While the media is very much looking forward to the convention at the Civic Center in Belize City, we learned today that, in a first, the UDP will be having a closed convention, meaning the media is NOT going to be allowed inside.
It's a retrograde move, probably out of the George Price playbook, but we checked with multiple UDP officials today, and they said that the media will only be invited in AT THE END, after the ballots have been counted.
That's right, the convention starts at 9:00 with formalities including the installation of a new chairman, resolutions on policy issues, and a keynote address by the outgoing leader Dean Barrow - but only the UDP media, meaning WAVE TV will capture all that. After that, the voting of the 570 delegates starts at 12 noon, and the winner will be known by 3:00 or 3:30.
And that's when the media will be allowed into the Civic.
Of course, it's their party convention, and they make the rules, but the UDP is not a lodge or a private club, it is a mass party, and the decision, taken at Saturday's National Party Council meeting is out of step with political norms in terms of current and past practice.
We have been told that the UDP media will provide copies of what happened inside after the convention.