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