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Opposition Leader talks “investing in the UDP”

Posted: Tuesday, March 21, 2023. 6:55 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: After months of internal turmoil, the Opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) under Moses “Shyne” Barrow has reached a sort of equilibrium.

While former leader Patrick Faber is not yet fully back under the Belchina tent, heavyweight John Saldivar and his Caucus for Change is, after Saldivar defied Barrow’s public pronouncements and the weight of a visa sanction by the U.S. Department of State to be returned as area representative for Belmopan.

Barrow told Channel 7 News that as long as the Caucus supports him, it matters not what their numbers are within the party: “It doesn’t necessarily matter what numbers the caucus has. The caucus has agreed to support me to be the next prime minister of this country. So, I am not paying attention as to whether or not they’re gaining numbers or losing numbers. My responsibility is to the entire party, so I have been reaching out to all colleagues.”

Barrow denied offering “financial incentives” to members of the Caucus in exchange for their supporting him as leader, saying that he helps every standard bearer and that with respect to the Caucus, they were able to agree on certain commitments and identify improvements to be made in the running of the party. He noted that he has personal relationships with many members of the Caucus which did not stop when they disagreed on the return of Saldivar.

The support at the constituency level, Barrow contends, is an “investment that I’m making [which] bodes well for the people of Belize at the end of the day, what we want is to give them an alternative, a viable option, and we will see in short order in the municipal elections, you know, whether the investment that is being made is worthwhile based on the results. And I think I’m confident we will have positive results.”

By “positive results” the Leader says he means winning enough seats to form the Government, not necessarily a financial return. It is an investment in policy, including making access to financing for such things as building houses and other things he believes in.


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