As National Party Council meets, People’s United Party supporters warned over infighting

Posted: Saturday, January 9th, 2016. 9:30 p.m. CST

pup flag 324x236By Aaron Humes: The People’s United Party’s (PUP) National Party Council met today in Belize City to ratify the decisions of the National Executive made in December, following the nomination of candidates to contest open posts on the Executive at a special convention slated for January 31 in Belmopan.

The three candidates for leadership of the party, John Briceno, Francis Fonseca and Cordel Hyde have made no public statements since they were formally nominated in December.

Hyde broke his silence today, saying that his campaign was going well. He opined that the party is at a crossroads after losing every major election since 2003 and he has now has to convince delegates, every day up to convention day, that he is the man to lead them and the country.

Briceno declined any comment except to wish Belizeans a Happy New Year, and Fonseca did not even appear in front of any media cameras.

Party chairman Henry Charles Usher reported that the meeting was mostly straightforward, with one resolution introduced and approved, to clarify that the four deputy leaders are for each region of the country: North, South, East and West.

Belmopan Comprehensive School has been confirmed as the venue and voting will take place from 3:00 to 5:00 in the evening. Each regional caucus will vote in separate rooms at the venue.

Today’s meeting comes as the party’s members are engaging in furious infighting on the most public of platforms: social media.

There have been a series of attacks on Facebook, mostly against Briceno and Hyde, suggested to be coming from supporters of Fonseca, who stepped down following the party’s loss at the polls in November but was persuaded to return for another shot at the top job just a few weeks later.

Usher told us the party wants its supporters to hold it down, but conceded that they do have the right to free speech subject to defamation and libel laws. Deputy party leader Julius Espat concurred, saying that it was a result of a more enlightened world.

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