Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,400
Marty Offline OP
OP Offline

PUP Division Persists

We've still got the murder of that prison warden to tell you about, but first we take a break from all they mayhem�to tell you about this weekend's political carnival.

Well, it wasn't a carnival, it was a convention for the PUP - but mass party conventions always bring with it the air of a carnival and that's what happened in Dangriga town on Sunday.

Jules Vasquez was there to judge the muscle and mass support of a PUP -trying to resurrect the glory days when it was the greatest show - if not on earth - at least in Belize.

It was a PUP celebration - waves of supporters swarmed the Holy Ghost school compound and crowded under tents - a massive crowd, the largest we've seen in the era of Briceno's leadership gathered under the new slogan, "We Da Blue."

And the crowd - including the party's newly expanded delegate pool which is up from 400 plus to two thousand plus - that covered the Holy Ghost compound was suitably matched by the oversized party executive - where all aspirants were accommodated with a post.

On stage there were heartfelt hugs, executive members playing drums, a welcome for a national hero, and a hero's welcome for the leader who came into a boisterous greeting from the crowd.

Said Musa, Former Prime Minister
"As a party we must put aside all differences. There is nothing wrong with dissent, we have a lot of dissent in our party but you must know when to rally together and rally behind our new leader John Briceno."

And Briceno finally got what had eluded him since he took over as leader on April of 2008 - a verbal and symbolic endorsement from the two past leaders of his leadership on the party's biggest stage, its highest decision making body, the national convention.

And even if he looked like he was in prime election form, grooving to the beat, or doing the "adelante" thing - Musa said don't call it a comeback!

Said Musa, Former Prime Minister
"I wanted to send a very clear signal that please don't continue this foolish false propaganda that Said Musa is trying to make a comeback. We have one leader at any given time and that leader is John Briceno. And I am here today to give him my support."

Jules Vasquez
"We shouldn't take the fact that your Fort George Chairman is installed as chairman and that that other members of the old guard have ascended�we shouldn't take that as an indication that John Briceno is now ringed by old guard types who would happily put you in as leader."

Said Musa, Former Prime Minister
"I can't help if the people of Fort George are very good people who deserve to serve in the highest capacity of the People's United Party."

Jules Vasquez
"But your support for John Briceno is unswerving, unstinting and absolute?"

Said Musa, Former Prime Minister
"It has always been that way with whoever is the leader of the PUP."

Leader Emeritus George Price, going on 92 years old had to be helped to the podium but needed no help once he got there:

PUP Leader Emeritus George Price "The people are our masters and we serve them, that is why we are here."

And while there was that appearance of old and new guard coming together - the so called unity convention showed a party still riven by division. Four of the six parliamentarians, Mark Espat, Cordel Hyde, Francis Fonseca and Florencio Marin Jr. were absent.

Most embarrassingly, Francis Fonseca was given a seat on the executive and didn't show up to claim it - a situation that quickly descended form an "oops" to abject embarrassment.

The first awkward moment occurred when outgoing chairman, now herself a deputy, Carolyn Trench Sandiford did not list his name in the introduction of executive members. She had already moved on to introducing the leader when the past leader Said Musa came up from behind to remind her, to nudge her to introduce Fonseca - even though he was absent.

Nonetheless, Trench Sandiford continued with the Briceno introduction - and as Musa retreated back to his seat - he flapped his hands in exasperation - just as Trench Sandiford made a lass than graceful segue to backhandedly announce Fonseca: The fourth deputy part leader Francis Fopnseca, he sent his apologies

John Briceno, Leader of the opposition
"The honorable Francis Fonseca could not been here because he was sick?"

OK, bad enough, but he went from sending his apologies to being sick: The honoruable Francis Fonseca could not come here because he was sick.

And from sick, to having dengue:

Said Musa, Former Prime Minister
"He didn't come because he is suffering from Dengue, a terrible dose of the dengue fever."

And then his whole family had dengue:

John Briceno, Leader of the opposition
"He is with dengue and really couldn't make it, actually he wanted to come and it was only this morning that he text that he really can't because of how sick he is. I understand his entire family is sick so he is not here simply because he couldn't make it."

As for Florencio Marin Jr. - who was not on stage with all other standard bearers and area representatives, he was either on a special assignment or right there in the crowd:

Said Musa, Former Prime Minister
"I think in the case of Florencio Jr., he was on a other assignment for the party."

Jules Vasquez
"There is nothing more important than the national convention."

Said Musa, Former Prime Minister
"Indeed, but he is on board."

Jules Vasquez
"Is he being spoken for?"

Said Musa, Former Prime Minister
"Trust me, he is onboard."

Jules Vasquez
"How can you have a unity convention with 4 parliamentarians absent? I am not feeling well but I dragged myself here because it's my job. For them it's a moral duty to be here."

John Briceno, Leader of the opposition
"I don't know about what 4 parliamentarians because as I was told Florencio Marin Jr. is here on the grounds. He attended and Corozal Southeast is here. (Jules Vasquez: "He wasn't on stage.") He was here with his people, they came out, and Freetown was here."

And while the leadership clearly did not expect the pair to absent themselves, there was a prepared, uniform response about the other absent two Mark Espat and Cordel Hyde - and some potshots at them as well:

Jules Vasquez
"And Cordel and Mark?"

Rt. Hon. Said Musa, Former Prime Minister
"Well I think in time they too will be on board."

Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition
"Both Honorable Mark Espat and Cordel Hyde are two talented individuals, they are members of this party. They have chosen not to participate at this time in the executive, but we in the executive, we in the party continue to reach out to everyone and there is a lot of work for everybody including our 2 parliamentarians."

Mike Espat, Deputy Leader
"They described us as old guards, they describe us as new guards, they even describe us I think as no guards."

Henry Usher, Incoming Chairman
"We are not no pendulum addicts! We work, we serve for a free Belize."

And while the fissures of disunity put a lie to the notion of a unity convention - Briceno did have the crowd to fall back on - it was inarguably massive:

Jules Vasquez
"According to your former leader Mark Espat the PUP was backsliding, having lost ground - he claims - in the recent village council elections. How do you move forward from that?"

John Briceno, Leader of the opposition
"Look at the people out here Jules. We have people from all across this country that are ready and willing to stand up against the UDP."

And on this day - the same day that the old guard officially came on board - happened also to be the day when the PUP flexed its greatest muscle - whether it is a sign of a true resurgence is one thing - but whether it will force to the four parliamentarians to get on board is the more compelling question.

The event finished in the early afternoon. The only other significant event is that Henry Charles Usher was installed as Chairman of the PUP - a powerful post for the grand nephew of Leader Emeritus Price and son of past leader Musa.

Crowd numbers - a lot of folks have been asking us about that - and just like the UDP convention we'll tell you straight up - we could not count because the crowd was too dispersed - because the venue could not hold them. Yes it was upwards of five thousand and we counted well over 100 busses - and yes, it was comparable to the UDP's crowd.

Channel 7

Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,400
Marty Offline OP
OP Offline


The People's United Party yesterday held its National Convention in Dangriga town. Billed as a Unity Convention, the forum saw the election, by acclamation of a new executive for the opposition party, with John Briceno being returned unopposed as Party Leader. Carolyn Trench-Sandiford, who gave up the Chairmanship of the PUP is now the first female Deputy Leader of the PUP. Taking her place as Chairman is Henry Charles Usher. Following the Convention, Love News spoke with PUP Leader John Briceno who said that he is humbled to have been chosen to lead the party again.

John Briceno; Leader of the Opposition

"I'm very pleased and excited when I see the thousands upon thousands of Belizeans come from across the nation from Corozal all the way to Toledo, that have come here with us to show us that support but at the same time, you know I also accept it with a sense of humility, when I think about the awesome responsibilities that is now on my shoulders. That we have to take this party and move it forward. And that within two and half years that we have to change United democratic party government. We have to get them out. We have a moral obligation to the Belizean people, to ride the Belizean ship once again."

Patrick Jones; Reporter

This was built as a unity convention, was that objective achieved this afternoon?
John Briceno; Leader of the Opposition

"Certainly, we have representatives and people from every single constituency all thirty one constituencies were here present today to demonstrate their support, to me as a party leader but just as important to show and demonstrate their support for the People's United Party."

But despite the party leader's pronouncement that the objective of unity was achieved at yesterday's convention, noticeably absent from the gathering were Albert Area Representative Mark Espat and Lake Independence Representative Cordel Hyde, both of whom served previously as Deputy Party leaders prior to yesterday's convention. Briceno says now that he's has been returned as leader unchallenged, he will not dwell on the past but is looking toward the future.

John Briceno; Leader of the Opposition

"What is important to point out that today, we have representatives or representation from all thirty- one constituencies. The thirty-one constituencies who are represented here today, to speaking in one voice, that we are blue, that we are PUP and that we are ready to take on this government. Now, the honorable Cordell Hyde and the honorable Marcus Fox are talented people. They are persons that have a lot of ideas and that we are going to continue to reach out for them to be able to work. There's a lot of work to do, not only in the national executive but we also have a lot of work to do in the national assembly, in parliament and we are going to be depending on them heavily to help us fight the government adequately and aggressively in Parliament."

While the main order of business was the election of new executive, the PUP also tabled a set of resolutions touching some of the pressing national issues confronting the country. These include, the economy, crime and violence and the judiciary.  On the issue of crime and violence, the PUP leader told Love News that the current government is impotent on crime and that a future PUP administration under his watch would be tough on crime as well as the criminals.

John Briceno; Leader of the Opposition

"We've been saying it over and over that the government has no plan that they don't have the ability or the capacity to be able to handle this mindless violence that's taking place in our country. Just today we heard about a husband and wife being brutally murdered in Belize City and my sympathies goes to, I knew him personally and to his family. We can't continue to go down this road, the government has to get its act together and we need to act decisively. We that there is a problem, let's give the police department the necessary resources to be able to police the areas where we have the biggest problems, the hotspots in Belize City. We know that we need to strengthen the DPP office and if we are losing so many cases then, lets hire some of the private attorneys to go and represent us. We are already doing it with Lois Young Barrow, the ex wife of the prime minister. We have probably paid her about two million dollars by now. So, if we could use that for civil cases then let's do it for criminal cases. We have to ensure to give one message to the criminals that if you commit a crime then you are going to be committed in prison, you have to pay the time."

The PUP resolution on crime also includes a proposed fifty million dollar super fund, which would be used to help in the fight against crime, especially the root causes of crime.  As for the Judiciary, Briceno says the Barrow administration is making some worrying moves that a future PUP government will work quickly to reverse.

John Briceno; Leader of the Opposition

"To us that is even more troubling, what the Prime Minister has been doing over the past two and a half years and he as an attorney should know better. He should know that you do not tamper with the judiciary. The judiciary is almost your last line of defense for justice in this country and here we have the government � look at the Chief Justice how he was pretty much dumped aside when everybody would tell you that he is one of the best Chief Justices we've had in decades. The Prime Minister refuses to even allow the Chief Justice to finish the cases that he had. We know why. These cases that were there are cases that also have something to do with the government. We know that whenever a judge would rule against the government the Prime Minister then reacts badly. What many businesses are concerned that if they go to court and they get a ruling against them they have to go to the Court of Appeals where again in most cases those cases are overturned. We are very concerned about the judiciary and we are going to make it absolutely clear that we are going to give the judiciary high priority to ensure that it becomes independent. We have to ensure that we could amend the constitution to ensure that whenever we want to tamper with the rights of Belizeans in this country that we must have a referendum something that the Prime Minister refuses to do. There is a lot that we have to work on and we are very concerned when the comes to the issue of the judiciary."

A conservative estimate of the attendance at the PUP convention puts the crowd at ten thousand.  Hundreds of busses and private vehicles traveled to Dangriga for the event. Briceno says the PUP not has its sight set on Belmopan to take over the government and that today was the start of a journey that will end with him being sworn in as Prime Minister.

John Briceno; Leader of the Opposition

"Yes we are marching to Belmopan. We are united, we are ready and we are going to take on the UDP in the house, in the media, in the news papers and on the streets. We need to get them out as soon as possible from Belmopan. They have shown that they are unable to govern this country so it is time for Dean Barrow and the UDP to leave."

Making a special appearance at the PUP National Convention was the Leader Emeritus George Price, who in a brief address, reminded all present of the work that the party has done in the development of the country. Mr. Price reminded the new executive that the people are their masters and as such should always keep them at the forefront of whatever they do.  Also addressing the National Convention was the immediate past leader, former Prime Minister Said Musa.


Link Copied to Clipboard
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
Cayo Espanto
Click for Cayo Espanto, and have your own private island
More Links
Click for exciting and adventurous tours of Belize with Katie Valk!
Who's Online Now
1 members (1 invisible), 109 guests, and 0 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Statistics
Most Online7,413
Nov 7th, 2021 HELP! Visitor Center Goods & Services San Pedro Town Message Board Lodging Diving Fishing Things to Do History Maps Phonebook Belize Business Directory Picture of the Day

The opinions and views expressed on this board are the subjective opinions of Ambergris Caye Message Board members
and not of the Ambergris Caye Message Board its affiliates, or its employees.

Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5