Posted: Tuesday, February 2, 2016. 7:15 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: Following Sunday’s result in the People’s United Party’s contested national convention, among the first to congratulate new leader John Briceño are his rivals in the United Democratic Party. Prime Minister Dean Barrow was first off the block on Monday during his press conference – hailing the “democratic convention” held by a party known for backroom deals.
Later, one of the UDP’s leadership hopefuls, Minister of Education Honorable Patrick Faber congratulated Briceño on his win – saying he hoped they would now get their act together.
Faber noted that there may still be opposition to Briceño taking back the post of Leader of the Opposition in the House – that’s currently held by Francis Fonseca. But he says that cannot be allowed to happen for the sake of Belizean democracy.
Faber added that even though the PUP’s process of selection is one to watch, there are those in the UDP who believe in the system THEY have, which involves only over 5 hundred delegates voting versus the almost three thousand who voted in the PUP’s convention.
And speaking of the UDP, their national convention is scheduled for March 20 in Dangriga. The UDP’s National Party Council had decided at its last meeting that even though positions, including that of leader, are up for challenge, they will go uncontested FOR NOW. Then ex˗area representative Mark King posted on social media last month that he will contest the UDP’s chairmanship.
But we have learned that no such thing will happen. Instead, it will play out as the National Party Council decided. Barrow, Deputies Gaspar Vega and Erwin Contreras and Chairman Alberto August will continue in their posts.
Faber told us that even though the Party’s constitution calls for a national convention every two years, at the upcoming March 20th convention, they will table a resolution for that rule to be bypassed for 2018, due to the special circumstances wherein Leader Dean Barrow has already announced his departure from politics at the end of this term. They would then hold the next convention early in 2020 ahead of the generals expected late in that year. Prime Minister Barrow had already announced in the House that his party would use its full five year term, which would expire in November 2020. General elections would then be called by February of 2021.
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