By Aaron Humes: For various reasons, the organization Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) says it does not believe Belmopan area representative and Minister of National Security John Saldivar is a viable candidate to lead the United Democratic Party should he win at Sunday’s leadership convention, which would put him in line to be Prime Minister.
The organization says it is not endorsing anyone, but it believes it has something to say in light of this not being an ordinary time.
COLA’s criticisms focus on his portfolio, citing the high murder rate, the regular landings of drug planes and the ongoing sex scandal in the Belize Defence Force, of which the Minister has not said anything publicly.
Indeed, he has said nothing publicly since November, which COLA believes makes him less transparent and accessible than a leader should be. He has not spoken up against the decision to shut out the Belizean press at Sunday’s convention until the winner is known, leading COLA to ask, “Is this leadership? Is this “the way forward?” referring to his campaign slogan.
And there is the obligatory condemnation of Saldivar’s name cropping up in the Lev Dermen and Danny Mason cases.
“Regardless of the final outcome, let it be known that COLA does not believe that the Hon. John Saldivar represents the type of leadership that Belize needs moving forward,” the statement concludes.
But it is the 570 delegates voting on Sunday who will have the final say on that.