Mark Espat Withdraws from PUP Leadership Race
posted (March 17, 2008)

[Linked Image] High stakes betters often warn, “never gamble in a game you can’t win,” and it seems Mark Espat has heeded that advice. The representative for the Albert Division today announced his decision to withdraw from the PUP race for leadership. In a feisty statement issued to the press, Espat accuses the Party Leader Said Musa of choosing Fonseca and lamented the fact that his reform proposals were rejected and concludes that, “the special-interest groups that control the party won again.” And that victory, according to Espat, disenfranchises thousands of party supporters.

Mark Espat, Withdrawing

“The special-interest groups that control the Party won again. Their victory guarantees the exclusion of the vast majority of PUP supporters from choosing their leader. The sad truth is that even when the Party loses, the special interest groups still win. They don’t suffer being in Opposition, as our rank and file members do - they simply return to their law firms and businesses, safe from the jaws of victimization; their quality of life remains the same while many PUP’s suffer for their mistakes.

Party Leader Said Musa announced his resignation on 13 February 2008. Prior even to his announcement, he and a tiny cabal have been doing everything possible to anoint Francis Fonseca as the new P.U.P. leader.

Two sons of Party Leader Said Musa, one as the Public Relations Director for the Party and the other as Secretary General, have openly campaigned for Fonseca, sullying the offices they were gifted. It is this same Secretary General who is to manage the leadership election on 30th March. It is abundantly clear that no tactic is too low to ensure the crowning of Francis Fonseca as P.U.P. leader.

Under circumstances, I will not offer myself for leader in a closed, undemocratic and fixed convention. I know that my decision will disappoint so many PUPs across the country. But I do not seek to become leader of our Party at a convention that denies the 6:40 right to vote to 99% of those who voted for the P.U.P. in the last general election.”

Espat declined interviews and referred us to his statement which will air in its entirety later on in the newscast. So what does this mean for the upcoming special convention in Belmopan on March 30th. Well, it will proceed, but it will be an endorsement convention for the new leader of the PUP, Francis Fonseca. And while he’s no longer in a competitive race, Fonseca’s campaign manager Godfrey Smith says his candidate will continue his countrywide consultations.

Live and let live