Tuesday, April 28th, 2015. Aaron Humes Reporting: Today leader of the parliamentary Opposition and of the People’s United Party (PUP) Francis Fonseca made his first appearance for some time on the KREM Wake Up Belize Morning Vibes program along with deputy leader Julius Espat this morning.
Fonseca’s leadership has been rocked by back to back electoral defeats in a by-election and the municipal council elections, not to mention heavy internal infighting and sniping. The party has been taking some time to address its internal issues and today Fonseca reported to the public via a press interview conducted after the show that the party is ready to present its internal reforms for approval at a party national convention.
Fonseca noted that the positions of some standard bearers may be up for grabs, particularly in Belize City, but he would not be drawn into specifics, especially with regard to one of the most senior parliamentarians and party officials in Rt. Hon. Said Musa, who faces calls to step down before the next general election is called. Fonseca indicated that there is still some fine-tuning to do which is why he was not prepared to comment on Musa’s or anyone else’s position.
No date has been set for the convention; the party held its last one in October of 2010 in Dangriga.
In conjunction with the PUP’s self-renewal, party leader Francis Fonseca is currently on tour across the country. He indicates that the people of Belize want to hear about the PUP’s plans for the country and how it will correct perceived injustices. Having made their case, Fonseca says he will leave it up to the Belizean people to decide whether to trust the PUP again.
In related PUP news: British businessman, politician and peer Lord Michael Ashcroft made waves earlier this year, twice visiting Belize in the span of a few weeks. He was rumored to have met with all manner of people, most of whom, except for labour leader and attorney Audrey Matura-Shepherd, denied it.
One entity desperate to stay far away from Ashcroft is the People’s United Party (PUP), who have been accused of becoming so cozy with the Baron of Chichester that they put themselves in grave danger of violating national law and sovereignty. PUP leader Francis Fonseca says that Ashcroft has not offered – and the PUP will not accept – any campaign financing. The party remains tied to its business and personal supporters for campaign financing.
While the PUP are determined to keep out of Ashcroft’s cross-hairs, they appear even more determined, like Simon Peter’s denial of Jesus Christ, to deny any significant attachments to him in the past or present. Witness today’s denial by Fonseca that Ashcroft contributed directly to several close races, suggesting that he hoped to swing them in the PUP’s behalf: He insists that neither he nor Julius Espat as party treasurer received any money personally. Lord Ashcroft himself has not ruled out helping those who ask him for it. He denies any continuing business interests in Belize.
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