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Arthur Saldivar

Arthur Saldivar

Arthur Saldivar

Friday, September 19, 2014. AARON HUMES Reporting: Controversial former Belize Rural North standard bearer for the People’s United Party (PUP) Arthur Saldivar did not take the news of his removal from that post earlier this week particularly well.

He is accused of, but denies, taking over $900,000 in monies belonging to former clients Melonie and Marlene Coye which were part of a frozen sum returned after successful appeals of their money laundering convictions.

For this and other incidents, the PUP this week dismissed Saldivar from the National Executive.

But Saldivar appears insistent on running in the division, with the support of his loyal executive committee, and even challenging Francis Fonseca himself for PUP leadership at the next party national convention.

Francis Fonseca

Francis Fonseca

But the Party is not about to turn back, according to PUP leader Francis Fonseca, no matter what the ex-standard bearer has to say.

A decision has been made which the party stands by and no amount of threats and wheedling will change it.

Would this kind of internal turmoil have unnerved former leader Rt. Hon. George Price, who rarely faced internal issues while serving in the role for four decades?

Fonseca says that while the party is built on the idea that anyone can serve, Price also insisted on absolute loyalty and support for the party’s decisions.

Fonseca maintains that any threat of an independent run by Saldivar would not unnerve the party, who will search for the best candidate to replace him, a process that starts with the party chairman meeting in the division.

A new candidate will be in place by the end of this year. Fellow attorney and Saldivar mentor Richard “Dickie” Bradley has been mentioned as a possible entrant but nothing definitive has come from him about interest.

Fonseca says the party remains united despite the expressions of dissatisfaction from the area.

And most importantly, Saldivar’s ban is through the next general election, meaning he is restricted to independence or an unlikely challenge to incumbent Edmond Castro in the UDP.

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