Posted: Friday, August 26, 2022. 8:45 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: The United Democratic Party (UDP) recently held its first in-person National Party Council (NPC) meeting for several years amid internal party turmoil.
The tentative alliance between Party Leader and Leader of the Opposition Moses “Shyne” Barrow and parliamentarians Tracey Taegar-Panton and Patrick Faber has begun unravelling, but on the sidelines of Wednesday’s meeting of the House of Representatives, Taegar-Panton explained that the party as a whole agreed to move forward and to have more voices be heard.
“The consensus of the NPC was that we find a way to move forward by addressing some of the issues that are in the public domain in the internal forums. I said that the original motion that was put on the floor was amended. It was amended based on some suggestions I made, and the Vice Chairman of the party made. In his case, the amendment had to do with creating more regular opportunities for the voices of elected and appointed officials to be heard at regular meetings of the NPC, for more forums for the executive committees in the various constituencies to have a say, a voice of what they perceive may be happening in the party and to get clarifications.”
Panton said she insisted the party constitution be the guide of its decisions, especially for the Council, which is the second-highest decision-making body of the party behind the National Convention. Once ratified, she continued, she agreed to respect the NPC’s decisions with the caveat that the promises the party has made must be kept.
“Based on those amendments and based on agreements by the majority on the floor… I certainly am prepared to respect the decision made by the NPC and to adhere to the motion that was passed on the floor. I say that with the reservation that if those agreements are not upheld, then, of course, I would have to then revert to speaking more publicly on the issues affecting us as an institution.”
Faber is out of the country and was not able to join the meeting virtually despite a commitment made to allow him to do so, so according to Taegar-Panton, she does not know where he stands. She did point out that an attempt to have Faber removed by the Central Executive Committee as not being in good standing was defeated, standing by her stricture that that is a matter for the party’s Ethics and Integrity Committee, not the Central Executive Committee or National Party Council.
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