Thursday, November 19, 2015. Victor Castillo Sr. Reporting: People’s United Party (PUP) Senator Lisa Shoman announced, this week, her intention to vie for the party’s leadership and said she believes she can gather the necessary support within the party.
Shoman, in an interview with The Reporter, made her intention known and said she plans to make a formal announcement sometime next week to enter her name as a candidate before the December 15th deadline.
Shoman, if successful, would become the first woman in Belize to lead either mass party. She said she believes it’s time for a woman to step forward and lead one of the mass parties.
In a Facbook post last week Shoman said: “I told the Garifuna Collective today…that if I am EVER the PM of Belize, I would insist on walking in to the inaugural House Meeting and inspecting the Guard of Honour to their music.”
In another post she said: “..The notion that a woman is ready/viable/worthy to be the leader of either of the two current mass parties in Belize, is DEFINITELY an idea that is neither ridiculous nor even particularly that far-fetched,” adding, “It is not a joke. There is a plethora of talented women in Belize who could, with the right support, be the Party Leader of either the PUP or the UDP.”
In the interview, Shoman said she wasn’t seriously considering submitting her name but after receiving plenty of calls and text messages she was encouraged to do so.
If she were to win and occupy the role as Party Leader, it would be one of the few occasions when the PUP leader did not win by a victory at the polls. (The late PUP Leader Emeritus, George Price, continued on as Party Leader outside the National Assembly, even after he was defeated in the 1984 General Elections by Derek Aikman, while Florencio Marin Sr., became Leader of the Opposition).
And while she doesn’t have much history in electoral politics, Shoman said she believes Belizeans will be persuaded by her performance and her record of service.
Shoman, who holds prestigious decorations from Mexico and Nicaragua for distinguished service, has served the country at the highest levels under the 1998 – 2008 Said Musa administrations, as among other posts, Ambassador to the United States, Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States (OAS), High Commissioner to Canada, Senator and Foreign Affairs Minister. She has also served under PUP Party Leaders John Briceno and Francis Fonseca in 2009-2012 and ultimately as Leader of Opposition Business in the Senate from 2012-2015.
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