Nominations for leader of the People’s United Party and other executive posts were closed this evening at 5:00, and shortly thereafter party chairman Henry Charles Usher confirmed in a press briefing the names of the nominees. Here are those names as read out by Usher.
Henry Charles, Chairman, People’s United Party: For the post of Party Leader, we’ve received 3 nominations, The Hon. John Briceno, The Hon. Cordell Hyde, and the Hon. Francis Fonseca. For the post of deputy party leaders, we’ve received 6 nominations, Hon. Florenzo Marin Jr, Hon. Jose Mai, Hon. Julius Espat, Hon. Mike Espat, Hon. Rodwell Fergeuson, and Hon. Kareem Musa. For the post of National Communications director, we’ve received 3 nominations, Dolores Baldaramos Garcia, Anthony Marla, and Emilio Zabaneh. For the post of National Campaign Manager, we’ve received 1 nomination, Victor Espat. For the post of legal advisor, we’ve received 1 nomination, Anthony Sylvestre jr. For the post of treasurer, we’ve received 1 nomination, Ramon Servantes. And for the post of chairman, we’ve received 2 nominations, Henry Charles Usher, and Hon. Oscar Requena. Those are the nominations that we’ve received, and they’ve been accepted.
According to Usher, the party’s national executive and national party council will meet to ratify the names and make decisions as to the conduct of the election. But there is some controversy as it is not clear whether candidates will be allowed to run as a slate or individually. Usher says the matter will be decided at the party’s upcoming meetings.
Henry Charles, Chairman, People’s United Party: Well I can’t make a decision by myself as to how the ballots would look whether it would be a slate or whether it would be individual ballots we are voting for. That’s a decision that would have to be made at the National Party Council. What I can say is that in my discussions with 2 of the candidates nominated for Party Leader, that being Hon. John Briceno, and Hon. Cordell Hyde. In separate meetings with them, and myself, they both express the view that they prefer we would go the route that we did many times in the past, and that is select a leader and in following that, we have the election for the National Executive. Of course, that’s a matter that would have to be brought up at the National Party Council if it’s going to be that way. And that’s why I can’t really preempt any questions to the answer you asked just now.
Also to be decided is whether those persons who are the sole nominees to their posts will be confirmed by the party, and the venue for the convention. Usher told us that the party will seek a neutral venue based on the homes of the leadership candidates – Briceno is from Orange Walk while Hyde and Fonseca are from Belize City. As for who currently leads the party, Fonseca remains Leader of the Opposition, but the National Executive, which Usher chairs, has assumed responsibility for management of the Secretariat and the party’s media organs, Vibes Radio and the Belize Times. But it was news to Usher that some are attacking the party’s leadership in those organs. He said he will look into it. However, Usher said he is encouraged at the wide selection of candidates on offer:
Henry Charles, Chairman, People’s United Party ; That is democracy. I am pleased to see that there is so many persons willing to come in and serve and offer themselves as candidates for leadership and for all the different posts. This is a wide selection you have here and that’s promising for the party, it’s encouraging for supporters to see that they are good people stepping forward and good people nominating and accepting those nominations. So no I’m not too worried about it. It is democracy at work. It’s a matter for the candidates to go out there, do the campaigning. The delegates will decide who the next leader of the party will be and the delegates are the people, the supporters of this party.