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UDP: Dean is still our leader

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Posted: Tuesday, February 11, 2020. 5:08 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Prime Minister Dean Barrow continues to lead the United Democratic Party despite Sunday’s leadership convention, the party confirmed via press release this evening.

Under Article 9 of the party’s constitution, the party leader serves for three parliamentary terms only. Barrow has been leader since 1998, which covers five parliamentary terms, but he has never been challenged for the post.

Under paragraph seven of the article, the person elected as new party leader does not assume office until the end of the term of office of the outgoing party leader, or unless the outgoing party leader resigns.

Barrow, the party says, has not resigned, and his term of office only ends when he advises the Governor-General to dissolve parliament and call a general election.

While he is not mentioned by name, John Saldivar is recognized as “the winner of February 9th National Convention [who] is presently the Party Leader-elect of the United Democratic Party.”

And on the matter of stepping down as Prime Minister, the party points to Section 37 (2) of the National Constitution and the authority of the Governor-General to appoint the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister shall be a member of the House of Representatives who is the leader of the political party which, commands the support of the majority of the members of that House. Again, the Governor-General has not been informed of any change in the office as there is no such change, as outlined above.

Speaking with reporters following the convention, Saldivar said he and the Prime Minister would sit down to discuss the transition, which latest projections say would be after the presentation of the General Revenue and Appropriation Bill (‘the Budget’) in March. The House of Representatives would have to be dissolved by November 13 this year, having completed five years, unless otherwise sooner dissolved.

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