Last week we told you about open vacancy for party leader in the People’s United Party. Several names have since been tossed into the conversation when considering the viable options within the PUP. Some of those names include Kareem Musa, John Briceno, Julius Espat and Cordel Hyde. On Friday, Espat told us that he is consulting with family members about putting his name up for candidacy. PUP executives met today at the PUP headquarters in Belize City where one of the main topics on the table was the vacant leadership position. After the meeting, we spoke to Espat who remained reluctant to give us a definite answer when asked if he will be putting his name up for candidacy.
Julius Espat, PUP Rep Cayo South: And so the person that takes up the leadership, has to be somebody that can do that. I don’t want to be part of a movement right now that fractures the party more than anything else. So I believe we have to wait to see who the names are that are being…. At this point in time I am reluctant to put in my name, but that doesn’t mean no. I am a loyal PUP. I am just more loyal to my people in Cayo South right now. They have come out really giving their all for us and I have to give them more time back right now. The last term which was 3 and a half years, I dedicated about 75% of my time to the national politics and I think that the people of Cayo South deserve that I give them at least 90% of my time now. So that’s where my focus right now is. I believe the party needs a leader that is willing to get up at 5 in the morning, and go to sleep at 12 in the night, and travel this country and meet with his people and be democratic through democracy meaning we have to listen to the people. And if that means that we have to change some of our players, our most of our players, I don’t know what that reality is. Then we have to be able and ready to do that. If not, the People’s United Party wil never be what it once was and I believe in the People’s United Party. I have been loyal to 2 party leaders, fiercely loyal, and I have been loyal to the party itself but my love right now is for Cayo South, and my love has to be returned back to them. All the energy that I have I will give back to them.
Reporter: Would you be loyal to anyone else in the position if it were not you?
Julius Espat, PUP Rep Cayo South : No I am not there, I have been loyal to the last 2 party leaders, if you ask any one of them I have been hard working, behind the scenes.
Reporter: I’m talking about John Briceno or Cordel Hyde.
Julius Espat, PUP Rep Cayo South: Both of them have talents. I am more familiar with Johnny Briceno because I worked under him, but Cordel has some incredible attributes that I think he can bring to the party. The people have to decide who that leader is and I will be there to do my part.
Cordel Hyde, PUP Rep Lake I: There has been a lot of chatter, but I can say that we’ve had a lot of request, a lot of well wishes, a lot of encouragement from a lot of people all over the country whether through text, whether through email message, whether through facebook messages encouraging us to take the plunge and step up to the challenge at hand and I can tell you that we’re seriously considering it. At this moment we’re talking to a lot of people. It’s one we are taking very seriously and we don’t have to make that decision today, tomorrow or the day after, truth be told in this meeting that’s coming up right now, there’s a good chance that they will give us until the middle of December to get in our names. And convention won’t be due until early 1st quarter
The deadline for submission of names is December 15th. All things being equal, the PUP goes to convention to elect their new leader in the first quarter of next year.