After the People United Party’s sound defeat at the Cayo North bi-elections in January 5, 2015- which some believe set the stage for the 8-1 defeat at the municipal level- the PUP executives reconvened to discuss the way forward for the party. At that point, everyone knew or at least had a feeling of what was coming next for Richard Harrison since Michel Chebat had already expressed interest in that area but had stepped aside to allow Harrison to run for the bi-elections which was prompted by the sudden departure of Joseph Mahmud. 4 days after the loss at the bi-elections, Fonseca stated on National television that Harrison would not continue to enjoy the support of the party as the standard bearer for Cayo North. Yesterday Richard Harrison published an article on an online news blog stating his views post bi-elections from “under the bus” where he called out the party executives as rogue dictators. According to Richard Harrison, he received wind of Michel Chebat’s Endorsement as the new Standard Bearer for Cayo North without any prior notice, effectively and unceremoniously, “kicking him under the bus”, as he put it. This, he said, and we quote,
“… I had put my face, reputation, time, energy and resources for the party in such a challenging by-election. I had no knowledge that this would happen….and I nor anyone close to my campaign was consulted, as far as I know.”
Harrison also complained that the PUP did not give him the finances he needed to win the elections on the basis that there was no money and changed the game plan from a National election strategy to a local election strategy without, according to Harrison, properly consulting with him. He went on to say that,
“This is the kind of rogue dictatorship that a party which voluntarily suspends its own constitution will provide for….taking away the right of its supporters [and here he added- (more like blind loyal followers?)] to democratically choose their representatives in free, open and fair intra-party conventions.” If they cannot uphold their own party’s constitution how can they be expected to uphold the national constitution while in government?
This the question, says Harrison, that many people are asking themselves. We tried to get a comment from the deputy party leader Julius Espat who told Plus News via text message that he will not get into the back and forth with Richard Harrison.