November 25, 2008

The People’s United Party has expelled Mike Espat as the Chairman of the Southern Caucus and the Chairman of the Corozal Southeast Constituency, Joseph Ellis. Espat and Ellis were both expelled after they took part in a convention that the National Executive has declared null and void. The convention was held last Sunday to endorse Florencio Marin Junior as Standard Bearer for the Corozal Southeast Constituency, a move that the National Executive saw as a breach of their direction. The National Executive met at Independence Hall today and eight resolutions were agreed upon unanimously. Patrick Jones spoke to Leader of the People’s United Party John Briceño this morning.

Patrick Jones; Love FM
“What was the focus of the meeting and what was the outcome?”

John Briceño; Leader of the People’s United Party
“Well, certainly the National Executive decided to meet this morning to address the issue of the supposedly unauthorized convention that was held in Corozal Southeast. The National Executive have just met and have decided to make that convention null and void and that when the National Executive meet sometime after the Municipal Elections, we are going to sit down and deliberate and try to come up with a timeline for when all the 31 constituencies, including Corozal Southeast, will have to hold their convention to elect Standard Bearers.”

Patrick Jones; Love FM
“What will be the way forward now since you are nullifying that convention where Florencio Marin Junior was endorsed? What happens now?”

John Briceño; Leader of the People’s United Party
“Whenever we call a convention, Corozal Southeast will have to hold a convention and if the Honorable Florencio Marin Junior does not participate in that convention when that is set, then he will not be able to run for the People’s United Party in the next General Election.”

Patrick Jones; Love FM
“Does this not then set the stage for a fight if you will, and the continuation of what many people see as a division in the PUP?”

John Briceño; Leader of the People’s United Party
“It has nothing to do with that. It has to do with the party governed by a constitution … the party is governed by rules and the National Executive was very clear; they wrote the Chairman of the Corozal Southeast Committee not to hold this convention, because we felt that at this time all of us need to focus all our attention and efforts on the Municipal Elections that will be held in March 2009.”

Patrick Jones; Love FM
The fact that you, the leadership of the party, issued a statement and ask them not to go ahead and they went ahead; this is an open defiance of your leadership.

John Briceño; Leader of the People’s United Party
“Yes, you can look at it that way if you want to, as an open defiance, and the National Executive has made some decisions and one of them is to nullify that convention.”

Patrick Jones; Love FM
“So there might be further actions taken.”

John Briceño; Leader of the People’s United Party
“There are a number of other actions to be taken including suspensions and expulsions.”

The statement issued by the People’s United Party this afternoon says that the Corozal Southeast Branch Committee has also been suspended and elections to replace those expelled should be held no later than Sunday, November 30th. New Executive Committees for all constituencies and standing units should also be held before that date. Florencio Marin Junior will be replaced as the Treasurer of the northern caucus, and all current and former PUP parliamentarians will be reprimanded for attending the convention. A special committee has also been appointed to review the party and government related conduct of PUP leaders during the past ten years.