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#555194 01/25/22 05:36 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,400
Marty Offline OP
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So, what's next for the UDP? Well, they need a new leader - and the jostling for that spot is expected to play out over the 90 days - the time within which there would have to be an election for party leader.

That is, after Faber submits his resignation.

First there's the race to be leader of the opposition in the parliament and that all hinges on who Hugo Patt supports. Only 3 of the 5 representatives are needed for support and Tracy Teagar is expected to have herself and Faber, while Shyne Barrow is expected to have his aunt Denise Barrow. That two - to two - which makes Patt's support pivotal. Early indications are that he will support Shyne.

As for part leader that will take some time to envelop, but Tracy Taeger - being a two term representative has seniority and more organic relationships within the party than Shyne Barrow. But, we will wait and see. It should be intense.

Channel 7

U.D.P. Women Throw Support Behind Tracy Taegar Panton

In a rapid response to the video sent out by Patrick Faber announcing he will step down January thirty-first, this afternoon the United Democratic Party National Organization for Women threw their support behind Area Representative Tracy Taegar Panton. U.D.P./N.O.W. says they declare their "unwavering" support for Panton as new Leader of the United Democratic Party and Leader of the Opposition. They are calling on the Executive Committee of the party to immediately begin the process of selecting a new leader. U.D.P./ N.O.W. condemns� all forms of Gender-Based Violence, and says Patrick Faber and Dr. Shanika Arnold have asked for the privacy and space to work out their issues as a family, and should be given the same consideration as anyone else in a similar situation. Late this evening, former Leader of the Opposition and Mesopotamia Area Representative, Shyne Barrow, responded to the statement issued by U.D.P. Now in which he said, "The United Democratic Party makes it abundantly clear that a statement released today by U.D.P./ N.O.W. is not an official statement on behalf of the U.D.P.� Every organ of the U.D.P. serves the entire U.D.P., and the U.D.P. considers it inappropriate for an arm of the party to demonstrate a particular preference for any individual to hold any official position in the U.D.P. The United Democratic Party would have wished for U.D.P./ N.O.W. to focus on the alleged abuse of Dr. Arnold and come to her defense as that is a part of their official mandate, which is to champion the rights of all women in our society".

Channel 5

Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,400
Marty Offline OP
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Shyne Throws In His Hat For UDP Leader

And while Taegar Panton is making the desire to lead known for the first time - Moses Shyne Barrow has been in the hunt for some months now. Previously, he was satisfied to recommend others such as Darrell Bradley for the job, but this time, Shyne says, he's the right man at the right time.

The man who proudly refers to himself as the 13th Leader of the Opposition - also wants to be the 15th. In a Facebook post he says "I wish Hon. Faber well and I hereby declare to our UDP faithful and the entire Nation, who need a strong Opposition, that I led the charge for new leadership and reform 7 months ago and I humbly offer myself today to be your new Leader of the great United Democratic Party."

He spoke about it publicly for the first time on Sunup on 7 this morning - and where he made the case for why, even prior to this latest incident, he's been at the helm of the efforts to rebuild the UDP.

Hon. Shyne Barrow, Member of Parliament
"I led the charge of a new leadership and reform. 53% of the United Democratic Party had agreed with me and now we are at that point and so for me it is to look forward. I will declare here and now that I will offer myself to be leader of the United Democratic Party. For me, it is to focus on the future. not the past, I am a student and so I will learn from my predecessors' mistakes and use those lessons to be wiser in going forward with the leadership that is led with humility, compassion, conviction, inclusivity, equality and unity."

"I have done unprecedented things in the house of parliament. I'm the first parliamentarian to bring a privilege motion. The first parliamentarian to do a personal statement. I have gotten up in every single house meeting whether I was sitting in the leader of the opposition's chair or they put me all the way to the corner - and I have spoken on behalf of the Belizean people, I have presented myself with class and decorum and focus on the substance of the matter and the substance is making life better for the Belizean people and my colleagues I do believe recognize that."

Barrow wasn't shy about promoting all his efforts to build UDP morale and he told our hosts that he seeks to look to the future and not the past.

Still, we had to ask about an incident from the recent past that makes him an interesting choice indeed to succeed a man who public opinion has convicted of being a "wife-beater."

Shyne heard the question but he says that his past doesn't disqualify him instead it gives him a unique vantage point from which to condemn Faber's actions.

"Looking forward like you said and what you bring to the table, I could imagine the comments right now. People would say probably about 2 years ago you were in the same exact shoes with a statement that was release and then retracted. What are your thoughts on that?"

Hon. Shyne Barrow, Member of Parliament
"I think that is an unfair comparison, 3 different people, 7 different incidents is not the same as an isolated incident, so I don't believe it's a fair comparison. The last time this situation happened, I was the most vocal in condemning these actions and people attempted to say that I did not have the moral authority and I said regardless of guilt or innocence of allegations, my experience made me hyper sensitive to gender base violence and the plight of women in this country and my father in law told me when it was all happening - he said son, I would be upset if you wasn't the first one out there condemning the actions and is standing up, because it would say to me right or wrong, guilt or innocence that you didn't learn from your experience, so I am happy that you are speaking and again we all have to learn and we all have to make sure that we apply what we've learned and as leader of the opposition I can say I was one of the strongest proponents for gender equality."

"In that regard, like I said we basically seen Hon. Faber cancelled due to whatever incidents arose and in terms of accountability, holding our leaders accountable, if you are elected as the leader of the party, can we get a commitment from you that going forward?"

Hon. Shyne Barrow, Member of Parliament
"I committed that 7 months ago and that was my charge, If you go back and look at the interview it was not personal. My dear friend Senator Darrell Bradley who I had the privilege of appointing to be senator, one of the things that he continuously impressed upon the Belizean people is that this is not about personalities. It wasn't about personality attacking anyone, but it was about protecting the institution and about all pf us holding ourselves accountable, so anyone of us myself included have to hold ourselves to the highest standards and that is what I was about and I took the risk."

We'll see what moves Barrow makes when - and if - Patrick Faber steps down as the leader of the opposition.

Tracy For Leader?

Yesterday we showed you Patrick Faber's announcement that he will resign as Leader of the United Democratic Party and Leader of the Opposition at the end of the month. His decision comes in the wake of all the internal and public pressure he's facing, now that the full details of his Fiancée's criminal complaint against him are out in the public domain.

Whenever Faber actually hands in that letter, it will then trigger the heated runup to a convention to select his replacement, which is supposed to take place within 90-days.

The choices are few since the constitution of the UDP says that the party leader has to be a member of Parliament - and there are only 8 of those for the red side - 5 elected, and 3 selected. Those three selected Senators serve at the pleasure of the leader of the opposition - which has changed twice in the in last 7 months and is looking to change again int he next few days - so, the tenure of a Senator is not stable enough to plan a real run for leadership. Then that leaves 5 elected representatives, and right off the bat, we know that Faber is stepping down, and two more, Hugo Patt and Denise "Sister B" Barrow have no interest in the job. So that leaves Tracey Taegar Panton and Moses Shyne Barrow as the only two with ambition and standing to hold the post.

And as was expected today, two of them signaled their interest in the party's top job. In a Facebook post made early this morning, Panton said, quote, "As the first woman in Belize to offer herself to lead a mass political party, I have no illusions that this will be an easy undertaking."

At noon today, we spoke to Panton at her Albert constituency office about her run at mass party history in Belize.

We start first with her explanation of why she did not join UDP Chairman Michael Peyrefitte in the public call for Faber's resignation.:

Hon. Tracy Taegar-Panton - Aspirant, UDP Leadership
"At that time, I had indicated to my colleague that should such an incident occur in the future, I certainly could not support him remaining as Party Leader. I think that when you take on that leadership role of any organization, particularly a mass party, your character, and your behavior have to be beyond reproach because you're not only representing yourself here, but you're trying to inspire an entire nation, and of course, lead a political party that has been badly broken, and bruised, and nurse us back to full health. So, when I became aware of the situation again, I went to speak with the party leader and I was clear with him and I reiterated my position to him, how I felt and what I thought needed to be done. I am a mother, I'm a woman, I'm a wife. I have had friends who are very close to me, who have been in similar situations. And so, he said to me, I will do what is right for this party, but my fiancee and I need just a few days some space. And I thought that it was important to allow them that space and time outside of the public hoorah. I mean, there was so much public attention on this situation. So, I didn't think I needed to add to that because there was no question as to what I thought had to be done."

And as you heard in her Facebook post, she is well aware that her bid for leadership could most likely become an uphill battle. She told us that the early signs of support are very encouraging:

Hon. Tracy Taegar-Panton - Aspirant, UDP Leadership
"I believe it is a desire of all 31 standard bearers, caretakers, [and] elected representatives of the United Democratic Party. We didn't expect to be in this situation. We understand that we have to get back to rebuilding the credibility of the party - if you will - regaining the trust and confidence of the Belarusian people. And that only happens in a very stable environment. There is a vacuum. There is a need for a party leader for the United Democratic Party. And so, I thought that I would offer myself for the leadership position. I understand that my colleague, the Member for Mesop., is also interested. And let's remember democracy is a core value for the United Democratic Party, and so the democratic process will take its course."

"The possibility that you do rise to the leadership of the UDP, it would be a historic moment for Belize and the UDP - Also, an uphill battle."

Hon. Tracy Taegar-Panton
"To win the convention and to lead this nation?"

"To win the convention first. Let's start there first."

Hon. Tracy Taegar-Panton
"I think that's the most difficult hurdle, right? I think once we passed that though if I were to hedge my bets on the sentiments that I have been receiving from the Belizean populace, I think people feel it's time for a woman leadership in this country. I think that because of my track record, because of my years of service to this country, in terms of the things I have been able to do, I think the UDP would have an excellent chance with me leading the team."

"Now, do you expect heavy resistance from different quarters of the party to your candidacy?"

Hon. Tracy Taegar-Panton
"I haven't experienced that yet, but this well, you know, we are not so deep in the campaign as yet."

"Are you certain that if you should become the next leader of the UDP, you would be able to maintain that leadership all the way up until the next general election?"

Hon. Tracy Taegar-Panton
"I hope so. There are no guarantees."

"Do you think that Belize is ready for its first woman prime minister?"

Hon. Tracy Taegar-Panton
"Absolutely. If I had any concern about that if I had any doubt in my ability to provide the kind of leadership that this country needs, I would not have offered myself as a candidate."

Channel 7

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