody 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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