Turning now to political news...UDP Leader Shyne Barrow today held a press conference to discuss the thorny situation with John Saldivar.

Thorny because, despite his tarnished public image, Saldivar and his Caucus for Change have been Barrow's closest inter-party ally. But now that the US Secretary of State has designated Saldivar as "significantly corrupt" and accused him of taking bribes while he was Minister of Immigration - Barrow has to change course.

And that's why - as we told you last night - he has set up a Special Committee of 7 UDP's to gather all available evidence, and hear from Saldivar and then make a decision on his future.

Some suggest that by doing this Barrow is trying to avoid having to personally send his close ally to the political gallows, while others say it is a way to in fact avoid giving Saldivar a political death sentence.

Which is it? Those were among the difficult questions the press asked today in an hour long grilling - which started with Barrow accepting that the public case against Saldivar is pretty tough to overlook:

Shyne Barrow, UDP Leader
"This coming from the Secretary of State is serious and we can't get around that. That does not preclude Mr. Saldivar from having some type of due process. That is what we are doing with the special committee which will examine, consider and make a determination, not just based on legal guilt or innocence, but the myriad factors involved as the constitutional opposition, as the government in waiting, as a mass party for the last 40 plus years. We have a responsibility to our supporters; we have a responsibility to the country and we have a responsibility to democracy to consider this in totality and we will have a conclusion of this matter no later than December 9th."

"Mr. Saldivar will have the opportunity to appear before the special committee December 2nd and thereafter the special committee will make a determination on this matter. I've been in touch with the State Department to request as much information as they are prepared to submit. They did not arrive at this arbitrarily. This went through rigorous scrutiny and this comes from the Secretary of State."

Reporter
"For the past several years his political life has been myriad with controversy. At what point does the party say you know what, enough is enough - whether the man is guilty or innocent, the attention that is unnecessary drawn towards the party is too much to bear. At what point do you make that conclusion to say you know what thanks for everything, but we need to reshape the image of the party?"

Shyne Barrow, UDP Leader
"That is very true, but unlike my opponents and my detractors report to the public, I am not a dictator, so I cannot make that decision unilaterally. It is not for Shyne Barrow, the party leader to say enough is enough."

Jules Vasquez
"Is that the decision you believe would be in your party best interest? Is that the decision, a decision to purge John Saldivar from the UDP? Would that be in the party's best interest?"

Shyne Barrow, UDP Leader
"That is something that we most certainly have to consider."

Jules Vasquez
"Do you believe that John Saldivar is a significantly corrupt individual or that he was while he was in government?"

Shyne Barrow, UDP Leader
"I have to accept that the allegation of Mr. Saldivar being involved in corruption has haunted him since he was a minister and, with this latest development, continue to haunt him."

Jules Vasquez
"But only ghosts haunt, sir. Do you believe he was actually, in the conduct of his public affairs, corrupt?"

Shyne Barrow, UDP Leader
"I believe those allegations are serious, they've been persistent and we have to address the matter with a regard for the history of the persistent allegations."

Jules Vasquez
"Is he fit to be on a U.D.P. slate, a "reformed" U.D.P. slate, going into the 2025 elections?"

Shyne Barrow, UDP Leader
"I do believe these allegations are a distraction. I do believe the history of the allegations could serve as a distraction and I am certainly not happy about having a candidate a potential candidate that has been dogged by allegations of corruption. Its mpt good for the party."

Jules Vasquez
"But sir, you happily went on a national tour, you stomped for him when he was being installed as the western coordinator. You knew of these allegations all along and you were happy to have him tag along with you, you brought him along with you. However, now that the United States has spoken, you are trying to say well, well, it's not looking good for John Saldivar, he's dogged, haunted - he has been dogged and haunted all along and you were right there."

Shyne Barrow, UDP Leader
"What do you want me to do? You want me to come up here and defend him and then if I would defend him, you would say oh, you're defending corruption."

Jules Vasquez
"You're acting like an acrobat."

Shyne Barrow, UDP Leader
"No, I'm being truthful and I am addressing the situation in its fluid form. Whether or not the valid question that you've asked - these accusations, these allegations that have dogged him since he was minister, since he was expelled from the cabinet, since he had to resign as party leader - if now with a designation from the Secretary of States, have we reach that point that enough is enough? That is a very valid question that I don't want to prejudice the deliberation of the special committee, but that is a question that they will have to ask themselves."

Channel 7