By Alexis R. Milan
Prime Minister Dean Barrow, during Monday’s special Sitting of the House, predicted that at the next House Sitting in March, following municipal elections in February, the opposition would have a new party leader.
Barrow made the prediction that his United Democratic Party (UDP) would be victorious in all nine municipalities across Belize, delivering a death blow to Opposition Leader, Francis Fonseca’s political career.
Barrow went on to say that the PUP area representative for Orange Walk Central, John Briceno would replace Fonseca as party leader.
Fonseca told The Reporter that the Prime Minister’s prediction was “complete non-sense” and called it a desperate act of typical UDP bravado. Fonseca said Barrow’s prediction was not even worth the time to consider.
PUP Deputy Leader, Julius Espat also told The Reporter that Barrow was simply playing politics and has no basis for making such a prediction because he does not understand the inner workings of the PUP.
Espat said the PUP has only one leader, whom they all support and the notion of a replacement is simply UDP rambling.
Espat added that Barrow’s prediction of winning all nine municipalities puts pressure on the UDP to deliver. The municipal elections will be a test of that prediction, Espat said.
Currently the PUP controls three municipalities and Espat said he expects this number to increase after the next municipals. He added that not winning the majority of municipalities would not reflect poorly on Fonseca’s leadership.
On the contrary, he added that not winning all nine municipalities would be a reflection of failure of the Prime Minister.
Espat said the PUP is working with far less money than the UDP but he still believes the Party stands a good chance in the upcoming elections.