[Linked Image]And while she won't take her party to court - she will stay in the hunt for leadership. The party should have a national convention in another two years - and after what has to be considered a very strong showing in the leadership race - Taegar - Panton made it clear, she's not going anywhere:

Jules Vasquez
"For with the support of the Caucus For Change and its much boasted about 21 or 22 constituency leaders. This should have been a blowout. It should have been a margin of 70-100 votes. That it was not is certainly an indicator that you have a strong core of support in the UDP. Will you try and once again make a run at leadership?"

Hon. Tracy Taegar-Panton, UDP Area Rep., Albert
"Oh, I'm not done yet. I certainly when this party has another leadership convention, at that time I will assess the situation. I do intend to be the leader of the United Democratic Party one day and to become the prime minister of Belize. I have not let go of that ambition. This is just one step in the journey. You know my hands are on deck, I am not going to sy away or step quietly in the night, not at all. I have a voice and I have people who want me to make sure that my voice is heard."

Tracy Won't Go to Court To Demand Recount

3 votes! It's the closest result ever recorded in a mass party leadership convention. And when the chairman of the UDP Michael Peyrefitte refused to consent to a recount on Sunday, he told Tracy Taegar Panton and her camp - they would have to go to court if they wanted one.
And Taegar-Panton's supporters have been pushing for it - but speaking to Jules Vasquez today at her home - she told us why she has decided against it:

Hon. Tracy Taegar-Panton, UDP Area Rep., Albert
"I am grossly disappointed that the chairman of the party in my view did not fulfil his duty and obligation and responsibility to the party by refusing a recount and that will always leave a lingering doubt in the legitimacy of Shyne's leadership of this party. When I made that request for the recount to take place, his position was to take the party to court and a lot of my supporters, the campaign team, my constituents and the delegates who have supported my candidacy want me to take it to court, but to what end. This party has been through a very tumultuous period. This country needs a viable opposition. We need a robust opposition to hold the present administration accountable. Taking this matter to court really cause further division in my view in the party and so after my own careful contemplation of where things are and the things that we need to do to unite and to heal this party and to rebuild it, that would be yet another distraction."

"I am a formidable leader in this party. I will not be able to be discounted. I think if this party is going to unite, I will have to be a part and parcel of that agenda and so I opted, while I will register formally my complaints and concerns to the chairman so that I have something on record, I have no intention to take the United Democratic Party to court."


Tracy Says She'll Follow The Leader

And now, Taegar-Panton says she will throw her support behind her new party leader, Shyne Barrow.

Hon. Tracy Taegar-Panton, UDP Area Rep., Albert
"Shyne is the leader of the United Democratic Party and we have to find ways to work at mending the fences and healing the wounds, because it's not about us at the end of the day, is what is good for the country and how we hold the government to account. We have to find ways to put our differences aside whatever they are and find ways to collaborate. We might not always agree, but those discussion ought to happen internally and not in the public domain."

Tracy Urges Caution As Shyne Purges Executive Of Faber Loyalists

But she doesn't necessarily support Shyne's first move as leader. And that is to purge the Central Executive of Faber loyalists. Now, this is standard procedure in any transition of leadership in either of the mass parties - and we have seen it play out many times before.

First the UDP Secretary General Carol Babb, who says she was resigning anyway - has since been asked to leave the building. Reports also say that Denton Belisle,

Roosevelt Blades, Delroy Cutkelvin, Ruben Campos, Phillipa Griffith, Lisbeth Novelo, Carlos Perdomo and Dean Williams have been removed from the Central Executive and replaced by loyalists to Shyne Barrow, and, we even saw a few John Saldivar loyalists.

Today, Taeagar Panton urged caution:

Jules Vasquez
"Is this purge of loyalist. Is it something you feel will have a damaging effect on the party?"

Hon. Tracy Taegar-Panton, UDP Area Rep., Albert
"I think the primary focus of the party is to find ways to unite the party. The divisions must fade away. I don't expect that to be an overnight process, its going to take some time. The people who serve on the central executive committee are UDPs, they are members of the United Democratic Party. In some instances, the leader has the leverage of the determining who he would like to see serve in those capacities. Yes, indeed there might be some positions the leader would need "his supporters" to be part of supporting the work and moving his agenda forward and I think that's fair. But I think sometimes its not what is done, its how its done and how do we treat persons who have serve this party over a long period of time in terms of changing the guard. Where do they fit."

Tracy Says The Deck Was Stacked Against Her

And today she used that voice to take a swipe at her former leader Dean Barrow - who, predictably threw his support behind his son Shyne Barrow.

Taegar - Panton said the deck was stacked against her:

Hon. Tracy Taegar-Panton, UDP Area Rep., Albert
"As conventions go as you know there are a lots facets at play and at the end of the day, I think what we were able to accomplish and when I say we I mean my campaign team and I, it's nothing short of amazing. The deck was stacked against us."

Jules Vasquez
"Do you feel that the entire set up was unfair to you or that you were operating at an inherent disadvantage?"

Hon. Tracy Taegar-Panton
"I believe certainly I was at a disadvantage. Lets be fair, we live in a very patriarchal society, so women in political leadership has a steep hill to climb and I said that at the beginning. I had no illusions that we were climbing a steep hill. Certainly, the former prime minister in my view left no stone unturned in his favour of his son and If I were a parent perhaps I would do the same thing. A lot of monies were spent in this campaign."

Jules Vasquez
"Spent by your camp?"

Hon. Tracy Taegar-Panton
"No, it was spent. Certainly, we had to spend some money, we had to visit with delegates, we had to visit them in their villages, we had to convene meetings, but a lot of money was spent."

Jules Vasquez
"So, you're saying the other side outspent?"

Hon. Tracy Taegar-Panton
"Certainly in my assessment they did and I think when we look at internal party politics, we need to be careful what kind of environment we nurture. In politics as a whole in this country we are creating a very unsustainable environment in terms of incentivizing voters, in my humble view."

Channel 7