Patrick Faber is one of the UDP politicians eager to seize on the vacancy that Vega's resignation has created. He confirmed to us yesterday that he is "definitely interested" in the post of First Deputy Leader of the UDP. Today in Orange Walk, he told our colleagues at CTV-3 as much:...

Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education
"Given the circumstances I think that our current deputy leader or Mr. Vega has indicated that he no longer wishes to pursue that position. Then obviously that opens the door and of course I see that as a kind of normal progression for the leadership of the party and so I would most definitely then offer myself to the people of my party to be the new deputy leader and if the Prime Minister then so desires as the person who calls the shot to be the new deputy prime minister of the country."

Of course, that post of Deputy Prime Minister is the prerogative of the Prime Minister - and while it is politically axiomatic that the Deputy Party Leader takes that post, it is a custom, not a constitutional mandate. Fro the time being, and until the PM says otherwise, Vega remains Deputy Prime Minister. But as for the race for the vacant post of Deputy Party Leader, Faber has jumped out the blocks with his candidacy. But we know that John Saldivar is also interested, and reports from the west say that second Deputy Erwin Contreras may also have an interest. That means the next few months will be very politically charged, but the UDP can't forget that it's now very vulnerable in the north, where Vega delivered five of eight seats for the party. Faber conceded as much:...

Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education
"After the elections of course, you hear rumors and you hear things. I've never heard directly from Mr. Vega to say that anything wasn't the way he would have wanted it. So I can't say that I know firsthand of any such thing. But you probably know better than I do. You are living here in Orange Walk. There were some rumors going around, but to say that it would have gone to the point of him saying he doesn't any longer wants to be the deputy leader of the party, no I did not know about that. And certainly when the news came to me I was surprised."

"The only person who could answer that definitively as to why he has made that decision is Mr. Vega himself. So, I really would not want to go beyond what I know officially and as far as I know there was not that kind of disgruntlement officially expressed to our party."

Reporter
"Do you believe that Mr. Vega's retirement would affect the UDP, especially here in the north knowing that it is considered that Mr. Vega's seat is a safe seat for the party?"

Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education
"Of course and it goes beyond his seat. I firstly want to say that his decision not to be the deputy leader of the party is a blow. There is no getting around that. But the party will go on. So there will be a void in terms of constituency and there will also be a void in terms of the major role that he has played to bringing success for the UDP in the north. And I don't discount that in any bit. He is the party's champion here in the north and we would be lying if we said we would not feel the effect of his departure."

Vega and his brother German were also known to be financiers for seats in Cayo and Belize Rural.

Channel 7