from a friend....

.....maybe too fast?

On some of the talks shows this a.m. comments are being passed that the
Johnny B crowd is crestfallen after not having been able to get its
hands into the P.U.P. cookie jars.

A new PUP leader was elected 8 days ago and John Briceno is moving
aggressively ahead to consolidate his leadership but critics within his
party say he’s gone too far, too fast. The friction is about a hastily
called National Convention to be held on Sunday, April 13th in Orange
Walk Town at the People’s Stadium.

Briceno’s strategy is to purge all those who supported or represented
the status quo but are still holding unto executive seats – with terms
extending up to 2009. Those include but are not limited to, Deputy
Leader Godfrey Smith, National Campaign Manager Ralph Fonseca and
Communications Director Yasser Musa.

The plan is that on Sunday Briceno will offer a brand new slate for a
completely new executive, filling all those posts previously held by
Musa/Fonseca loyalists. Briceno’s slate will reportedly include Mark
Espat, Cordel Hyde, Dan Silva, Eamon Courtenay, Narda Garcia, and Amalia

The announcement of the very quickly called National Convention went out
today and like thunder following lightning, by 5:00 p.m., word came back
that it has caused a major rift in the PUP. So much so, that the party’s
angry old guard is predicting that candidates, personalities, and
constituencies will boycott the convention.

For one, we have been informed by Communications Director Yasser Musa
that former Leader Said Musa will not attend and neither will Leader
Emeritus George Price. According to his son, the Rt. Hon. Musa has
judged that the meeting is out of line with the party’s constitution.
Other status quo members with senior posts have told us that it is
outrageous and dictatorial hardly – they say – in line with a reform

And knowing the mood of the current party leadership, we’d guess that
they’d be happy to hear that Said Musa, George Price, Godfrey Smith, and
Ralph Fonseca won’t be around for their coronation. But there is a
deeper issue: the ownership of the party assets, which the old guard
presently controls. Assets over which there will now apparently be quite
a fight.

Of course, the linchpin in all this is Francis Fonseca: at the leaders’
convention he controlled 310 delegates and the old guard is counting on
him to stand with them to undermine Briceno’s convention on Sunday.

Senior old guard sources have told us Fonseca will not be a apart of
what they call an illegal convention, while John Briceno today told us,
after a morning meeting with Fonseca, that he will, quote, “hold a
senior post” on his executive.

Which way will it go? With the PUP in the middle of an identity crisis,
it’s hard to tell. What we do know is that with the numbers he currently
controls, Briceno’s hold on the leadership is firm, and the only
question really is how much he cares that he will be cursed for
supposedly breaking from his own reform agenda, and facing the
possibility of a mini-boycott. We’ll keep you posted as it unfolds.