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September 19
22:19 2018

Both Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber and Minister of National Security John Saldivar have noticeably ramped up their campaigns for leadership of the United Democratic Party. But according to senior UDP Minister Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington, there is a third person vying for leadership when Dean Barrow demits office. The UDP leader and Prime Minister is currently in Cuba recovering from surgery to his spine, but he has announced publicly that he will demit office in May 2019.

“There is some suggestion that there is a particular dark horse indeed. I don’t want to call names because I have no gotten any confirmation. Apparently there is a third person who is causing some measure of consternation, but that again is good. If you want to be the leader you have to be a cut above the rest, and I think having to compete for leadership is a good thing rather than a bad thing,” Elrington told the media following a press conference today.

There has been some suggestion that Attorney-General Michael Peyrefitte, who is a member of Cabinet by virtue of the Senate, is being groomed for the UDP’s top spot. When asked about those persistent rumours, Peyrefitte in July, 2018 told media that “you can’t put in your name for leadership if you are not a member of the House. So I am not yet even a Standard Bearer to represent for a Party to go against the PUP in one division…I am miles away from that if at all.”

Currently Peyrefitte is engaged in a four-way race for Port Loyola, where he is challenged by former Belize City Councilors Philip Willoughby and Dean Samuels, as well as Shane Castillo. That Convention is scheduled for November.

Meanwhile, Faber and Saldivar have gone full-steam ahead in the Prime Minister’s absence. The Deputy Prime Minister has gone on a country-wide tour while the Minister of National Security has been very visible because of the declaration of the State of Emergency, the first since 1981, as well as his move this week to take the Military parade to Belmopan.

When Elrington was asked who he would support in a race between Faber and Saldivar, he explained that he had made no secret of his choice. “I give the one who has paid most attention to Pickstock. It is the Pickstock people who elect me. They know who they are. I have not been hesitant about that. I believe you must love who loves you – reciprocity. I will give my support to the one over the years who has been good to my people, who have been good to me. It is as simple as that.

Still, he didn’t call any names.

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