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The Jostle For Positions In The UDP

The Jostle For Positions In The UDP
October 25
09:21 2019

The Jostle For Positions In The UDP

– By Marion Ali –

The jostle for positions in the UDP Executive has begun to take shape and intensify with two women Ministers offering themselves in key leadership positions this week, one of them even surprising the members of her team when she made the announcement.

On Monday, Minister of State in Trade and Commerce and Albert Area Representative, Tracy Taegar-Panton informed the country through her Facebook page and the formal media that she had moments earlier declared her candidacy as an independent candidate for 1st Deputy Party Leader on Belmopan’s John Saldivar’s slate. The news surprised Beverly Castillo-Williams who represents the Belize Rural Central Area. She is the only other woman Minister of Government who also declared the day after that she was going to also run, but for 2nd Deputy Leader.

Castillo-Williams told the Reporter on Thursday that from the last Convention, she was on Saldivar’s team and that her loyalty to him has not changed. But it surprised her and the Saldivar team when Taegar-Panton announced that she would contest against Minister of Natural Resources, Hugo Patt, who is also a part of Saldivar’s slate.

“We had John on our team as the leader; Hugo Patt proposed as the deputy, and we had proposed Tracy as the second deputy. So when she made that decision – which I think was a bold one, and she had a right to make that decision – there was a void for the second deputy, and so my party and my team needed me, so I think it’s an opportunity for me to expand on what it is I do in politics and to join the executive of the party,” Castillo-Williams told us.

But Taegar-Panton told the media that she never expressed an interest in running on a slate. She also declined to us on Thursday to say whether she will support John Saldivar or Collet’s Patrick Faber for UDP Leader. She has pointed out that she has publicly supported both men and said that she is prepared to work with whichever one of them who becomes the new UDP Leader.

Patt, who represents Corozal North, told us on Thursday that while Taegar-Panton “is a formidable candidate and we welcome that…I submitted my name to win!”

Meanwhile, Castillo-Williams will also have competition for that post from Minister of Tourism and Belize Rural South’s, Manuel Heredia who submitted his name this week as well as an independent candidate.

UDP Chairman, Alberto August told the Reporter that women have always played a significant role in Belizean politics and on these two women’s candidacy for top positions, he said, “The United Democratic Party is extremely proud of our women leaders who are stepping up to Party Leadership positions.”

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