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John Saldivar announces intention to seek UDP leadership, expresses support for Carla Barnett

Posted: Tuesday, July 3, 2018. 10:00 a.m. CST.

By BBN Staff: Minister of National Security, John Saldivar, at the inauguration of the Cebada Conservation Post in Chiquibul last month, announced that he intends to enter his candidacy for the United Democratic Party’s leadership heading into the 2020 general elections.

Saldivar made the confirmation following a question from the media and noted that he wasn’t quite ready to do so since he was focusing on getting his constituency ready for the re-registration process as well as assisting other constituencies.

“I felt that I should not beat around the bush or dodge the question, so I answered. Yes, I will be offering myself for the leadership of my party when that time comes,” Saldivar said.

  According to Saldivar, although the June 29th deadline for persons interested in contesting the 2020 ticket was already closed, he said he ensured not to encourage candidates just for the sake of securing constituency delegates.

“I have not encouraged anyone to run against Ministers, I have tried to identify a consensus candidate regardless of who that candidate will support for leadership,” he said.

Saldivar endorsed Dennis Garbutt of Toledo East, who had already received a public endorsement from Deputy Prime Minster, Patrick Faber. He also endorsed Lupe Magana from Orange Walk South, whom Faber had also supported.

“In the inevitable competition that naturally accompanies a leadership race, I am mindful that we must preserve the unity of our party. Democracy is healthy, competition is good, however, an entire country and all its people stand to suffer if we allow government to fall in the wrong hands,” Saldivar said.

He also spoke of how great Minister Dr. Carla Barnett has been for the government and for the UDP party. He said he believes that her honesty and integrity has opened many doors for the government, where trust and confidence had been lost because of the transgressions of the previous government. He added that Dr. Barnett has placed her name, reputation, and professional career on the line for the country, for the party, and for the people.

“We must never be a party of ingrates. I therefore stand with Dr. Carla Barnett and call on all fair-minded, decent UDP’s in and outside of Freetown division to defend this champion for women, this champion for Belize,” Saldivar said.

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