By Benjamin Flowers, Staff Reporter
Dr Francis Smith, a member of a faction of the People’s United Party (PUP) who have recently been advocating for changes within the party structure, is calling for supporters in Punta Gorda to be honest with the party’s leadership during the unity meeting held Sunday afternoon.
“If the people in PG feel that ‘you know party leader we have a doubt, can you assure us that although your name is Fonseca, Ralph Fonseca will not be back in the saddle when you win’ then that is what we expect the people of PG to come out and say, without fear”, Smith said.
Smith, who did not attend the unity meeting, also said he felt that attending the event or taking support from his constituency would not serve the party’s best interest, but rather it is up to the people of PG to actively engage the party’s leadership in meaningful consultation.
Smith forms a part of 12 standard bearers who have been pressing for, among other things: a national convention to be held to determine whether the party leader actually enjoys the backing of its supporters; and a restructuring of the party’s national executive.
The 12 standard bearers are John Briceno representing Orange Walk Central, Dan Silva for Cayo Central, Cordel Hyde for Lake-Independence, Gilroy Usher Sr. for Port Loyola, Paul Thompson for Albert Division, Dr. Francis Smith for Pickstock, Gregorio Garcia, Jr., for Corozal Bay, Jose Mai for Orange Walk East, Elito Arceo for Belize Rural South, David Castillo for Corozal North and Josue Carballo for Orange Walk East.
Deputy Party Leader Julius Espat, ensured that although the 12 are questioning Fonseca’s leadership, Fonseca has full support. He added that the 12 do not have the backing of their constituencies in their dissent.