Earlier in the newscast, we showed you the replacements for the P.U.P. Albert and Lake I. Divisions. And though the faces are fresh, the P.U.P. still faces criticism for the past. Catch phrases like Superbond, G7, Old Guard and New Guard have stuck to the Opposition much the same way Retrenchment and nepotism have stuck to the U.D.P. So it came as no surprise that during the question and answer session at today’s press conference, the past returned to the present. Present, immediate past, and past party leader all took time to address various concerns.
“The recent changes in the party have shown that is a return to the clutch of the old guard of 2003 to 2008.”
Francis Fonseca, Leader of the Opposition
“I think the people who are asking that question obviously have their own agenda. I want to assure the Belizean people and I have done that and I think all standard bearers of the P.U.P. in their campaign on the ground have made it very clear to the Belizean people that the P.U.P. indeed has not been a perfect government and we never said we were a perfect government and in our term of office during 1998 to 2008, we acknowledge where at time we have gone off track. We acknowledged that many times over the years, but as I have said very clearly, this election is about the future not about the past. The people who want to ask those questions are people who are living well under the U.D.P. or have some other agenda that fits in with the U.D.P. and are benefiting handsomely from the U.D.P.”
Aaron Humes, Amandala
“Can you tell us what your thoughts are on the situation between 2003 and 2008 as it relates to them?”
Said Musa, P.U.P. Fort George Standard Bearer
“My thoughts are that you shouldn’t ‘follow foot.” Follow foot won’t get you nowhere. This will not be 2003; this dah 2012. So we will have a totally different result. As you know in 2003 the P.U.P. swept the elections by a huge majority in the general as well as in the town council. That’s not going to happen this time in the sense that the U.D.P. is expecting to do the same. We will see in 2012 a P.U.P. government; majority and we will also see a majority of town councils with the People’s United Party.”
“Mr. Briceño is here. He can tell you with absolute clarity that at no time did I undermine his leadership. In fact, on every occasion that he called on me to be anywhere with him. On any occasion I spoke on his behalf. I continue to speak very clearly about his term in office. So that is very clear for the record to show. I served under him as a senior deputy leader and every occasion I was called upon to do anything by the party, I did that. So there is no question of that.”
John Briceño, P.U.P. Orange Walk Central Standard Bearer
“I want to make it absolutely clear that the honorable Francis Fonseca did not attend the convention in Dangriga simply because he was ill. I spoke to him personally over the phone and he could have hardly spoken at that time. So at no time did I see that he wanted to undermine me or trying to undermine the party. That we have differences? Like all of us here at the table, all of us have had differences at one time or the other, but we have never allowed that to affect the work of the party. We have one goal; that is to get rid of the U.D.P. Our people have been suffering for the past four years and now it is going to be the time that we could get even and try to correct the course that this country has been taking over the past four years and we need Francis Fonseca as the Prime Minister and the P.U.P. back in Belmopan.”
The P.U.P. appears to have closed ranks and no further resignations are expected for the upcoming general elections.