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UDP Delegates Move to Recall Leader #550929
06/18/21 04:26 AM
06/18/21 04:26 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 74,937
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

.
Marty  Offline OP

Tonight, the opposition UDP is at a dangerous crossroads - after a recall petition was lodged against Party Leader Patrick Faber.

It is unprecedented - the first formal take down of a mass party leader in Belize's history. Jules Vasquez was at UDP headquarters at 3:00 this afternoon when it went down. Here's his report:

History was made today when Tony Herrera and Phillip Willoughby pulled up at the UDP Headquarters with a folder:

Jules Vasquez
"Sir look like you have a very important document there."

Tony Herrera
"Yes Jules, we're going in to hand in the recall petition and we will come up and continue, we just want to get it over with."

Jules Vasquez
"So you have it in your hand."

Tony Herrera
"Yes sir, we shall tell you all about it, we're going to get it in and come out back"

And as simple as that they walked right into the UDP headquarters to take out their own party leader, the man whose image floats above the very headquarters they went into.

It is history written in lowercase, not the shock and awe of a coup, but the

pedantic procedural details of a signature laden recall petition:

Tony Herrera
"The constitution called for 172, we got 290 signatures from 26 different constituencies here and this mainly to recall the party leader of our party."

Jules Vasquez
"So how important is that you all surpass that threshold by over 118 signatures?"

Tony Herrera
"Well Jules this is a resounding answer from the delegates, this is the rank and file of the party. So for us to go over 172 means a lot for us and also for the party it sends a clear message to where we want to go."

Jules Vasquez
"So what in here that 290 of the delegates of the UDP seriously don't want Patrick Faber is their leader? It's not like Dean Barrow the wait behind the door to come back, you all don't have many options sir."

Tony Herrera
"Well right now at this point we're taking it one step at a time Jules. This was 26 constituencies."

Jules Vasquez
"How significant is that I'm told signatures on that are included from Mesopotamia, from Queen Square and from Corozal North. These are constituency of 3 of the 5 UDP members of the house of representatives."

Tony Herrera
"That's very important because it's not only the people like you said the ones that loss, this is also the parliamentarians that are not satisfied with the way that our party leader is leading this party."

Reporter
"What was so egregiously wrong that the party leader did for them to willingly sign these petitions?"

Tony Herrera
"We are not here to expose everything, we're trying to handle everything internally best as we can but it's 290 resounding you know. Obviously there is something wrong and I'm not here to disclose what is wrong, one thing I can say is that we are not happy in the way he's leading, he's not fit to lead."

Reporter
"How do you respond to the comments that this is being led by disgruntled members who may just have personal beef with Mr. Faber and not just a single video that he has apologizes for is really the problem."

Tony Herrera
"You are absolutely right. I don't think it's disgruntled members because he was not gone public and said that I don't like Tony Herrera, I don't like Phillip Willoughby, this is how we feel as a party."

Reporter
"There must have been someone who led this charge, who led this charge Mr. Herrera?"

Tony Herrera
"Well I will refer to uncut that Jules said about the caucus for change. We have a caucus for change that is made up about 20 to 22 aspiring standard bearers and present standard bearers. So it's a group effort that came to this where we are today."

Reporter
"But no one the people have indicated they have confidence in."

Tony Herrera
"You can ask who you want, you can call the names and I will whistle, so that's alright. You can ask me the direct question and I will answer it."

Jules Vasquez
"Sir John Saldivar posted he will spearhead the effort."

Tony Herrera
"Well John is a leader in our group, our group is comprised of about 3 or 4 leaders collectively as the core of the caucus for change but I want to clear publicly this is not about John Saldivar, this about the UDP. John has stated openly that he has no interest in leading at this time."

Jules Vasquez
"Now 290 is still not what would be needed at the national convention. At the national convention you would have to get about 355 of the delegates to vote in favor of such a nomination. 290 to 355 is still 65 difference."

Tony Herrera
"I agree with you Jules but as I tell you this was fast, we went out there, we got 290 signatures quickly, we are more and sure we can pass that 355 when crunch time comes along and we have to go to a convention."

Jules Vasquez
"But you all don't seriously want to do that, what you all would prefer is that Mr. Faber would see these 290 signatures and send in his resignation, that's what you all want."

Tony Herrera
"Exactly, we would want to end this thing in a peaceful way and we can continue doing the party business that we need to rebuild this party again."

Jules Vasquez
"The party cannot be rebuilt without a leader, I'm saying that, is it Tracy Panton to lead, who would lead?"

Tony Herrera
"I would say one more time Jules, we'll take it one step at a time. You know when the Vatican is looking for a pope, you see the white smoke right? We'll have that, you don't worry about that."

Jules Vasquez
"You the come for a man head today, you must have another head to put there. Like what kind of endgame are you all looking at?"

Tony Herrera
"Don't worry about that Jules, I say we'll take it one step at a time."

One step at a time, but with the UDP it's hard to know if the party his stepping backward or forward and, so, today, while the message was historic, the messengers were not quite that:

Jules Vasquez
"You guys are like it or not messengers of history. How do you feel about being in this particular moment?"

Tony Herrera
"We feel proud and I would like to thank my colleagues in the caucus for change. I mean we are in a crisis and you know that, so we feel happy today we can that history and change the course, the direction our party will go."

Jules Vasquez
"How would you answer the criticism that why send Tony Herrera? Tony is not a former elected official or representative and second, Tony is a PUP, Tony originally is a PUP. I'm just saying that symbolically its not like they sent the strongest messenger of the UDP DNA. How would you answer that criticism?"

Tony Herrera
"Jules I am a UDP, I said it open even in my campaign I was a PUP and I will not deny that but at the end of the day it's been said that there has to be a new vision to take this party out and I am part of that new vision, I am new, I am vibrant and energetic, so they didn't make a bad choice in sending me, they elected me as a group to come and deliver this, I am the new vision of the UDP Jules."

Days to come will tell if that vision will be realised or rejected - but for now - the UDP is facing a leadership crisis unlike any other it has seen before.

So, what's next for the UDP? Well, any recall petition still has to go the a national convention where two third's of the delegates, or 340 of them would have to vote to support it, which is a high threshold. But, one thing we know is that the party chairman has gone on record to say he is duty bound to consider any such recall petition. So, that has been forwarded to his desk now. Party Leader Faber has not responded to requests for comment.

Channel 7


Re: UDP Delegates Move to Recall Leader [Re: Marty] #550956
06/19/21 04:33 AM
06/19/21 04:33 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 74,937
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

.
Marty  Offline OP

Faber’s Fate Hangs in UDP Chairman’s Hands

The Opposition UDP is at a historic crossroads - as its leader Patrick Faber faces a recall petition with 290 delegates saying they want him gone.

Faber has issued a statement downplaying it. He told us via text, quote, "This is unfortunately another obstacle in the rebuilding of our beloved party. I will continue at this point to deal with these matters internally and at an appropriate time soon…I will make a public statement..."

The party Chairman Mike Peyrefitte will likely determine that timeline - but he declined an interview today. He said, quote, "I was down south when the documents went in and am still down south. Over the weekend the vice chair and I will discuss the process going forward and by Monday I'll be properly ready for an interview." End quote.

But, in an interview on Uncut last week we put to him jus this scenario - and Peyrefitte said he will deal with it by the strict guidelines of the party constitution:

Michael Peyrefitte, UDP Chairman
"If one third of the delegates, the constituency committee say that they want to go to a vote to determine whether or not the Hon. Patrick Faber continues to be the leader of the party - their wishes have to be respected. I won't like it, because like I said I don't think it's in the best interest of the party at this time, but if it comes to my desk, I have to accept it, because we have a provision for it in the constitution and we have to follow what the constitution says."

The UDP constitution says, quote, "The Party Leader may at any time be removed from he office of the party leader following a petition calling for his or her removal signed by at least one third of the registered delegates to the national convention," end quote.

But that's only half of it - the easy half - to be exact. The second half says, the petitioner then needs the vote of at least two thirds of the registered delegates in attendance at a national convention voting in favour of the petition. That's considered a high threshold because that's about 340 delegates; so far a reported 290 have signed the recall petition.

Channel 7


Re: UDP Delegates Move to Recall Leader [Re: Marty] #550990
06/22/21 04:27 AM
06/22/21 04:27 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 74,937
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

.
Marty  Offline OP

Parliamentary Coup Against Leader of The Opposition

We've been hinting at it for weeks, and, tonight, it seems it is on: a parliamentary coup against Leader of the Opposition Patrick Faber.

7News has received a copy of a letter, reportedly sent by email to the Governor General this afternoon. It is written on the letter head of Mesopotamia Representative Shyne Barrow, and signed by Shyne and two other representatives: Queens Square's Denise Barrow and Corozal North's Hugo Patt.

Those three form a majority of the UDP's 5 elected representatives and Shyne Barrow writes, quote, "the Hon. Patrick J Faber no longer enjoys the confidence of he majority of the opposition members of the House of Representatives. Hon Hugo Patt, Hon, Denise Barrow and myself no longer support Faber as leader of the opposition."

Those are lines written straight into history - and, from there, Shyne Barrow goes on to quote Section 47 of the constitution when it speaks about the Leader of the Opposition in the House being appointed as the one who has the support of the majority of opposition members.

And, in this case, Shyne tells the GG, it's him. Barrow's letter says, quote, "Opposition Chief Whip Mose Shyne Barrow enjoys the confidence of the majority of opposition members", end quote. So, by the facts laid out in the letter, he should become the new parliamentary leader of the opposition.

That's historic - and in just four days, it's the second major, decisive blow against Faber's leadership. On Thursday, a recall petition against him was submitted with he signature of more than half of the party's delegates.

And, now this - a letter which we understand will be hand delivered to the Governor General's office tomorrow. One comes after the other because the information coming out of the UDP is that Faber may mount a challenge to the recall petition.

For an opposition in disarray, it's another sharp detour on the party's long road to electability. But, it's not the first time this has happened. In 1983 when the UDP was in opposition, the party also saw a parliamentary coup against its then Leader Theodore Aranda, to install Curl Thompson as Leader of the Opposition in the House. At the same time, Manuel Esquivel was elected as Party Leader.

We'll see where this 2021 version goes.

Channel 7


Faber Recall Could Be Swift

The recall petition seeking to oust United Democratic Party Leader Patrick Faber is under review.  Today, Chairman of the U.D.P., Michael Peyrefitte hosted a zoom briefing to talk about the process which includes verifying the signatures and then setting a time and place to do the recall vote.  He notes that while there is no timeline set for the recall vote to take place, he intends to do it very soon.  If Faber is recalled, the national convention must take place within three months from that date.

Michael Peyrefitte, Chairman, U.D.P.

“We have a petition on our desk, a recall petition. I have looked at it. I have called a Central Executive meeting for this Thursday. We will meet and discuss the way forward because my goal is to get it over with quickly. Go to a convention and have a vote, either they will vote, the delegates to keep the Honorable Patrick Faber as the leader or they will recall him. But my thinking is to just get on with it. Get it done as quickly as possible and give both sides a chance to get ready. Two-thirds, while some may say it is a high threshold, I think it is a fair threshold. If you want to remove someone then you have to come overwhelmingly in favor of removing the leader. All we are saying is that these are the delegates; these are the people eligible to vote. If a certain amount of people come to vote and two-thirds say that he should be removed, and then he is removed. If that threshold is not met then Mr. Faber remains. And It is not just two-thirds of the five hundred and eighteen. It is two-thirds of those who show up to vote. Because the U.D.P. constitution is clear – it is two-thirds of those present on the given day that the choice is made. So, if only five people show up that day and three votes to recall then he is recalled. If less than three votes for him not to be recalled, then he is not recalled. So, it is as simple as that.”

Reporter

“Is there an option to perhaps meet with the group to for some sort of mediation process before taking it all the way to the national party council?”

Michael Peyrefitte

“I would believe that that type of situation is always good and healthy. I would have hoped that that would have occurred before and there is nothing that prevents it from occurring now. But having filed the petition with the party, as the Chairman of the Party I have to respect that petition. But I don’t want to get involved in the two sides but if they choose to come together and Mr. Herrera were to approach the Secretariat and say that they must sit down with the leader nor can I tell the leader he must sit down that with them to work anything out but he they come to that on their own then that would be beautiful and we wouldn’t have to go through that but what I have before me is a petition and I have to proceed with that petition.”

John Saldivar Ineligible to Become Party Leader if Faber Recalled

So if Leader of the U.D.P. Patrick Faber is recalled and removed, who will succeed him?  That is going to be left up to a national convention if more than one person offers him or herself for the position.  If that happens, those persons come from a very small pool of eight people.  In the meantime, however, should Faber be recalled, Deputy Party Leader Hugo Patt will assume the post as interim leader until a convention is called.  While there has been speculation about the powers within the U.D.P. – namely pointing to John Saldivar, who is one of the leaders of the “Caucus for Change” that has triggered this recall process against Faber – today, Chairman Peyrefitte shut down those speculations as he made it clear that a Saldivar leadership would be unconstitutional as his current position hasn’t changed.

Michael Peyrefitte, Chairman, U.D.P.

“I have had no conversation with the Honorable John Saldivar concerning this matter. And in terms of him being leader, technically speaking, it is only eight people who can be the leader of the UDP. Our Constitution is clear. The UDP can only be led by a person in the National Assembly which consists of the five members of the House and the three members in the Senate. Those are the only eight people who can lead the UDP. So, if you look at Mr. Saldivar’s position, he is not in the National Assembly so at this time even if he is the person leading this charge and I have no evidence to think before me that the is the one doing it, I can assure you that he definitely knows because he definitely knows the Constitution well, that if Mr. Faber were to be removed at a recall convention he cannot be the leader unless he becomes a senator after that.”

Reporter

“Do you have any interest in being the leader? You are a senator which makes you eligible.”

Michael Peyrefitte

“I have in interest in rebuilding the party. I think the party needs a lot rebuilding right now and as chairman I think I am in a good position to deal with all these constituency organizations and committees and that is where my energies lie.”

We asked the chairman if anyone has indicated interest in leading the party, but he says that he hasn’t received any indication of this from any of the seven members of the National Assembly.

U.D.P. Chairman Says Dean Barrow is “Retired And Gone”

Chairman Michael Peyrefitte was also asked whether former Prime Minister Dean Barrow still wields any power in the United Democratic Party and whether or not he has weighed in on the current leadership issues.

Michael Peyrefitte, Chairman, U.D.P.

“I can assure you that he does not. As I said before in a previous interview, the Right Honorable Dean Barrow we hold in the highest of esteem; however, he is retired and gone. This is our U.D.P. now and whatever we are going through it is on our own. I can tell you, for example, I have not spoken to him. I have not had a word with him concerning this process. Because he knows and I know he has no business in this. This is for us now to solve on our own. He was definitely a formidable figure in the U.D.P. and when a person like that leaves for a while you struggle to get on your feet so to speak. But I can assure you that we are the ones trying to solve it and come to a solution on our own without those influences. They have retired and they have all said, including himself, Mr. Finnegan, all the veterans of the Party have always said we are here for advice, for guidance, if you ask for it. But they won’t interfere in this process or I won’t allow them to.”

Channel 5



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