Posted: Tuesday, August 31, 2021. 9:46 am CST.
By Aaron Humes: The United Democratic Party finds itself in quite the pickle as of late.
Party leader Patrick Faber survived a recall at Birds Isle in June. Some question whether the immediate next move to secure the legitimacy of the party was for Moses “Shyne” Barrow to relinquish the position of Leader of the Opposition, which he maneuvered into in May and reunify the party.
He has not, and the result is a “sad state of affairs” for the party, its former leader Dean Barrow told Channel 5 News on Monday.
Moreover, that it had to go to a recall in the first place was unprecedented in party or indeed in Belizean history but nonetheless fair and democratic, according to the party’s Constitution and procedures. Faber survived, not to his former boss’ disappointment, and must get his props for that.
But as Barrow said, “…the divide clearly continues. We are being treated to the spectacle of there being two leaders of the United Democratic Party” – the party leader versus the Constitutionally-established Leader of the Opposition.
By convention, the Leader of the Opposition is the most senior official of the party in the House of Representatives and is also the leader of the party or grouping with the most members that do not support the Government.
But, Barrow says now, Faber is effectively subordinate to “Shyne” Barrow in the House, while Faber is UDP leader and prime at Belchina.
“Its an unsatisfactory state of affairs and I think that for as long as it continues, it does not comport well with our democracy,” the elder Barrow concluded.
Left unsaid was his own role, if any, in counseling the opposing leaders and what the party intends doing about reversing its situation. Since the debacle both Shyne and Faber have been hesitant to speak on the matter publicly but with Shyne wrapping up an unprecedented tour of the US as Leader of the Opposition, it will be interesting to see how the dynamics of the UDP shift in coming weeks and months.
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