Taegar-Panton: I Am the Only Choice for U.D.P. Leader

Taegar-Panton says that her party is in such dire straits and in her opinion she is really the only choice for the delegates to vote for at the next U.D.P. Leadership Convention on March twenty-seventh. �She says the party needs to appeal not just to its faithful, but also the undecided voters.

Tracy Taegar-Panton, Aspirant for U.D.P. Leader

"I am the only decision, in my view, that the delegates can make. The U.D.P. - the credibility of this party - is at an all-time low. I would go further to say we are at rock bottom. And we need to choose a leader that has the experience, and my record of service to this country is unparalleled and it's proven. We need to choose a leader that can rebuild and heal this party. We can't choose a leader that is polarizing and divisive. We have to choose a leader that will respect our delegates and stand on principle as to what the mandate of the U.D.P. is as a mass political party. We need to choose a leader that can be inclusive and ensure that there is as much diversity as we can have in the party. You see, we have to appeal to the stalwarts of this party and to the supporters of this party, but they alone will not win us an election. There are lots of independent voters sitting on the fence, waiting to see what we will do in terms of regaining our credibility, in terms of really cementing - inspiring the trust and confidence of the Belizean people in the leadership that we choose."

Marion Ali

"Then of course, all these comments keep coming up - that you are not a "full-bred" U.D.P., that you�"

Tracy Taegar-Panton

"Was Philip Goldson a full-bred U.D.P. Philip Goldson is a founding member of the People's United Party. You know, I reject that out of hand! I think it is malicious, and simply meant to try and malign my candidacy, but the delegates of this party and the people of this party know exactly what I stand for."

Marion Ali

"And then we keep hearing about this third person, who has not come forth officially to say yes, they are in the race. But names are being called - actually one name - and it's another man from what we've heard. So you'd be the only woman. Does this put you, you think, at a disadvantage?"

Tracy Taegar-Panton

"Breaking the glass ceiling is perhaps the most difficult challenge I will have in this campaign, but I have no doubt that I can do it. And the reason I don't have any doubt is because while I am a woman, and that's very obvious, I am not running on the matter of gender only. I am running because I am capable."

Tracy Panton: "I Abided by U.D.P. Constitution"

Following his swearing-in as Leader of the Opposition on Tuesday, Area Representative in the Mesopotamia division, Shyne Barrow, came out swinging at his fellow Albert Area Representative Tracy Taegar-Panton for comments she made about due process not being followed in making him Leader of the Opposition.� Barrow suggested that when she had the opportunity to stand up for gender-based violence victims, for women, and for the party, she refused.� But Taegar-Panton has maintained that she was merely abiding by the oath that she took to follow the party's constitution.

Tracy Taegar-Panton, Aspirant for U.D.P. Leader

"When I became a standard bearer for the United Democratic Party, I swore an oath of office that I would respect the Constitution of the party, I would uphold the procedures of the party, that I would respect the organs of this party and that is what I stand for. It is my principled position.� It was the position I took then and it's the position I take now. It is not for the Member for Mesop to appoint me as Leader of the Opposition in the House. In my view, that decision ought to be taken by the decision-makers of the party, who are the delegates of the party. I believed then, as I believe now, that we had an obligation, a responsibility to consult with members of the National Party Council to determine the will of the party, and that was not done. I was not prepared to stand against the very oath of office that I gave to the United Democratic Party. �The Constitution of the country does provide that the majority of Members that sit on the Opposition side of the House can determine who the Leader of the Opposition is in the House. It trumps the party's constitution - I don't want to say it trumps the party's constitution - there is a supreme law of the land and it indicates that in the National Assembly, there are three persons who can make that determination if they see fit. And that has been done and I understand that the Hon. Hugo Patt, who is our deputy leader, the Hon. Denise Barrow and the Hon. Shyne Barrow have signed that letter. My view is that three persons, although they have been elected, also swore to uphold the Constitution of the party. It is our first oath of office we take and in the spirit of the constitution of the United Democratic Party is that we ought to consult the organs of the party - the Central Executive Committee, and the National Party Council. That has done."

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