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Future of “Pawpa” Mena uncertain in Dangriga; “Boots” co-opts Finnegan in switch to Pickstock

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Posted: Saturday, August 1, 2020. 7:27 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: The ruling United Democratic Party (UDP)’s internal jockeying continues in the race to the general elections due later this year.

Residents and supporters of the U.D.P. in the Culture Capital, Dangriga, appear to be rallying against Frank ‘Pawpa’ Mena, the incumbent first-term area representative, as he weighs whether to continue for a second.

Meanwhile, Anthony “Boots” Martinez is seeking to win another constituency after having defended Port Loyola for three terms – Pickstock, where both George Price and Wilfred Elrington found success.

Elrington stood down after a desultory run for party leader earlier this month, but it’s not clear whether Mena, who supported John Saldivar over Patrick Faber, will do the same.

He faces a petition by his own constituency committee to be removed as a candidate.

Such matters are presently on the plate of leader-elect of the party Patrick Faber, who must seek unity as he tries to continue the party run into a fourth term, but it is clear that both Martinez and Mena have the Prime Minister’s support.

Acknowledging his own bias as a friend of the ex-radio DJ, Barrow opined, “I have never seen any politician that is able to connect with people in quite the way that Papa Mena is able to.  You see him on a rostrum when he’s switching between Garifuna and Creole, you see him in a crowd with his Garifuna constituents; the man is magic.”

But as the P.M. acknowledged, while he has the inside track, that alone will not be enough to win and Mena must decide whether he will continue on.

As for “Boots,” he is seeking the nomination for Pickstock with the support of no less than retiring Mesopotamia area representative – and Barrow’s acknowledged bosom buddy – Michael Finnegan as campaign manager, the Prime Minister revealed today.

“I’ll go you one better; I understand that not only is he interested in contesting, I hear that he has already acquired a campaign manager, in the person of the one and only Michael Finnegan…so I don’t know how things will turn out – again, I’m sorry the leader-elect isn’t here – but that there is that interest enabled, empowered, assisted by the Honourable Finnegan, of that there is no doubt.”

At least one other candidate, Percy Lewis, claims to have gotten Elrington’s backing to run for the seat.


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