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#418485 - 10/12/11 08:57 AM Saldivar Will Challenge Espat For PUP Leader
Marty Online   happy
Tonight, the PUP is still recovering from Friday's snap resignation by party leader John Briceno followed by the installation of interim leader Mark Espat.

From what we gather Espat has been moving quickly to get an assessment of the state of the party's affairs and to set a date for the convention in a month's time.

One of the first things Espat did was move the leader's base of operations from the so-called Happy Tails secretariat, a plush executive suite where Briceno had his office - but it was given that unfortunate name because there's a dog grooming business on the ground floor.

And while interim leader Espat isn't there; today at that office, we did find a candidate who says he will challenge him for leader. That candidate is none other than Arthur Saldivar, and if you watch the news or listen to the morning talk shows, you'll definitely know who he is. But you won't know him from the House of Representatives, because he's only a first time standard bearer who's never won any kind of election - in fact, he's never even faced a convention!

So how can this newcomer hope to lead the PUP? That's what Jules Vasquez asked him today:..

Arthur Saldivar
"We would all appreciate that the decision of our party leader on Friday was unexpected. It is the political equivalent of a sledge hammer blow that more than likely cause great confusion among many and as a result of the decision that have been made weren't given much thought. I think that the party needs more time to look at the options that are there."

Jules Vasquez
"Are you saying that the assigning on interim party leader should be re-visited or that we should have more than 30 days towards a new convention? What exactly are you saying?"

Arthur Saldivar
"No, the decision has been made. We have an interim leader - that leader is respected by most and all people including myself, I do respect him but certainly I believe that 30 days is a limited time. I believe that the party requires more. Our party is not shattered, it's not a second hand motor vehicle to be handed from one person to the next without giving the membership a chance to vet - ask the questions that need to be ask and determine the positions that are required to deem whether or not we have the right person going forward. We are yet to know what the candidates and the person who is vying for that position represents. I have a position, I believe that my position saleable. I believe that I can offer the party a direction. I can offer the country a direction."

Jules Vasquez
"How would you answer the criticism that your candidacy for leader is patently preposterous, specifically because you are not elected and there is no certainty. It's not like you are going into a PUP strong hold. That is a difficult division to win. It goes back and forth, a) you are not elected, b) you've never won any kind of election, you've never even face a convention. Mr. Espat has won 4 elections as an area representative and as has face an open convention. How do you respond to that criticism?"

Arthur Saldivar
"Again, the question exhibits a lot of knowledge of the area that I seek to represent. The PUP has lost in the Belize Rural North only 3 times. As the campaign manager Hon. Maxwell Samuels since 1998 my candidates have won 3 consecutive elections. I have won 4 elections on behalf of my candidate."

Jules Vasquez
"No man, a campaign manager is different from a candidate."

Arthur Saldivar
"Whether it be preposterous to you I am certain it would not be preposterous to any young person who have been plying their trade, doing what is necessary to improve themselves and hoping to have an opportunity just to be told it is not your time. You must wait. Well I'll tell you what - Belize is going to hell in a hand basket right now. There is no time better than now to get engage."

Jules Vasquez
"The PUP have never had an unelected leader. Yes George Price from 1984-1989 has lost but he regained his seat. I am saying that you can't be a new comer and not even be elected. You don't even have a seat. How can you be leader if you don't have a seat?"

Arthur Saldivar
"You've answer your own question Jules."

Jules Vasquez
"George Price has won every election from 1959 right up until 1984."

Arthur Saldivar
"That is true. But what I am saying, being a member of the House and being a standing representative is not a criteria for leadership."

Jules Vasquez
"How can the party have a leader who might not even be prime minister because you might not even be elected. It's so counterintuity."

Arthur Saldivar
"Well again I expect you to be the devil's advocate and come with these positions. But certainly the people of Belize Rural North understand and appreciate that I have been there in the trenches with them feeling their pain, understanding their issues and they are ready and waiting to make that change whenever that time comes."

Jules Vasquez
"How do you answer the other criticism that you are a stalking horse, that they are putting you out there? You are being made to do this by the old guard or some anonymous third party and they are putting you out there so that you can rattle Mr. Espat and let him relinquish his candidacy."

Arthur Saldivar
"There is no puppet master behind Arthur Saldivar. Arthur Saldivar move on his own."

Jules Vasquez
"Do you know that you have support within the constituencies - the chairpersons and standard bearers?"

Arthur Saldivar
"I would be standing before you here today if I didn't have support Jules."

Jules Vasquez
"If you were a member of the executive and was there on Friday, would you have said along with the chorus of persons yes lets have Mark Espat as our interim leader?"

Arthur Saldivar
"I am a member of the executive. I was not there because I was in court at that time. Certainly I believe given the extraordinarily events that have taken place that there was need and the constitution does allow for an interim leader to take over. My only drawback as to how it was done was that there are those who never falter, never fail in their commitment and dedication to the party and were always in the trenches with us for the three and a half years that we've been in opposition and certainly I would have given the nod to one of those who have always been there."

Jules Vasquez
"Let's call names, Francis Fonseca, Mike Espat, those are deputies who have always been there."

Arthur Saldivar
"I call no names. You know my name."

A few points: First, Espat has said that he will only offer himself in what's looking to be a November convention if he continues to enjoy almost unanimous support from the party's standard bearers. It has to be "almost" because it is clear there are those who will not support him, chiefly Saldivar and some suggest that number will include Said Musa.

Best indications are that Musa will not make a bid for the leadership - but that neither is he disposed to supporting Espat. In fact, seasoned and well-informed observers say that Musa may have an outside hand in the Saldivar candidacy - even if it is just to gain some tangential leverage.

We can't say that it's so because - as you heard Saldivar say, he is his own man, but we do know that is a faction of the old guard who simply cannot abide Espat as leader.

However it is telling that they could not bring a formidable candidate such as Francis Fonseca to the fore - and instead offered Saldivar, whose claim to fame is as "The Serial Caller."

As far as support, he does make elliptical allusions to that - but Espat's camp claims it has signed letters of support from the Party's Southern and Western Caucuses with individual signatures.

Whatever the case, the battle is pitched, and thanks to Saldivar - there's will be no coronation for the next leader of the PUP - and we will have some political intrigue - to which we'll keep you closely tuned.

Channel 7

#418491 - 10/12/11 09:08 AM Re: Saldivar Will Challenge Espat For PUP Leader [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

Will it be the P.U.P. Gospel according to Mark?

The sudden resignation of John Briceño as leader of the P.U.P. sent shockwaves through the party and was all the buzz going into the long weekend. Insiders and political observers are still reeling from the resignation that is changing the entire dynamics of the opposition party. Briceño surprised even his closest advisors when he broke the news at a Friday morning meeting of his National Executive at which the matter of the party’s finances was the single item on the agenda. Former prime minister and party leader, Said Musa and his son, Chairman Henry Usher, absented themselves from that meeting presumably in retaliation for Briceño’s now famous exhortation that the P.U.P. millionaires should bring back the money from their offshore accounts. Little did they know that Briceño would be resigning at that meeting. Had they known, it is doubtful that they would have missed the meeting, where Mark Espat eased into transitional leadership.

The National Executive took the decision that Espat should act as Interim Party Leader until a convention is held within a month’s time. Espat was in touch with standard bearers over the weekend and we are told that most pledged support, including the western caucus and the southern which went so far as to put their endorsement in writing. And let us say that the players in the south have not been the most affable toward Espat in the past. The meeting of the National Executive with Espat as interim leader is scheduled for November thirteenth for operational matters. It will put in motion the rules of engagement for the convention to elect a new party leader which has to take place by November sixth as the deadline for the leadership transition. Nominations are to be submitted by October twenty-first. The Executive meeting will also assess the organs of the party, including the treasury. Espat today got a brief about the state of play; the biggest challenge remains over financing with municipal elections just five months away. But will he make a bid for leader? That has not been exactly spelt out but it is known that an uncontested bid is his preferred way or support from at least seventy percent support of the thirty-six member executive. Following the executive meeting on Thursday, Espat, we are told, will be making his first statement.

Channel 5

#418492 - 10/12/11 09:09 AM Re: Saldivar Will Challenge Espat For PUP Leader [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

Or will it be the P.U.P.’s King Arthur?

With thirty days to go, the Belize Rural North Standard Bearer and political novice, Arthur Saldivar, has promptly announced that he intends to contest the leadership of the P.U.P. Political insiders point out that Saldivar who has won neither a convention nor an election. They see his bid as a transparent move set up by the so-called old guard to wring positions for themselves in any new Mark Espat National Executive. It is not known what kind of support this wild card can garner but Saldivar tells News Five that he has what it takes.

Arthur Saldivar, Contesting P.U.P. Leadership

“We are in an unusual time, an unusual period and certainly no one would have expected the turn of events that took place last Friday. I, having been a member of the People’s United Party for the better part of twenty-five years, have decided that I would contest the leadership convention. Considering our great tradition of service to the people of Belize, our membership, I understand the responsibility. I understand what is required to bring about unity and certainly I believe that the position I hold on economic issues is the right position. This is not a time for us to be bashing business. This is not a time for us to be putting forward any candidates who have had issues with the private sector.”

Isani Cayetano

“Mr. Saldivar despite your many years of service to the party, as a functioning member, one can argue that you haven’t won an election in terms of you being a standard bearer for any constituency. What would your sense of support, what would your sense of bringing fresh ideas be, bringing that to the table?”

Arthur Saldivar

Arthur Saldivar

“Well Isani I’ve been involved in party politics at the national level since 1989, first starting with Sam Waight and thereafter with Maxwell Samuels whose campaign I managed for three consecutive elections and three successful elections. I understand certainly that looking at the electoral resume it may seem a bit thin but the body of work cannot be looked upon solely from the point of view of standing for political office. We have to look at the overall picture.”

Isani Cayetano

“Do you have the support of the hierarchy of the People’s United Party, its executives and those in the background who make certain influential, impacting decisions?”

Arthur Saldivar

“I wouldn’t be standing here if I didn’t have support. I have support and I have support of those that occupy high offices and those who are the people we serve, the rank and file members. Those who actually make up the numbers, those who are suffering today, those who need hope, inspiration, motivation and someone who will be there at all times standing with them to make the change that is necessary for them to improve the lives of all of us here in this country.”

Isani Cayetano

“Finally, if you were to emerge victorious in this convention the party, as it is, seems to be in a state of turmoil. What would the wider members of the P.U.P. come to expect from you as the new leader if you are to be elected?”

Arthur Saldivar

“Well it’s going back to the future Isani. We’ve had the greatest example of leadership this country has ever known in George Cadle Price. He has just passed on. His humility and his dedication to service and people is certainly unparalleled and unmatched but that is the example that I seek to follow. Those are the footsteps that I want to emulate. At the end of the day, certainly, I don’t believe that I can ever match his accomplishments or his dedication but I have the commitment, the heart and the energy to do what is required to bring about the kind of change that is necessary to move the country forward just as he did.”

So moving forward, there is a convention to take place in a month to determine who takes over the helm of the P.U.P. and the changes in the executive. In the interim political maneuverings are taking place. Briceño has not yet advised the governor general that he is stepping down as Leader of the Opposition in the House, which also means that Espat cannot yet be sworn in which is required should the Prime Minister take back the Ninth Amendment to the House before the election of a new party leader. The former party leader John Briceño left the country on Saturday. He is in Mexico seeking medical attention.

Channel 5

#418870 - 10/15/11 08:53 AM Re: Saldivar Will Challenge Espat For PUP Leader [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

Exit Johnny! Enter Mark!

On Friday, October 7, three and a half years into his term and just shy of the one-year anniversary of his re-endorsement as Party Leader in Dangriga Town at a national convention, Leader of the Opposition and of the People’s United Party (PUP), Juan Antonio (John) Briceño, tendered his resignation to the party’s National Executive at a meeting held in Belize City.

Around 11:00 Friday morning, Mr. Briceño emerged from the room where the meeting took place and read a brief prepared statement, which appears verbatim below:

This morning I came and I tendered my resignation to the National Executive. It is a decision I made on my own and it has been because of personal health reasons and health issues that I have been dealing with for the past few months. The National Executive has decided that they have set up a process; they unanimously recommended that Senior Deputy Party Leader Hon. Mark Espat be the interim leader.

“A process has been set that probably within the next 30 days the party will hold a convention to elect a new leader. I want to take this opportunity to thank the members of the national executive, and the thousands of supporters across this country that have supported me over the past three and a half going to four years as the Party Leader of the greatest political party that this country has ever had. It has been a privilege and an honor to be able to serve the People’s United Party.

“We are all convinced that Belizeans know more than ever now that the direction that the UDP has been taking this country as a wrong one. Record unemployment, crime spiraling out of control, people losing hope and faith in the future, and we believe that only a government of the People’s United Party can, can turn this around.

Later in the week, we are going to hold a press conference, where we are going to be able to answer each, all of your questions, and may God continue to bless this wonderful country of ours, Belize. Thank you very much.”

He took no questions, and soon thereafter departed for Mexico City, Mexico, where he is said to be consulting with medical professionals.

Friday’s events brought to an end a troubled 3½ years of leadership of the PUP for Briceño, who was deputy to former Prime Minister Said Musa until Musa stepped down following the party’s devastating loss in the February 2008 general elections. Particularly in Musa’s second term as Prime Minister, Briceño was seen as a moderate reformist, participating on the sidelines of the G-7 movement in August of 2004 and later in a Cabinet revolt against the actions of Musa and former Attorney General Francis Fonseca in signing five clandestine agreements with the Belize Bank over the course of 2004 to 2007.

Briceño later defeated Fonseca in a hotly contested contest for the party leadership in March of 2008 in Belmopan.

Almost immediately, trouble rose up in the form of concerns over the party’s assets – the Belize Times newspaper, Vibes Radio and Independence Hall, headquarters of the PUP. What has consistently been referred to in the local press as a schism between the party’s more conservative elements (the so-called “Old Guard”) and its more moderate and even liberal elements has plagued the party for much of Briceño’s term.

Not helping matters was the party’s failure to rebound in the 2009 municipal elections, in which it just missed a majority in Briceño’s hometown of Orange Walk and failed everywhere else, and the 2010 village council elections, in which UDP slates ruled the day.

Then, six days before Friday morning’s resignation, at a meeting of the National Party Council, an address from Said Musa in which he called out the current PUP leadership, principally Briceño, for making excuses for the party’s failures and told them to “stop crying broke”, prompted Briceño, in reply, to make reference to “individuals” who became “millionaires” during the two Musa terms, and to call for those persons to bring back their money from abroad and help in funding the PUP so that they could defeat the UDP in the next general elections.


Briceno said, in commentscarried live on Vibes Radio, a PUP media organ, and reported widely in the local press, “First of all, I agree with the former Party Leader where he said that we can’t continue to use the issue about money as an excuse, but I want to ask where are those millionaires, those people that made millions of dollars over the 10 years when we were in government? Where are those people that benefitted and made millions? I could give you all names, but I won’t call out names. They need to write out checks; they need to bring money back to the PUP! Money so we can run our People’s United Party. That money does not belong in foreign bank accounts! Bring it here, so we could fight once again and we could take down Barrow and the UDP!”

Briceño later downplayed the issue. In speaking with our Adele Trapp last week, he said he was referring specifically to certain “business people” who have been “talking so much” about the state of the economy under the current administration, and said he had not been casting any aspersions with the “foreign bank accounts” reference.

He admitted that the party is sorely lacking in finance, with the 2012 municipal and 2013 general elections coming up; one news station has reported that even Social Security payments for party workers were being withheld, at least temporarily.

Police Minister Doug Singh and director of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), Marilyn Williams, both indicated that the comments were worthy of investigation, but also said that since no names were called and because the then-Leader of the Opposition did not indicate how those “benefits” were obtained, whether legally or illegally, any investigation would be difficult.

Taking up the reins in the wake of Briceño’s departure is one of the three Senior Deputy Leaders he appointed at the end of April of this year, Hon. Mark Espat, area representative for Albert since 1998. Espat and Briceño were both in the G-7 and Briceño resigned from Cabinet two weeks after the second firing of Espat by Musa, due to both of them publicly opposing the UHS takeover deal.

Mark Espat, a former Tourism Minister, has increasingly been seen as a rival to Briceño for the leadership of the PUP. In fact, he had originally been nominated as a candidate in February of 2008 but stepped aside prior to the convention.


The PUP’s Belize Rural North standard bearer, attorney Arthur Saldivar, a former campaign manager for Sam Waight and Max Samuels before stepping up in his own right earlier this year, has indicated publicly that he wishes to stand for the leadership race against Espat.

Today, after a PUP National Executive meeting, we spoke with PUP Deputy Leader Carolyn Trench-Sandiford. She has indicated that she has no interest in the position of Party Leader at this time.

The nomination process has begun and candidates must be nominated by any one of the 5 governing units of the PUP – a national convention, the Executive, the Party Council, any one of the four regional caucuses, or any one of the constituency branches. Alternatively, they can be nominated by one of the party’s standing units, such as the Order of Distinguished Service (ODS), Belize Youth Movement (BYM), Marshalls and United Women’s Group (UWG). The nomination must be accompanied by a letter indicating the nominee’s consent.

No candidate, including Espat and Saldivar, has been formally nominated or has accepted nomination, as is required. They will have until October 19 to do so. If there is only one candidate, he or she will be endorsed at a meeting of the National Party Council on October 29, in advance of the planned convention date of November 5, 2011. If the leadership convention is contested, voting will take place on November 5.

Trench-Sandiford confirmed that a majority of constituencies are supporting a possible Espat bid, as all four members of the Southern Caucus, six in the Western Caucus and eleven of twelve in the Eastern Caucus so affirmed following meetings this week.

The Northern Caucus, led by Briceño, is expected to vote on Saturday. (The sole dissenter in the Eastern Caucus was Belize Rural North.)

Trench-Sandiford told us that as far as anyone in the Party knows, Friday’s move was not expected. Briceño had met with members of his family on Thursday night, and then with his advisors and the Senior Deputy Leaders prior to the National Executive meeting where he made his announcement.

With the recent passing of the Rt. Hon. George Cadle Price, Trench-Sandiford said, there is renewed interest in the PUP and its philosophy, and an opportunity to rebuild a party whose image has been tarnished in the last ten years. The party has to move on, she said, even while acknowledging Mr. Briceño’s contributions.

Speaking with Amandala via telephone this afternoon, Mr. Espat said that in this “time of transition” for the PUP, he was “humbled” to accept the post of Interim Leader, with the support of the National Executive, to guide the PUP ship through the coming days.

But when it came to whether he wanted the job in the long term, Espat would only say that he “will be making a decision on or before October 19,” and in the meantime, he was working on ensuring party “continuity,” as municipal conventions are still ongoing, as well as laying the groundwork for the contest, if there is any, to succeed Briceño.

Espat paid tribute to Briceño’s legacy as Leader thus: “All officers, supporters and sympathizers of the PUP owe John Briceño a huge debt of gratitude for his labor over the past three and a half years. (He) assumed the leadership at a low point in the party’s history, and has restored the hope that the party can once again be an attractive alternative to govern Belize.” 


#418935 - 10/15/11 06:44 PM Re: Saldivar Will Challenge Espat For PUP Leader [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

It's On!: Saldivar Smears Espat

By next week Wednesday, all nominations for PUP Party Leader have to be submitted. So far only one name has been submitted, and it is Arthur Saldivar's.

Interim Leader Mark Espat has gotten almost unanimous support from three of the party's four caucuses, but he has not been formally nominated as leader. Espat has made it clear to all senior members of the party that he won't run for leader unless there is some clear way to manage the party's troubled finances - and source financing for two upcoming elections in possibly less than 17 months.

Well, this evening, his would-be opponent for leader, Arthur Saldivar came to our studios to make a bold accusation against Espat. He says the interim leader has struck a deal for that financing with the man he calls the Lord of Chichester; that is, Michael Ashcroft.

Saldivar who publicly challenged Espat to a debate yesterday - said that's why the interim leader won't debate him - and he said a whole lot more!

Here's his interview with Jules Vasquez:

Arthur Saldivar - Aspirant for PUP Leadership
"For most in the country, there was this perception of this lily - white saint - humble fellow - knight in shining armor. It was never brought to the fore, but the reality is much different, hence the ducking and the dodging from a public debate. Apart from that, Jules, the most grievous fault of them all is what I just found out, and I know most of the standard bearers in the People's United Party don't know yet. That is why I am here to inform them, that our great party, our beloved institution, the child of the father of our nation, is being sold like a $2 prostitute, if we allow it to be. My party and my country are no prostitutes; we are no prostitutes. We are not for sale. The man who coined the phrase, master and puppet, all the while having us believe in Belize that he had a problem with puppets, has actually exposed the fact that he only wanted to be the puppet. He is the one who wanted to wear the strings. He wanted the direct line to Chichester's purse. I hope it's not so in relation to the zinc fence, but certainly, the evidence is there that Eamon Courtenay and Godfrey Smith brokered a deal, and in that deal my party is being held ransom. (We) cannot have that."

Jules Vasquez
"Okay, I just want to be clear because you are sort of speaking in parables. You're saying that Mr. Espat, in his quest for leadership, has tried to broker an arrangement with the Ashcroft Alliance?"

Arthur Saldivar
"I'm not saying tried. I'm saying that presently Mark Espat is ducking a debate because he knows, and the reason why he has not signed on the dotted line to be the leader of the People's United Party is because he is awaiting full compliance of all standard bearers so that he can hold that over all our heads should the proverbial excrement hit the fan, that we are all a part of this deal. I will not be a part of any deal. Arthur Saldivar stands with the people of Belize. The Lord of Chichester, as a businessman, doing legitimate business, has a place in Belize. As a puppet master, he needs to go somewhere else. He is not holding George Price's Party ransom. The blue and white of the People's United Party shall be as free as the blue and white in the skies that cover us."

Jules Vasquez
"But Arthur, are you just making a wild accusation? Do you have evidential proof? Do you-"

Arthur Saldivar
"Well I am here with my reputation and name, and I am telling you right now, I fear no one. Let them come. Let's debate the issue. Let's see if they want to put it to the test, because I'll tell you what, they've been flies and flies and walls, and we have ears."

Jules Vasquez
"But is this a kind of desperation on your part? We know that only the Northern Caucus is left to sign over its fealty to Mr. Espat."

Jules Vasquez
"Jules, let me explain something to you, so that you can understand clearly, okay. The caucuses are led wholly and solely by standard bearers. They don't represent the full measure of the delegates in a constituency."

Jules Vasquez
"Arthur, but if we can speak about flies on walls, there are people who watch what other people do. And I know that when I interviewed you on Tuesday afternoon, on that same afternoon, you were seen entering the Marine Parade Lord Chambers with Mr. Silky Stuart, who accompanied you hear today as well. It was late in the afternoon; I don't think that you were going for lunch at the restaurant downstairs. So were you going to try and make an arrangement with an emissary of the Lord of Chichester?"

Arthur Saldivar
"No, I saw at that time, Godfrey Smith as a person who had ties with the party, still had interests through the flash point column, and I saw it as a means to keeping talent within the party close."

Jules Vasquez
"So, if the Ashcroft Alliance were to approach you and say - if you were to ascend to leader, and they were to approach you and say, 'The PUP is millions of dollars in debt. It needs millions more to try and win two elections in 15 months.' Would you accept a campaign contribution?"

Arthur Saldivar
"I don't need it."

Jules Vasquez
"You don't need it?"

Arthur Saldivar
"Not from Ashcroft. I'm here to tell you that right now on national TV. I don't need Ashcroft."

Jules Vasquez
"And from where would you find the millions to work the PUP out of its debt."

Arthur Saldivar
"I am not Johnny Briceno, Jules. I'm Arthur Saldivar."

Jules Vasquez
"Well I can see that."

Arthur Saldivar

Jules Vasquez
"I don't know what it means though-"

Arthur Saldivar
"Those questions and the specificities that you require are not for me to tell you. It's for you to watch and find out."

Jules Vasquez
"Which means that you don't have the answer, but moving forward, Arthur, you have had a common cause with the Ashcroft Alliance. Very publicly over the last few months, you have been one of the - you and your second-in-command, Mr. Elrington. I don't know if he's with you on this campaign."

Arthur Saldivar
"I wouldn't - well, go ahead."

Jules Vasquez
"But you two have appeared numerously to speak against the 9th, which dovetails with the Ashcroft Alliance's agenda. In fact, for a while, I thought that you were a spokesman, whether paid or unpaid is another matter, for the Ashcroft Alliance. So, this person, with whom you've had a common cause for so long, you're saying now, is pariah?"

Arthur Saldivar
"I had no common cause with Ashcroft."

Jules Vasquez
"He is against the 9th, and you are against the 9th."

Arthur Saldivar
"I have no common cause with Ashcroft. The 9th amendment as it represents a backward step - a regressive step in our country's economic development, certainly any right-thinking Belizean, understanding the repercussions of such a move, would be against it."

Apart from alleging that he has struck a deal with the Ashcroft Alliance, Saldivar also accused Espat of corruption when he was in office - allegations which we cannot air because Saldivar offered no proof of them.

Saldivar says he is obliged to now go and tell all to the PUP Nation - and says he has the support of at least two divisions Dangriga and Corozal Southwest.

And what did Espat have to say about the central allegation that he has brokered a deal with the Ashcroft Alliance?

He told us, quote "The allegation is absolutely untrue. It is not in the interest of the party for me, as interim leader to engage in a public back and forth with Mr. Saldivar. My record is clear. He has none." End of quote.

Godfrey Smith, who is one of the persons Saldivar says acted for Ashcroft in the supposed deal told us the allegation is quote, "rubbish."

Eamon Courtenay, the other person allegedly involved in brokering the deal was not so kind; he told us, quote, "What Mr. Saldivar has said, proves him to be the liar that I always thought he was…and I will deal with Mr. Saldivar. And if that weren't enough, the blowback against Saldivar has already started: today we saw a letter from Order Of distinguished Service which vets candidates before they run for the Party.

It says the ODS supports the candidacy of Espat and adds, the, quote, "it is shocking to hear that Arthur Saldivar wants to vie for the position, as he has yet to prove that he is the leader of Belize Rural North, much less the country of Belize." End quote.

It concludes: "We ask that he be humble enough to step aside and wit his turn, if and when it comes."

Notwithstanding that position, Saldivar's candidacy is still alive.

Channel 7

#419097 - 10/18/11 09:24 AM Re: Saldivar Will Challenge Espat For PUP Leader [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

Almost Unanimous Support For Espat, But Will He Run For Leader?

But first we turn from crime to politics. It's official, Interim PUP Leader Mark Espat has gotten almost unanimous support of all the party's constituency leaders. On Saturday the Northern Caucus met in Orange Walk Town and unanimously resolved to endorse the Espat as the next Party Leader of the PUP.

So, Espat has now gotten endorsements from all four caucuses of the party and declarations of divisional support from 30 of the party's 31 constituency leaders - with the notable exception of Belize Rural North - which is supporting its candidate, Arthur Saldivar.

The 30 of 31 is as close to unanimous support as any prospective PUP party leader has ever enjoyed. But Espat remains a prospective leader. That's because he still has not thrown his name into the hat - meaning he has not been formally nominated for leader - and this is presumably because he has not decided whether he will offer himself as leader. Wednesday is the deadline for nominations. Best indications are that he's not just playing hard to get; Espat has told all senior members of the party that there must be a clear plan for the party to get over its financial difficulties before he takes up the mantle. As we've reported, the opposition's debt currently runs into the millions of dollars.

And that's where Espat's would-be opponent Arthur Saldivar comes in. On Friday, he burst forward with more than a few explosive indictments of his party's interim leader, most notably, he claimed that Espat had struck a deal with the Ashcroft Alliance to secure financing for the party - a claim which Espat flatly denied.

Channel 7

#419154 - 10/18/11 07:29 PM Re: Saldivar Will Challenge Espat For PUP Leader [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy
Albert area representative and Interim leader of the People's United Party Mark Espat has declined to offer himself for the vacant post of party leader. He continues to be interim leader until a convention is held the first week of November.

The following is a statement from Mark Espat:


Today, I informed members of the National Executive and the Standard Bearers of the People’s United Party of my final decision not to seek the post of Party Leader.
I am profoundly grateful for the numerous expressions of support for my leadership from Standard Bearers, Party branches, Party members and from the general citizenry of Belize.

Deserving of my infinite gratitude for the opportunity to serve Belize and the PUP are my constituents, and particularly the members of the Albert Campaign and Action Committees whose exceptional labor, commitment and loyalty for the causes of change and justice in our country buoyed me during the many stormy times.

Working along with our Deputy Leaders and National Executive and in conformity with our Constitution, the Party will proceed with the election of a substantive Party Leader in the shortest possible timeframe.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


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