By Marion Ali
The ten-member team that now forms the executive of the People’s United Party (PUP) was sworn in at the party’s Independence Hall headquarters on Queen Street on Wednesday.
All five that were elected joined the five that were previously appointed, to take their Oath of Office, administered by Samuel Waight, Chairman of the PUP’s Order of Distinguished Service, and who served as area representative for over 20 years in the Cayo South constituency.
Together they recited: “I do swear to pledge and work for the aims and objectives of the peaceful constructive Belizean revolution; to work for the principles, policies and programs of the People’s United Party; to abide by the Constitution, disciplines and decisions of the People’s United Party; to vote and encourage others to vote for all candidates of the People’s United Party in all elections; not to be a member or supporter of any other political party or organization which principles, policies and programs are contrary to those of the People’s United Party, so help me God.”
The new Party Leader, John Briceno, assured the supporters present and all PUP sympathizers that he has already reached out to those within the party who do not support his ideologies, to unify the party and to work towards forming the next government.
“The People’s United Party is united, it’s strong, and it’s ready to take over…you have spoken in one voice. We’ve heard you, we’ve listened to you and I want to commit that we’re going to work together. We’re going to work hard, and we’re not going to stop until we have a government of the People’s United Party,” Briceno said emphatically.
Briceno thanked Fonseca publicly for having led the party for the last four years, highlighting his humility and saying that he looks forward to continue working with him in unity.
Visibly absent from the event was Lake Independence Area Representative, Cordel Hyde, who ran in the race for leadership. Briceno explained that Hyde is not a member of the executive, but that he has already met with him and Fonseca and that he (Briceno) has committed to finding a space for both politicians on the PUP’s national executive – an offer he said Hyde has already accepted.
Rodwell Ferguson, area representative for Stann Creek West and the party’s new Deputy Leader representing the southern caucus, and Oscar Requena, area representative Toledo West, who ran for chairmanship but lost, arrived later and joined the panel during the ceremony.