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#509043 - 11/11/15 10:44 AM The Race for PUP Leadership Post Fonseca
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Cordel Hyde to announce candidacy for PUP leadership

BMG has received reliable information that Cordel Hyde, the new area representative for the Lake I division will be contesting the convention for the leadership of the People’s United Party (PUP).

We were informed that Hyde has started meeting with other members of the party in Belize City and Stann Creek seeking their support for his bid as party leader.

Hyde recently beat his opponent Mark King by a landslide difference of 1,999 votes making him one of the PUP’s strongest candidates in last week’s General Elections. Hyde has also been getting a lot of support to offer himself as a candidate for PUP party leader since the elections.

According to our sources, Hyde is campaigning on an anti-corruption platform and has pledged to sign the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) if he were to be Prime Minister.

Other prospects for party leader include Deputy Party Leader Julius Espat and political newcomer Kareem Musa who upset Mayor Darrell Bradley in perhaps the biggest surprise of the elections.

Breaking Belize News

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#509044 - 11/11/15 10:50 AM Re: The Race for PUP Leadership Post Fonseca [Re: Marty]
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Is Julius Desirous of Party Leader’s Seat in PUP?

Thursday, November 5 saw the Party Leader for the People’s United Party announce his resignation after his party lost several elections under his stewardship. Francis Fonseca did not only announce his giving up of the Party Leader seat but he also told the media that he would not be seeking a re-election in the Freetown Division. Such a move has left the party’s supporters, members and even some sections of the public debating on who would be the next qualified person to fill the soon to be vacant seat. Some names being thrown out are Florencio Marin Jr., Cordel Hyde, Kareem Musa, John Briceno and Julius Espat. While Marin, Hyde or Musa have never expressed a desire for the leader’s seat, Briceno has been there and Espat has made many strides in the party since he came on-board in 2011. We had been hearing that Espat may be making a run for the seat but today, when we spoke with him via telephone, he told us that he has no such intention or desire but rather, his desire is to get the party organized.

JULIUS ESPAT

“I have a desire to make sure that the People’s United Party can unite. I have a desire to participate to make sure that happens and I have a desire that we find the person that can do all those things and organize the party to secure a victory in the future. That is my desire. At this point in time I am not seeking leadership.”

Espat went on to speak on the process the party will have to undergo in order to elect a new Party Leader.

JULIUS ESPAT

“There are basic things that have to happen; we have to have a National Executive meeting to be able to make proposals but respective of that to be able to pick a leader you have to have people that are willing to fill the post, after that then you need to go to a National Convention and present the People’s United Party for the people who the PUP represents to select their leader. That’s a process and that is the democratic process that should and will be followed.”

Credible sources have told Love News that John Briceno is in discussions with family members on submitting his name for the leadership seat. But while many supporters and PUP friends have been lobbying for Briceno via social media, Espat says he is looking beyond the names and has not decided to back anyone just yet.

JULIUS ESPAT

“I haven’t made a decision on who I will support as yet but I believe that we have to look forward, we have to look at new people, we have to look at energy, qualifications; we have to look at many things so I don’t want to be bogged down with just the names that we know. We have to be open, if we are going to win the next General Elections. We have to attract more people and so I have not pledged any support to anybody. The only support I am giving is to two institutions, one is the People’s United Party and two is to the constituency of Cayo South.”

55-year-old, Briceno has been a sitting member of the House of Representatives under the People’s United Party since 1993. He has since served as the Deputy Prime Minister of Belize for the period, 1998 to 2007. In 2008, he became the Leader of the Opposition following the resignation of Said Musa. He served in that capacity up until 2011 when he was succeeded by Francis Fonseca. Briceno was recently re-elected as the Area Representative for Orange Walk Central last week for the sixth consecutive General Elections

LOVEFM


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#509046 - 11/11/15 11:03 AM Re: The Race for PUP Leadership Post Fonseca [Re: Marty]
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Cordel’s Cagey Candidacy For PUP Leader

PUP Leader Francis Fonseca announced his decision to step down last week Thursday - and, slowly, the names have been popping up as potential successors. We've already told you about John Briceno, Julius Espat and Kareem Musa. Briceno said he would wait and see - but now we have learned that he is interested in the leadership. Julius Espat and Kareem Musa had already said they were considering it. So that's three, but there's one more: Cordel Hyde - the four term Lake Independence Representative, and judging by his share of the vote in the last election, he's the most popular of all PUP Candidates. Cordel Hyde beat his opponent Mark King by two thousand votes - and while he's not making any pronounced maneuvers or overtures for leadership - we are reliably informed that his name is being put out there for leader by a cross section of supporters. Now, it's way too early to say who's a favourite, and who will actually vye for leadership - because no date for a leaders' convention has been set, and already there is talk of alliances being formed. The party meets tomorrow at a luncheon to send off outgoing leader Francis Fonseca, and the national executive will meet thereafter, and may decide on the date for a leadership convention. We'll let you know how that goes.

Channel 7


Who Will Be the New P.U.P. Leader?

Who will be the new leader of the People’s United Party? That’s the million dollar question left hanging in the wake of the 2015 general election and the announcement of leader Francis Fonseca’s stepping down. Unofficially, we are told that there are four players in the arena – former P.U.P. leader John Briceño, current Deputy Leader Julius Espat, Cordel Hyde and first time elected Representative Kareem Musa. Briceño, Espat and Hyde held onto their seats by very convincing margins. None of the three has ever lost an election. In terms of the financial resources needed for the post of leader, popular belief is that Briceño and Espat are the frontrunners, but of course, all this is just speculation at this point, since none of the three are willing to confirm if they will make the bid. Any sitting representative who wants to run for leader would theoretically have to be successful at a National Convention of the P.U.P., likely to be held in early 2016. The party will hold a National Executive meeting on Wednesday, and we have confirmed that a way forward in terms of leadership is on the agenda. So is the matter of new Senators, since a joint sitting of the House of Representatives and Senate have been called for this Friday.

Channel 5


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#509067 - 11/12/15 11:03 AM Re: The Race for PUP Leadership Post Fonseca [Re: Marty]
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Four On-Base For The PUP; Who Will Rise on January 31?

The PUP met at party headquarters today for the first time since their bruising election defeat a week ago. The party called all executive members and standard bearers to a farewell luncheon for outgoing party leader Francis Fonseca. The various candidates all arrived between 12:00 and 12:30. Only one man was missing – and that is the guest of honour – Francis Fonseca. He arrived close to 1:00 pm and joined his colleagues at an event where – we are told – he received unanimous praise.

After that luncheon, the members of the executive remained for a meeting to discuss principally – the national convention which needs to be held to elect a new leader among other posts. That meeting ended around 3:15 pm – and Chairman of the Party Henry Usher gave the media a briefing on what was decided:….

Henry Usher - Chairman, Fort George

"We will have a national convention. There was some question whether it would have been special convention to elect a party leader or a national convention. It was decided by the majority of the national executive that we will have a national convention. The date of the national convention will be the 31st of January that is a Sunday in 2016. We will have a deadline for nominations for the open post of the 15th of December 2015 and of course the deadline for the delegates list to come in around the same time. By the constitution it has to be 30 days prior to the date of the national convention."

Reporter

"Where will the convention be held?"

Henry Usher - Chairman, Fort George

"Last item on the agenda was the parliamentary appointments and for the joint sitting of the house on Friday. The Hon. Francis Fonseca will continue to be the leader of the opposition in the house and the 3 senators that were nominated prior to the election will once again hold their post as senators in the joint sitting until we have a new leader in place."

"I believe it will be a peaceful transition. I can better answer that after the 15th of December but I do believe that everybody is of the agreement for the way forward that we have to have one leader and we have to fully support that leader going forward into the next election."

The venue for the convention will be decided on December 15th – when the names are submitted. In total, a whopping 2973 delegates and council members will vote – and it will be the first time since the PUP constitution was amended in 2010 that there will be such a vast number of delegates.

Now, who will they vote for? That is the question. Today, when the national executive meeting was finished we spoke with two possible aspirants – and both of them were very guarded in their strategy. The first was Kareem Musa:…

Hon. Kareem Musa - Area Representative, Caribbean Shores

"Putting the hat into the ring business doesn't start until December 15th, so there is still time to consider that. I've been getting a lot of calls suggesting that I should but certainly it's something I have to consider, it's not something I'm just going to jump into at this time. I'm a new comer to the race, there's a lot of other leaders in this party that I hold in very high regard and who I would love to have them lead. We just have to wait and see how this thing pans out."

Mike Rudon - Channel 5 News

"But from what you're saying, you're not rejecting this thing out of hand."

Hon. Kareem Musa - Area Representative, Caribbean Shores

"Like I told Jules in our conversation, you never say never in politics; I've learned that, you never say never but at the same time my focus right now is on Caribbean Shores."

Mike Rudon - Channel 5 News

"If you do not go for it, who would you want to see take over the reins of the party?"

Hon. Kareem Musa - Area Representative, Caribbean Shores

"I could hold that one to my chest and I will do so, thank you Jules."

Hon. Julius Espat - Area Representative, Cayo South

"I don’t want to be part of a movement right now that fractures the party more than anything else. So I believe we have to wait to see who the names are. At this point in time I am reluctant to put in my name but that doesn't mean no. I'm a loyal PUP; I am just more loyal to my people in Cayo South right now. They have come out really giving there all for us and I have to give them more time back right now."

"But leadership is not just putting a badge on your shoulder, leadership is right now, especially in the PUP it’s about unity. And not unity when you go on stage and say, I love you. No, real unity, you have to bring the factions together and so we are hoping that one of us will be able to do that."

Mike Rudon - Channel 5 News

"What do you think the party needs at this point to make itself viable for elections once again? I mean there have seen a series of consecutive losses."

Hon. Julius Espat - Area Representative, Cayo South

"We need to go back to our roots I believe, which is the way George Price did it. I don't think we are explaining our story as best as we could. We have to learn to fight machinery that has more money than us, that's a fact. We have been able to do that in Cayo South and some other constituencies have learnt to do that but if the others don't do that, they will never win."

"So I believe the party needs a leader that is willing to get up at 5 in the morning and go to sleep 12 in the night and travel this country and meet with his people and be democratic, true democracy; meaning we have to listen to the people. And if that means we have to change some our players or most of our players, I don't know what that reality is; then we have to be able and ready to do that. If not the PUP will never be the party it once was."

Reporter

"Would you be loyal to anyone else in the position if it were not you?"

Hon. Julius Espat - Area Representative, Cayo South

"I have been loyal to the last 2 party leaders. If you ask anyone of them, I have been hard working behind the scenes."

Reporter

"I'm talking about John Briceno or Cordel Hyde."

Hon. Julius Espat - Area Representative, Cayo South

"Both of them have talents. I am more familiar with John Briceno because I worked under him but Cordel has some incredible attributes that I think he can bring to the party. People have to decide who that leader is and I will be there, I will be there to do my part."

Jules Vasquez

"Mr. Briceno make I have a little interview with you sir."

Hon. John Briceno - Area Representative, Orange Walk Central

"I think the chairman will explain that process to you."

Jules Vasquez

"But we just want to know if you're interested."

Channel 7


Who can save the PUP?

The Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) held a meeting of its executive at its Independence Hall headquarters this afternoon. This is the first post-election meeting of the party since the PUP’s resounding defeat at the polls in last Wednesday’s general elections, which resulted in the PUP leader, Francis Fonseca, announcing his resignation the following day, Thursday.

The party began suffering a string of defeats at the polls, beginning from the March 2012 general elections, under Fonseca’s leadership.

Since Fonseca’s announcement, however, a number of names have been mentioned as his possible replacement, an exercise that will culminate in the choosing of a fourth PUP leader with Johnny Briceño’s sudden resignation in October 2011.

At today’s executive meeting, the PUP decided not to change its three senators — Lisa Shoman, Anthony Sylvestre and Jason Andrews. A date for the nomination of persons wishing to fill executive posts has been agreed to, as well as a date for its National Convention, when a new PUP leader will be elected from among delegates chosen from the 31 electoral constituencies.

After the executive meeting, PUP chairman Henry Usher told reporters, “We will have a national convention. There was some question whether it would have been a special convention to elect a party leader, or a national convention. It was decided by the majority of the national executive that we will have a national convention.”

Usher informed that the date agreed for the PUP to hold its national convention will be Sunday, January 31, 2016.

“We will have a deadline for nominations for the open post of December 15, 2015, and of course the deadline for the delegates’ list to come in around the same time. By the constitution, it has to be 30 days prior to the date of the National Convention,” Usher explained.

“The last item on the agenda was the parliamentary appointments for the joint sitting of the House on Friday. The Hon. Francis Fonseca will continue to be the Leader of the Opposition in the House and the 3 senators that were nominated prior to the election will once again hold their post as senators in the joint sitting until we have a new leader in place,” Usher disclosed.

When asked to weigh in on the transition, Usher said that he believes that the party will have a peaceful transition.

Then he added, “I can better answer that after the 15th of December, but I do believe that everybody is of the agreement for the way forward, that we have to have one leader and we have to fully support that leader going forward into the next elections.”

A venue has not yet been decided for the convention, but Usher said that will be decided by December 15 when names of the delegates are submitted. Under the PUP amendment to its Constitution in 2010, something in the region of 2,973 delegates will cast votes in the National Convention, Usher revealed.

Names that have been called as possible candidates for the PUP leader position are the freshman Caribbean Shores area representative, Hon. Kareem Musa, the son of the former PUP leader and two-term Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Said Musa, who defeated Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley in Wednesday’s general elections; PUP deputy leader Hon. Julius Espat, the Cayo South area representative who has been elected for a second consecutive term; Hon. John Briceño, a former PUP leader who stepped down in late October 2011, citing personal reasons; and the returning Lake Independence area representative, Hon. Cordel Hyde, who vanquished the UDP’s Mark King by 1,999 votes, the largest margin of victory for a PUP candidate.

Hyde, who has never lost in Lake Independence, was reelected in three consecutive elections, but had to sit out the March 2012 elections on account of the illness and subsequent death of his son.

The task ahead for the new PUP leader will be daunting: he will have to unify the ideological factions in a party that has been suffering defeat after defeat at the polls since 2006.

Hon. Kareem Musa, upon exiting Independence Hall, was asked by reporters whether he would put his hat into the ring. He replied, “Putting the hat into the ring business doesn’t start until December 15, so there is still time to consider that.”

Musa added that he has been “getting a lot of calls” suggesting that he should, and commented, “Certainly it’s something I have to consider; it’s not something I’m just going to jump into at this time. I’m a newcomer to the race; there’s, a lot of other leaders in this party that I hold in very high regard and who I would love to have them lead. We just have to wait and see how this thing pans out.”

Musa insisted that he has just been given the job to represent the Caribbean Shores, and that he is a new area representative who wants to give his constituency the best possible representation.

When he was asked if he’s “not rejecting this thing out of hand,” Musa replied, “I’ve learned that, you never say never but at the same time my focus right now is on Caribbean Shores.”

Musa, however, would not divulge who he would like to see as PUP Leader.

Hon. Julius Espat told reporters that, more than anything else, he would not like to be part of a movement that fractures the party.

Espat said,”…We have to wait to see who the names are. At this point in time I am reluctant to put in my name, but that doesn’t mean no, I’m not interested. I’m a loyal PUP; I am just more loyal to my people in Cayo South right now. They have come out really giving their all for us, and I have to give them more time back right now.”

Espat added, “But leadership is not just putting a badge on your shoulder; leadership is right now, especially in the PUP, it’s about unity. And not unity when you go on stage and say, I love you; no, real unity, you have to bring the factions together, and so we are hoping that one of us will be able to do that.”

In response to a question about what the PUP needs to make it more viable in elections, Espat offered, “We need to go back to our roots, I believe, which is the way George Price did it. I don’t think we are explaining our story as best as we could.”

Espat said the PUP has to learn to fight machinery that has more money. “We have been able to do that in Cayo South, and some other constituencies have learnt to do that, but if the others don’t do that, they will never win,” he remarked.

He said that the PUP needs a leader who is “willing to get up at 5 in the morning and go to sleep 12 in the night, and travel this country and meet with his people and be democratic; true democracy, meaning that we have to listen to the people. And if that means we have to change some of our players or most of our players … then we have to be able and ready to do that. If not, the PUP will never be the party it once was.”

Espat said he has been loyal to two PUP leaders, John Briceño and Francis Fonseca, and he also commented that both Hon. Hyde and Hon. Briceño have the talent to lead the party.

“I am more familiar with John Briceño because I worked under him, but Cordel has some incredible attributes that I think he can bring to the party. People have to decide who that leader is and I will be there; I will be there to do my part,” Espat declared.

Unlike the other PUP leaders who made statements to the media after the PUP executive meeting was concluded, the Orange Walk Central area representative Hon. John Briceño declined to give reporters an interview when he exited Independence Hall.

Briceno would only say, “I think the chairman will explain that process to you.”

Hon. Cordel Hyde told KREM News and Channel 5 News that he has been receiving a lot of calls of support from PUP faithful from all across the country, and that a bid for the PUP leader post is something he is definitely considering.

“I can tell you that we’re seriously considering it at this moment. We’re talking to a lot of people. It’s a big deal, but it’s one we’re taking very seriously,” Hyde said.

When asked about the challenges such as raising funds to fight elections, Hyde explained, “I prefer to look at the opportunities rather than the challenges. I think that it’s a big task and it’s one that, frankly speaking, I am humbled by. Because for a young boy that used to walk barefooted on Sarstoon Street in Lake Independence, it is an unlikely journey. And so I’m very humbled by that and I take it seriously, but we have a lot of people to talk to outside and inside the party before we take that plunge.”

Hyde explained that financing the party to pay its bills every month and finding the money to secure the resources and machinery to win elections, is the “big gorilla” in the room.

“I’ve always been the personality that’s been focused on social justice, focused on providing policies that will benefit the vast majority of the people. That has not necessarily endeared me to many of the financiers, that’s a given. But the truth of the matter is we will never have more money than the winning party,” Hyde expressed.

He added, “It’s not about having more money than the government. We’re never going to have that. It’s about having a fresh face. It’s about having a more attractive package, a more inspiring package. It’s about ensuring that we bring something new to the table, that the people are convinced that we are committed to our social justice platform, that we are of George Price, and we are not the party that we’ve been over the last few years.”

Hyde said the money will always be an issue, then added, “But if we have success, that will bring money.”

“I think we have to do it the old fashion way,” he said. “We have to give back the party to the people. We have to ensure that people have a stake in this. We have to get back to selling our barbeque, selling our turkey dinner, and having people who are willing to contribute a $5 a month do that,” Hyde explained.

“I’ve never had more money than my opponent in Lake Independence. It’s just that we have to reproduce that across the country,” Hyde said.

Amandala


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#509245 - 11/18/15 10:58 AM Re: The Race for PUP Leadership Post Fonseca [Re: Marty]
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Could Lisa Lead The PUP?

For the past two weeks since Francis Fonseca stepped down - we've been telling you about the men who are considering offering themselves for the post of leader of the PUP. They are John Briceno, Cordel Hyde, Julius Espat and Kareem Musa. But, what if they were to be joined by a woman? Well, that would be a first, because no woman has ever offered herself for leadership of, or led any political party in Belize. But, it could happen. PUP Senator Lisa Shoman told us she is seriously entertaining the possibility of making a bid for leadership of the PUP. Shoman pointed out that she was the first female president of the bar, the first female ambassador to the OAS and the USA, and the first female minister of foreign affairs. And while she might beat the boys in "firsts", and in a debate, we pointed out to Shoman she would have a hard time matching them in political alliances, and resources. She said that's an assumption and an untested assertion.

Of course, it would be further complicated because she is not an elected representative - and has never run as a candidate in a general election. But, we note that twice before, Belize has had unelected party leaders who are not the leader of the opposition in the House; it happened with Manuel Esquivel in 1983 to 1984 and George Price from 1984 to 1989.

All candidates for leader have until December 15 to be nominated - so we'll keep watching it.

Channel 7


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#509283 - 11/19/15 11:25 AM Re: The Race for PUP Leadership Post Fonseca [Re: Marty]
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PUP’s Deputy Will Not Seek Re-Election

Carolyn Sandiford says she will not be seeking re-election to her role as the Deputy Party Leader come January 2016.

CAROLYN TRENCH SANDIFORD

“In terms of my post, no. I in fact I wrote myself out of the new structure because I do believe the trust of the party at this point is decentralization, it’s about ensuring the decisions are made at regional levels where regional caucuses sit and meet and make decisions about their challenges and it’s the same way we want to operate when we go to government. Decisions have to be made at the impact point. We cannot be running a party out of Belize City headquarters and make decisions about what is happening in Corozal or Orange Walk. What we need to do as a party is develop policy positions and those policy positions are then tailored at the local level.”

Trench-Sandiford has served in several capacities in the People’s United Party including Standard Bearer for the Collet Division, Party Chairman and Deputy Party Leader.

LOVEFM


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#509296 - 11/19/15 06:11 PM Re: The Race for PUP Leadership Post Fonseca [Re: Marty]
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Lisa Shoman to contest PUP leadership
People’s United Party (PUP) Senator Lisa Shoman announced, this week, her intention to vie for the party’s leadership and said she believes she can gather the necessary support within the party. Shoman, in an interview with The Reporter, made her intention known and said she plans to make a formal announcement sometime next week to enter her name as a candidate before the December 15th deadline. Shoman, if successful, would become the first woman in Belize to lead either mass party. She said she believes it’s time for a woman to step forward and lead one of the mass parties. […]


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#509483 - 11/27/15 09:29 PM Re: The Race for PUP Leadership Post Fonseca [Re: Marty]
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Espat will not run for leader, despite encouragement

People’s United Party (PUP) Deputy Leader Julius Espat told the Reporter this week he does not intend to vie for the party’s leadership, despite encouragement from a number of colleagues and media buzz that he was one of the likely candidates.

This week, Espat confirmed nothing has changed about his position. In a text message, he said: “Yes, I have been encouraged by some of my colleagues, but at this time I will concentrate my energies in my constituency.”

Espat has said his constituents expended a great deal of energy into his re-election and they now deserve his time. “I think this time I need to spend a lot more time with them and fight their issues, which are really important issues”, he shared with us previously.

Three weeks ago, Espat indicated he was interested in seeing unity in the PUP, and reorganization. He also indicated that the person who takes up the leadership role has to be someone capable of achieving these tasks.

When he spoke with reporters then, Espat did not outrightly say he would not compete, but did indicate he was reluctant to put his name in the race. Yet still, it was not a definite answer. “That doesn’t mean no. I am a loyal PUP. I am just more loyal to my people in Cayo South right now”, he said at that time.

Since those remarks, four other big names have emerged as potential leaders for the PUP: former leader John Briceno; Kareem Musa, son of former two-time Prime Minister Said Musa; three-time Lake Independence Area Representative Cordel Hyde; and Senator Lisa Shoman, a former Ambassador to the United States and former Foreign Affairs Minister, whose intention to run for the leadership position was revealed in last week’s edition of the Reporter.

Whoever assumes leadership of the PUP will have several issues to confront, including formulating a sound plan to raise funds for the cash-strapped party; conducting cross-country visits to garner momentum; and creating a solid plan to unite the party which, up until a few weeks before the General Elections, was still divided.

Those interested have until December 15th to indicate to PUP Chairman, Henry Usher, their intention to run at a National Convention set for January 31st, at a place and time to be announced.

The Reporter


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#509869 - 12/12/15 11:07 AM Re: The Race for PUP Leadership Post Fonseca [Re: Marty]
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Call It A Comeback? Francis For Leader

Next week Tuesday, December 15th is the deadline for nominations for the new PUP Leader. But, the new leader may also be the old leader - and that's because the heads of 11 constituencies have come forward to say they don't want John Briceno or Cordel Hyde; they want Francis Fonseca back as leader of the PUP. Sure, he stepped down and all but walked away five weeks ago, but now some key power brokers in the PUP want him back. The group of constituencies who support a Fonseca comeback met today in Belmopan under the auspices of deputy leader Julius Espat - and we spoke to Espat via telephone shortly after. Here's how he explained what may seem to be a retrograde move:..

Jules Vasquez
"There are those in the party who wish to preserve the status quo and stay the course with Mr. Francis Fonseca. Is this taking shape?"

Hon. Julius Espat, Deputy Leader - PUP
"I don't agree on conserving the status quo statement, but yes we believe that Francis Fonseca is the best person at this time to lead us forward."

Jules Vasquez
"Why is that sir?"

Hon. Julius Espat, Deputy Leader - PUP
"We believe that he has the maturity necessary, we believe he has the experience necessary, and he has shown us in the last four years what he is made of, and what he can do. He has shown us how humble he is; he has shown us how he can, in difficult times work hard for us, and we believe that with some changes, with some adjustments and a continuation of the focus and the philosophy that we have that we'll be able to form the next government under his leadership."

Jules Vasquez
"Is this the thinking of a minority or is there some critical mass behind this?"

Hon. Julius Espat, Deputy Leader - PUP
"We convened a meeting today in Belmopan and 11 constituencies were present, 7 of those are parliamentarians, and so, we believe that it's a good start."

"The entire south was here, a majority of the west was here. We haven't engaged the city as yet, but present was the Honorable Dolores, and Francis was here and two constituencies from the north were here. If you look at the amount of delegates per constituencies, these are the constituencies that command the large delegates."

Jules Vasquez
"Are they prepared to nominate Francis Fonseca on the 15th of December?"

Hon. Julius Espat, Deputy Leader - PUP
"Yes we have already signed a document indicating so."

Jules Vasquez
"How important is it, A) to have the pledge of the constituency leaders, which you have. However isn't there a completely and predictable and overwhelming variable, at the end of the day the delegates will decide?"

Hon. Julius Espat, Deputy Leader - PUP
"Yes, that's a fair statement to say and we have analyze all of that and we have put in a machinery in place that will deal with that. If we cannot convinced 2,800 or 3,000 people of what is right for the People's United Party, then how can we convinced over 70,000 people to be able to form government? We just believe that the Hon. Francis Fonseca is the best person for the job."

"This in an internal convention. The other two gentlemen are also our colleagues and we have to give them the highest respect as possible. If they believe that they have a good chance, then that is why we have a convention and may the best man win."

Jules Vasquez
"The Francis Fonseca that I saw on the day after the election was a beaten man and in deed after...."

Hon. Julius Espat, Deputy Leader - PUP
"No, I disagree with you. He was a humble man."

Jules Vasquez
"I didn't see you there."

Hon. Julius Espat, Deputy Leader - PUP
"Where?"

Jules Vasquez
"I am saying I saw him at the press conference."

Hon. Julius Espat, Deputy Leader - PUP
"Oh no, I was watching it on your coverage - on the news."

Jules Vasquez
"But perhaps his emotion of losing which you know is devastating emotion."

Hon. Julius Espat, Deputy Leader - PUP
"And that's why if you know decisions that are made in politics and decisions that are made in leadership and decisions that are made in business, should not be emotional decisions. So you may be right to a certain extent. When you make an emotional decision, it does not necessarily means it's the best decision. So like I tell you that was a decision he made at the time and we are now asking him to reconsider that decision."

Jules Vasquez
"Is this based on the thinking that well okay, the UDP have won a historic 43 terms, but there is no way they can win 4 and their party leader is retiring and they will have their own leadership struggle, so that its inevitable then that if things just stay on their path, Francis Fonseca will win and will be prime minister almost by default - just by staying in there long enough."

Hon. Julius Espat, Deputy Leader - PUP
"If each individual candidate does not work in their constituency, the UDP can win a 4th term and so we have to make sure that that doesn't happen."

Jules Vasquez
"Is it your feeling that on Tuesday we will have 3 persons nominated as leader, or do you think one or both of the other two may fall away sensing that well the numbers are against them with this Francis Fonseca resurgence?"

Hon. Julius Espat, Deputy Leader - PUP
"I don't know what they will do, but when you see our slate, if I would be them I would be concerned."

Jules Vasquez
"Now, it would be eminently preferable, both in terms of resources and the wellbeing of the party for there to be an uncontested convention."

Hon. Julius Espat, Deputy Leader - PUP
"I don't believe so."

Jules Vasquez
"You don't believe so."

Hon. Julius Espat, Deputy Leader - PUP
"I believe that the party needs a convention."

Jules Vasquez
"A contested convention."

Hon. Julius Espat, Deputy Leader - PUP
"I believe so."

Today via text message Fonseca - who announced only five weeks ago that he is stepping down as leader and shortly retiring from politics - told us he is, quote, "obliged to consider (the nomination) given my respect for those involved, but no decision taken." End quote.

No reaction yet from the Cordel Hyde or John Briceno camps, but next week Tuesday is the deadline for nominations, so we'll keep following it closely.

Channel 7


BACK IN THE RACE!

News 5 has confirmed that Francis Fonseca will be an aspirant for the leadership of the People's United Party once again at the national convention in January 2016.


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#509932 - 12/15/15 11:04 AM Re: The Race for PUP Leadership Post Fonseca [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

The PUP: And Then There Were Three

Who will lead the PUP? Well by this time tomorrow we should have a better idea - of at least who is interested in the job. Tomorrow December 15th at 5:00 pm is the deadline for the submission of names for executive posts and tonight it looks like three main contenders are going ahead. They are Cordel Hyde, Francis Fonseca and John Briceno. Fonseca is the wild card whose sudden re-emergence has caught everyone off guard. On Friday he told us that he was considering an offer to accept a nomination from a block of constituencies led by Julius Espat's Cayo South. Today we tried to tried to find out whether he had made a decision either way, but he did not answer our requests for a comment. But, the de facto organizer of his campaign Julius Espat told us that Fonseca will accept the nomination.

Next is Cordel Hyde. He today confirmed that he will be nominated as leader tomorrow.

Same for the John Briceno camp. Today he received an endorsement from the Northern Caucus. The release says, quote, "The Executive and members of the Caucus are…pleased to give full support to the candidacy of … John Briceño."

The release adds, quote: "Briceño best exemplifies those qualities needed to unite and inspire Party supporters; (and) to once again bring victory to the People's United Party."

So, it's looking to be three way race, which puts very many variables in play - so much that it could force an alliance between two camps. The natural match would seem to be between the two candidates who were both members of the G-7 in 2004 and the G-11 in 2015 - that's John Briceno and Cordel Hyde, but, from what we are told, there is no alliance presently in the making. Going forward, though, things remain very fluid.

We'll let you know tomorrow night who put their names in for the executive posts and who didn't.

Channel 7


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