By Aaron Humes: A wider margin aside, Chairman of the United Democratic Party Michael Peyrefitte acknowledged that the party tried its best to ensure that the process was fair and clean in Sunday’s leadership convention.
“We had, from early this morning, gone through the process. We had the scrutineers come in; we explained everything to the representatives – watch the process, because at the end of the day, the process will determine everything. The entire day we went through, both sides were happy with how the people came in, voted, deposited their ballots; when it was finished, the ballots were counted, and when they were counted nobody had any concerns about how the counting took place. It wouldn’t have made a difference,” he explained to reporters after announcing the razor-thin result: 256 votes for Moses “Shyne” Barrow to 253 votes for Tracey Taegar-Panton.
No amount of recounts would have changed the result, Peyrefitte continued: “We had a clean and fair polling day; we had a clean and fair count. It’s close. When it’s close, it hurts even more – I understand that. But I think just going through a process and having emotions ride over and over in a count that I don’t think would make a difference would be futile and not in the best interests of the party,” adding that challenges could be made if needed.
The result indicated that the party was evenly divided and Peyrefitte opined that Barrow as the winner should reach out to Panton and begin the process of mending fences.
Denying that the UDP was a less effective Opposition as a result of the continued infighting, Peyrefitte did allow that – in conjunction with the National Party Council – there should be efforts made to reform the delegate process and potentially expand it.