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August 23
13:49 2018

The Court battles and public embarrassment between attorney Arthur Saldivar’s and the People’s United Party (PUP) over his candidacy in Belmopan is nowhere near the end, after Saldivar filed a second lawsuit against the party this week and the PUP Executive held firm to its rejection of him.

On Wednesday, Saldivar was called to meet with the National Executive of the PUP, to explain why he felt they should entertain his bid for candidacy on the Party’s behalf in Belmopan. Following a five minute presentation, Saldivar waited outside to hear the outcome of a closed-door session of the Executive. The outcome of that was not made public up to news time.

The PUP had not yet been served with a copy of the claim when we spoke to PUP Chairman Henry Usher, but one of the sticking points for Saldivar this time around is that the Chairman of the Vetting Committee that reviewed his application is the mother of Usher, who is a defendant in the case against the PUP.

Henry Usher said the PUP is prepared to defend itself again. “The Attorney for Mr. Saldivar raised a number of issues. We don’t agree with the issues and certainly if those issues are raised in Court we’ll defend against them….We are planning for a Convention on Sunday. We have three candidates vying for the position in Belmopan and we will be carrying out that Convention this Sunday.”

Saldivar is convinced that the Belmopan Convention will not be held on Sunday, as the Party has planned. He feels that a second motion that he filed in the Supreme Court on Monday, a copy of which he delivered to the PUP Secretariat following Wednesday’s meeting, is enough to again postpone the Convention, through an injunction that the Supreme Court will hear on his behalf on Friday.

“It is always my fervent hope that maturity and good sense prevails within the party that I belong to,” Saldivar told reporters following the meetings. “This is really embarrassing for an institution of the vintage of the PUP – the oldest democratic institution in the country – to be behaving undemocratically; not understanding the basic principles of due process.”

Saldivar claims that he was again deprived of due process because members are on the PUP’s Vetting Committee that ought not to have been there because they acted in one way or another with bias. The PUP’s Executive, Saldivar shared, numbers more than 60, so an objective group could have easily been convened to deliberate on his constitutional matter.

Saldivar told the Reporter that he is not criticizing the PUP, but the trustees who are charged with the responsibility to safeguard the Constitution of the PUP. He is also challenging the leadership. “At this particular point, this leadership is presiding over a deformed, defective democracy, and it’s not one that is suitable to continue in this way. We must right the ship. The ship is about to capsize with all of us in it. It is incumbent upon me to assist in righting the ship.”

Saldivar added that if all he can do is to have the matter being ventilated in the Courts to have everyone appreciate where the errors are being made, then that is what he will do to “fight for democracy.”

The injunction is set to be heard at 10:00 Friday morning.

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