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Oct 18, 2011

There is only one P.U.P., but zero leader

Mark Espat

The P.U.P. finds itself in a conundrum tonight, days after it turned sixty-one. John Briceño officially stepped down today as leader of the opposition in the House and on the eve of the deadline for the leadership of the party, the interim leader, Mark Espat, has decided he will not be running for leader even though he had overwhelming support from thirty of thirty-one constituencies.  Espat, who was named interim leader when Briceño resigned on October seventh, told party officials that the demands on him are too much to assume the leadership at this critical time. Primarily, he has not been able to secure financing for a multi-million dollar plan for party operations between now and the next general elections. Neither could he make certain concessions to the so called old guard of the party and Espat is not known to take risks.

A release from Espat says that “Today, I informed members of the National Executive and the Standard Bearers of the People’s United Party of my final decision not to seek the post of Party Leader. I am profoundly grateful for the numerous expressions of support for my leadership from Standard Bearers, Party branches, Party members and from the general citizenry of Belize. Deserving of my infinite gratitude for the opportunity to serve Belize and the P.U.P. are my constituents, and particularly the members of the Albert Campaign and Action Committees whose exceptional labor, commitment and loyalty for the causes of change and justice in our country buoyed me during the many stormy times. Working along with our Deputy Leaders and National Executive and in conformity with our Constitution, the Party will proceed with the election of a substantive Party Leader in the shortest possible timeframe.”

So tonight the news is that the grand old party is in a tailspin over a serious leadership crisis. After the humiliating defeat of 2008, the People’s United Party has been crushed by fighting within its ranks and waning public confidence. Espat’s decision leaves the door wide open since most agree that Attorney Arthur Saldivar is not a viable alternative. When we spoke to Senior Deputy Party Leader Francis Fonseca, he said he had not discussed the matter with his family and was therefore saying no at this time. The past leader Said Musa has not, we are told, indicated whether he will make a comeback but there is plenty speculation about who will eventually make the bid.

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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35 Responses for “There is only one P.U.P., but zero leader”

  1. Lucas says:

    Believe it or not, The PUP is better off without Mark as Party leader. Bluntly speaking, Mark would not have been able to return the PUP back to Independence Hill because he has such a long tail that would be easy for Dean to step on. Without Mark the PUP has a better chance to defeat DEAN. It is going to be very hard but not impossible. Will someone please nominate HENRY CHARLES USHER!.

  2. Earl Grey says:

    The CREAM of the party WILL RISE TO THE TOP…not to worry!!!

  3. PUP says:

    Sad day for Belize, when PUP was in power a credible UDP opposition was needed to bring awareness and offer an alternative, sort of a check and balance. Without a credible PUP, there will be only one party left in Belize, and that could open the door to future abuse. Come on PUP Leadership, get your act together, where is Dolores Balderamos, she might be the only other credible leader, if you all give it to Arthur thats it, its a nose dive!

  4. BELIZE first. says:

    I am PUP but I do not want musa for PUP leader againnnnnnnnnnnnnnn,it will be all lost when election comes again he betrayed the country and people with his wrong doings and corruption,because of him we the poor people have to stand the victimisation and arrogance and now the DICTATOR,dean barrow…….musa is no longer loved by the thousands of Belizeans like before,he is a traitor and another musa comebak is a defenite loss for the PEOPLE OF BELIZE. MAYBE jOHNY SHOULD MAKE A COME BACK. We cannot satnd another 5 years of this ignorant/arrogant UDP government,NO MOREEEEEEEEEEE UDP….wake up Belizeans UDP NO GOOD FOF BELIZE.

  5. Orl says:

    Hmh, How can I vote Blue, when the party is not working good? Red will continue in power…

  6. me says:


  7. Chami-ka says:

    Jeanie and Arlen, we counting on you. JAG Camp needs to win.

  8. concern says:

    I believe espat should be a true leader and fight with or without money that would make him a true winner even if he looses the next general election don’t let down your pup party

  9. oscar965 says:

    Let us not forget that 10 years ago..the UDP was as disorganized as the PUP is right now. I am sure that a lot of people remember that the UDP 10 plus years back could not get a break, but they got organized and put personal feeling to one side. It is in Unity that we show our true strenght. Hopefully the PUP will rise out of all of this a truly organized and UNITED Party. To the UDP voters do not make the mistake and think that the PUP is over. They will be back, will it be in 2013?, Well that all depends on how the UDP handles the problems of the nation in the months leading to elections.

  10. defend BZ says:

    Not surprising Only someone who is willing to comprise his intetrity will take up the mantle. This person will have to be willing to sign documents similar to the infamous`accommodation aggrement ` thereby in effect selling out Belize. This is one of the flaws of our democracy, political parties has to raise huge sums of money in order to be a credible force. smaller parties who are not prepared to compromise do not stand a chance. The Lord is smiling , he knows someone is comming to him hat in hand and he will have his accommodation agrggrement ready , as he also had in New Zealand earlier this year. I beg again Belize, please let us get Party Financing laws in place and inforce them.

  11. PUP says:

    Concerrn, i agree with you, what we need to do at this juncture is to take two steps back, analyze the situation thoroughly and go forward united. PUP can win without money, Price didnt have it all when he campaigned and won, if PUP goes back to the fundamental principles, then money is not needed when you fight for it.

    Elections is won at the micro level, at the individual level, cause at the end of the day, it is the people who vote. Candidates needs to start putting in some serious groundwork, what will be needed is funds to host conventions or parties, and i mean huge parties at each district before Municipal elections, let the people come out and meet their candidates. Bring in people from neighboring villages and have an appreciation day for the loyalists who still stand behind the party. This is a show that the party is alive, appreciative and was only dormant during the weatherstorm, lets get over this tribulations now and show that the storm is over, and let the blue flag fly high!

    Ask yourself, how would George Price want it to be? You see, money doesnt win elections, it is perception, Ask yourself why Chendo didnt win in Central against the man who still should be the leader of the opposition. Chendo spent big, and still lost, he is still spending big and will lose again. It is perception my friends, let us bank on this rather than funding from those who made us lost the last time.

  12. Zeus says:

    How many times have I said it? Bring back Musa. Simply put. I said it way back when everyone was jumping for joy.

    Charisma he has, but Espat is not a leader. Never was. Let’s get real folks. Espat modus operandi consist of running. That’s his style. The man is a dodger. He talks but that is all he does.

    Musa where are thou?

  13. rod says:

    i nominate lisa shoman for pm a female with brains also and braun.

  14. carlos perdy says:

    Maybe I can lead the pup.

  15. Get it right says:

    The party can’t even manage their own money and has no leader, how will they effectively run this country. They need to re-organize and reform their party. Get rid of the old and get in fresh faces that really have the concerns of the Belizeans at heart. Stop trying to win elections with money and start to win with determination and hard work.

  16. me says:

    THIS IS MY TWO CENTS CONTRIBUTION AGAIN. Hon. George Price was a real leader. Real true leader looking out for the country. There is a standard bearer in the party that is his blood. “Chip no far from di block.” She must have some of his qualities. Hey you all, HOW ABOUT A FEMALE PRIME MINISTER for a change? IF MARK IS AFRAID TO TAKE UP THE CHALLENGE HOW ABOUT THE LADY SHOWING HIM IT CAN BE DONE WITHOUT MONNNEEEEEEYYYYYYY. THE SAYING IS SO TRUE, “WHERE THERE IS A WILL THERE IS A WAY”. I GUESS MARK DON’T HAVE A WILL TO LEAD OUT. MAKES ME WONDER IF HE IS REALLY INTO HIS PARTY.

  17. Elgin Martinez says:

    At this point in time i am not concerned about either of the Ps,All i am concerned about is that whosoever is elected as the Next PM has the Belizean people’s interest as their first priority.My motto is country first . all these politicians.

  18. Belizegal13 says:

    PUP, I agree but see the problem is that we live in a society where money influences everything. Back in the days of George Price people believed in something more than money and they grouped together to fight for those beliefs. Today our leaders are so corrupt and majority of voters are simply waiting for that pocket change before they cast a vote. WE NEED TO STOP SELLING OUR VOTES! Belizeans need to analyze the current state of our country and question and demand things from our government leaders. This is craziness, we are STRONG people yet we take any crap that the government throws at us.
    I believe the PUP will clean up their mess, actually they better get it straight and real fast. I cannot say what good news if any the PUP can bring to the next election but what I can say is that our current government is slacking.
    based on current party members I would support Francis but no sure he will take up the position. Mark was questionable….and Arthur well a little too green, yeah he can probably win Rural but practice a bit more then head for leadership Arthur.

    More importantly I strongly believe that our political system, like many around the globe has too many darn lawyers and that is why the system is so corrupt and money talks.

  19. Retired CEO says:

    With all due respect, Mark Espat did himeself and the party a huge favour by not accepting the leadership position of the PUP. Believe it or not, this is not about money it is about leadership, honesty, integrity and a commitment to once again unite the PUP, in order to win the upcoming elections and move our beloved country forward. The leadership of the party must now go into a retreat for a weekend, examine their conscience, clean up their dirty laundry in private, experience a cathersis, chose a new leader, begin raising funds and move forward to victory. QUE VIVA PUP!!!!

  20. ALL A WE NA ONE says:

    The problem is that p.u.p is in finicial problem. Hon, Mark Espart would have been a Good candidate. p.u.p should wake up. the father of the nation is not with us any more. May his rest in peace. Musa should called the house in order.

  21. Belizean Citizen says:

    The people voted the pup out because of the corruption. The udp is doing the same and continue to borrow. UDP isTaxing Belizeans to death. The people want the pup back but the pup are scared of the udp mess that will find them in govt. Money Shortage! UDP will have to start cutting ministers salaries until Belize gets back on foot or just simply step down if they continue to fail. SERVE THE PEOPLE AND STOP EXPLOITING THEM!!!!!

  22. obervation says:

    it’s easier for a black man to become the p resident of hte United states than a black man to be leader of hte PUP. Grand ol Party? since when PUP are republicans?

  23. PUP says:

    Thing is, not all were corrupt, the ones that are corrupt should be the first to step down, so the party can move forward, however, being a democratic party if the people chose them as area representatives then PUP respects the voice of the people, this is why thre is so much conventions happeing under PUP. Noticed any lately at UDP, when so much people applied to them? Yes they chose who they want to run at strategic places. Under PUP, everyone who requests and applies get a fair share and opportunity to contest and the voice of the people is respected. PUP was voted out because a few were corrupt. Those who held their heads high and have dignity should run the party. Mark, John, Cordel, Lisa Shoma, Dolores Balderamos. They have conviction and the ability to stand up to UDP, this is what Democracy is all about, a healty opposition and strong enough for a general elections.

  24. Earl Grey says:


  25. PUP says:

    observation, good one, but who was the last black person to contest leadership other than Arthur? Thing is it is coincidence that he is black and hasnt won an election, is not an elected official, and well gets his good name from saying he won for Max Samuels, the passport scandal guy. So it would seem that because he was black this is so. Point taken though, let Cordel run, I think he stands a chance against Dean Barrow, look at what he did to Patrick Faber, man nearly mek Patrick cry inna d house. Kudos to people like them.

  26. subKonshus says:

    The current state of affairs that our country is in, has to do with both the infidelity of the politicians and the masses that put them their. We often cast stones and say “Politicians need to put country over party politics”. But in the same manner we must also take blame because when we go to the polls we always put “Party over country”. We the people always vote for whomever is put to run in our constituency just to support a particular party. For example, those who wanted Dean for PM, would have voted for a pig in their constituency just to ensure his party wins, so that he would be able to become PM. At the end of the day what do we have? One brain among the nuts who sits in cabinet week after week making decisions without any sensible debate about what is best for the people. Maybe if we voters begin to put “Country over Party”, then the politicians will take us more seriously and begin to put “Country over Political Agenda”. We should not be concerned with who becomes Prime Minister, instead we should be more concerned in getting a righteous and decent person to represent us in the House. That way, we won’t have to worry about who becomes PM, because our area reps would have been people with integrity who will keep the PM in check, carrying out the will of the people at all times. If each voter in each constituency would honestly select the best candidate to represent them, we would not have a one sided house, where anything the PM says goes. The House would be mixed with VIP,PUP,UDP and PNP. Each representative would keep each other in check, and therefore would have to truly rely on we the people for support and guidance. Come on Belizeans… Let this be a lesson for us. We are in panic now because there seems to be no real opposition to keep this rogue government in check. But thats what happens when we give absolute power to any one party. Lets start doing right by being more conscious, starting with the city council elections. If we continue to vote BLUE down the line or RED down the line OR GREEN down the line, then we have learned nothing over past 3 years. We would have been well deserving of all the crap this government, and future government would shove down our throats. Whats the use of living in a democracy if we can’t harness the benefits of living in one. But for some of us, our vote is worth less than a US$100!!! Wake up Belizeans..Wake up and Live!

  27. Elgin Martinez says:

    Dara Rabinson for PM,aleast this brother is helping more Belizean than the GOB.Keep up the good work Dara Jah Bless.

  28. EL GUARDIAN says:

    Mark Espat has no spine! A leader leads regardless of circumstances…in good times and in bad. He has proven that he does not have what it takes…Barrow stuck with it in the lean and low times of the PUP…Mark has shown his true colours and the PUP is better off without him. He has disappointed his party and his people!!!!

  29. Maverick says:

    Wow, never thought I would see the day. Four years ago after Said stepped down, there was a clamour for the leadership slot resulting in a Johnny as leader and no less than three senior deputies, now it’s a hot potato that no one wants to touch. I say Street Vibes for leader!!

  30. Storm says:

    I’m neither PUP nor UDP these days, and I think the Jewel needs a whole new HONEST AND INCORRUPTIBLE generation of leaders NOW.

    We need people who put the good of the people today and for future generations ahead of selfish interests and personal greed.

    Espat isn’t perfect, but he was one of the few politicians who I felt was pretty honest and concerned aobut the good of the country. In contrast, too many recent leaders were nothingmore than thieves who would destroy the ship of state for a shilling.

    Maybe there is an opportunity for some courageous new leaders to step forward and try to get us back on the right path of financial responsibily and equal opportunity for all. That’s not too much to expect, is it? It’s what I think we all want and deserve.

  31. Latina Mom says:

    Obviously NO ONE is willing to run with THE NATION’S BEST INTEREST AT HEART. JOHNNY AND MARK HAVE JUST DONE A ‘PONTIUS PILATE’ ON US. – - When someone is WILLING to DEFEND OR FIGHT FOR A CAUSE HE/SHE BELIEVES IN, and I mean TRULY FIGHT, they will do so WITH NO WEAPONS if necessary. HE/SHE will use their bare fists if that’s all they have. They will fight until they have EXHAUSTED their VERY LAST shred of strength!! – - Like Oscar and PUP have said above, THE ULTIMATE POWER LIES IN THE HANDS OF THE VOTERS. – THE FUTURE OF BELIZE LIES IN THE HANDS OF ITS PEOPLE AND NO ONE ELSE’S!!! – - I am certain that if you ask any Belizean in his right mind, they will tell you that from the Rio Hondo to the Sarstoon, Belizeans are disgusted, not to mention feel betrayed by the DICTATOR we mistakenly placed as PM. – - Wait and see what will happen on Friday at the upcoming Sitting of the House, when he takes away the very core of the Constitution and once again manipulates it to his benefit.- – BEWARE BELIZEANS, BEWARE!!! – - Because, then we will have to say, (vulgarly speaking) “we’ll all be up S**t Creek without a paddle”, as the Belizean saying goes. – - IS BARROW THE RISE OF THE BELIZEAN CASTRO, or is he already another HITLER in disguise???? – - WILL BELIZEANS SERIOUSLY GIVE THIS MAN AND HIS MINISTERS ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY TO WALK ALL OVER US LIKE DOORMATS AND LATER LAUGH IN OUR FACES ABOUT IT???????

  32. Eye In The Sky says:

    Dean Barrow and cronies just won the political lotto of Belize.

  33. me says:

    If PUP stole the monies and the party is broke………??? If a few were not in line does that mean the whole party is bad?? How about the current leaders of the UDP, they were broke too and are not quibbling about cash shortage for election. So where they getting their monies from for next election…….??? hmmmmmm. How come no one is blowing a whistle????

  34. Elena says:

    I agree that there must be a PUP leader to check on the UDP governance, however I do no think there is a true leader that would really work for the Belizean citizens. Many people want to be in power, but just for what power represents and what power will get them.
    We have seen through out history that both parties and the Prime Ministers have all been plagued with corruption and bad governance. People no longer trust them. I have not seen a Prime Minister that truely cares for the country and the people.
    The PUP not having a leader might not be a bad thing. Why do we want another incompetent and corrupt leader?
    I wish there was a third option – why do we accept a two party authoritarian form of government? Why do we accept the country to be run by the elite family members? It seems like political leaders think that Belize is their family business.
    Do we want the Musa and Espat family to run the Belize family business again?

  35. Secure Belize says:

    I’ve been a PUP for ages, and I really wanted to see Mark assume leadership. But he has shown us more about his quality that any blog site or third party opinion could have ever estimated- no heart. He has no heart to take on Barrow and the UDP, and he has given the UDP more power over the Belizean people, because he has left them with no viable option. And I’m sorry but I think Belize needs someone with heart to lead the country to security. Forget the talk of “freedom” and “change”. We want security for our children. Forget the Musas and the Barrows, we don’t want them either. Are these our only choices? Either we get our civil liberties trampled on by a dictator or we get our eyes stolen out of our heads? Come on Belize, we are worthy of so much more. We want someone who will get back to square one which is the business of being in OFFICE not in POWER, there is a huge difference between the two. We want a leader with heart, who will serve us without fear, and will do what it takes to get the job done, money or no, party support or no. If I were Mark, I would be cafeful about whose advice I was taking. If it is the father-in-law, he needs to see that that man might have ambitions of his own son being the leader of the party- and maybe he is more suitable at this point. Whether this is the case or not, I don’t know, but this is certain- we need someone with heart. Who will step up?

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