The U.D.P. will hold a National Party Council meeting next week, at which point the Party will announce a timeline to receive applications from persons who would be interested in being leader. That was the information coming from U.D.P. Chairman Mike Peyrefitte following an emergency Cabinet meeting in Belmopan today.

It is widely believed that both John Saldivar and Patrick Faber still want to be leader, but sources say neither of them is receiving support in their quests at this time. Other names called have been Hugo Patt, Tracy Taegar-Panton and Omar Figueroa.

The Reporter


The UDP At A Credibility Crossroads: Who Will Lead

The power dynamic in the UDP remains fluid, and, tonight, best information suggests that the leader who will emerge from the rubble of the John Saldivar meltdown is NOT Hugo Patt. Reports tell us that Deputy Prime Minister and First Deputy Leader Patt has told his colleagues he doesn't want the party leadership.

And that points to the next man in line, who .you guessed it Patrick Faber. That's right, 10 days after he was soundly defeated in a National Convention, reports suggest that Faber could be poised to take back the leadership of the UDP.

But we stress "could be" because while Faber is back in the hunt, he will only get it if no other suitable leadership prospect emerges. And tonight, some in the party are looking for one.

And that's because best information says support for Faber is not unanimous. There are credible reports that even Cayo North's Dr. Omar Figueroa is being prodded to consider taking up the post as leader.

And all that uncertainty is why the Prime Minister is calling another special Cabinet meeting tomorrow morning in Belmopan - to arrive at some consensus on which way the party will go with leadership. It will be another meeting of all area reps, ministers and standard bearers, the Group of 31, as they are known. Faber is expected to make a strong pitch to be endorsed at the choice to lead - which would still have to be confirmed by some party mechanism.

But, while that's shaping up, there are no certainties, and there is one very big wild card, and that's John Saldivar. Yes, he announced a week ago that he was resigning as leader-elect of the UDP. But, we have confirmed that he still hasn't sent in his letter of resignation to the party Secretariat.

And, reports suggest that there is chatter in the UDP that Saldivar could still be the man - which, has been dismissed out of hand by senior members.

But, it is notable that in his extended appearance yesterday on LOVE FM's morning show he was careful not to say that has resigned as leader elect, or that he was out of the running. He said this instead:

John Saldivar - Area Representative, Belmopan
"At this point the party is trying to find its way forward and I will be a part of whatever solution the Party is able to find, and I think we can leave it at that, for now."

So, tomorrow's meeting could produce a kind of showdown between those who support Saldivar, and those who support Faber. But whether there is a showdown or not, we are told that tomorrow PM and Party Leader Barrow will move decisively to put Saldivar in the UDP's rearview mirror as leader-elect.

If all the turn-around seems a little bit too much - it kinda is, tho. All this back and forth would make anyone dizzy! Because just two weeks ago, all the big shots in the party were squarely against Faber, and fully behind Saldivar, who - everyone knew - was heading to a great big fall.

So said, so done; he fell in less than 72 hours after taking the oath as leader-elect. And, after that, Faber did just as we said he would: he made the rounds, hat in hand, contrite, humble and apologetic, trying to reconcile with the many colleagues he had alienated.

And while some rebuffed him, tomorrow we'll know if he made up with enough to get the nod of support from a majority of the party members. But either way, there is some urgency as the United Democratic Party is in the deep throes of a credibility crisis - and will need to settle the matter of leadership soon.

Of course, that's how it looks tonight, but in the mercurial UDP, things can change quickly, and we'll tell you tomorrow night how it all went, and what's next for the ruling party.

Channel 7


John Saldivar Has Yet to Tender Resignation as Leader-Elect of the U.D.P.

Belmopan Area Representative, John Saldivar, is holding on to his position that he did not participate in any corrupt act with or on behalf of accused fraudster Lev Dermen and Jacob Kingston. A week ago, Saldivar submitted his letter of resignation from cabinet and is no longer the Minister of National Security, but on paper, he remains the leader-elect of the U.D.P. That’s because Saldivar has not formally resigned from the position. Saldivar says that on February twelfth, he informed Prime Minister Dean Barrow and his cabinet colleagues of his decision to resign as the leader-elect of the party, but he has yet to actually do so. The party’s chairman, Michael Peyrefitte says that there is no concern there because Saldivar has not indicated that he is challenging his resignation.

Michael Peyrefitte, Chairman, United Democratic Party
“It is not a concerned for me. You could take it any which way you want. You get two decent lawyers and they can give you two different arguments on the same matter and they both sound good. The leader elect, or the former leader elect is not indicating that he is challenging his resignation or anything to that effect. So that is not an issue for us.”

“So as far as you all are concerned he has constructively resigned? I know that the U.D.P. likes that term.”

Michael Peyrefitte
“As far as I am concerned, yes he has resigned.”

Hipolito Novelo
“But on paper he still remains as the leader-elect.”

Michael Peyrefitte
“No, in my view he has resigned.”

“In your view, but the lawyers could argue.”

Michael Peyrefitte
“I mean you could argue anything in court. Ask the P.U.P. They would like to litigate themselves into government.”

Channel 5