Over the past two nights, we have been reporting on the People’s United Party’s internal friction between the Party’s legal advisor Eamon Courtenay and political hopeful Arthur Saldivar. The friction came about after Courtenay responded to questions presented by the media on Tuesday concerning Saldivar’s law suit against the PUP. Courtenay did not hide the fact that he is in no way pleased with Saldivar’s actions against the Party. Saldivar’s Campaign Committee responded to Courtenay’s remarks via a press release which expressed the Committee’s shock and disbelief by what they called a disgusting display of arrogance, contempt and disregard for propriety, exhibited by PUP legal advisor, Eamon Courtney. Today, Saldivar spoke to our media colleagues in Belize City about the court matter. Here is what he had to say.
Arthur Saldivar, Aggrieved PUP Member: There is no matter involving the PUP and myself, to be accurate the matter that I took to court was a constitutional challenge in relation to the trustees of the party, the members elected to lead the party. And it was merely to seek declarations as to whether or not they were following the mandate that the constitution provides. In so far as the case is concerned at this particular point, we have received a deferred judgment by virtue of the fact that the defendant did not file the defense. So that’s where we stand right now, we have to go back to court for the court to determine what declarations in its wisdom it will provide us but the case at this particular moment is at an end.
Saldivar further stated that the public can now surmise that the claims he made against the party were accurate, since the Party did not file a defense.
Arthur Saldivar, Aggrieved PUP Member: I did not want to be in this position to have had to initiate a legal challenge to what was taking place. It was forced upon me but once the process starts, it has to conclude and the conclusion is here at this particular point. We are not fully finished because we still have to go back to court. So it’s still to some extent sub-j……. except that there will be no arguments on the merit because no defense has been filed. What that really means is that there is an acceptance that what has been sought is correct. You don’t defend it, it’s an acceptance. So that is what one can surmise, what the public can surmise is that the positions put forward were the correct ones in terms of the claim.
As for the almost quarter million dollar campaign re-compensation Saldivar claims, he says that his campaign will certainly be recompensed.
Arthur Saldivar, Aggrieved PUP Member: Well, the campaign is expected to be compensated. Solely, we are now looking at what the court will in its process determine and it’s not a question as to whether or not, it’s a question of how much will be awarded this time.
Reporter: So you guys will negotiate that basically.
Arthur Saldivar, Aggrieved PUP Member: Well, it’s not much of a negotiation. The receipts are there to back up every claim as to what was spent. But, again this is not where I want to be. My position is one and principle that there are certain constitutional guarantees and constitutional rights afforded every member of the Peoples’ United Party, as I would imagine and other side as well, the UDP. And if you are a member and those rights are breached, you have a recourse.
Saldivar was given a second opportunity to send in his application. It has almost been three weeks and a response has not been released as to whether or not Saldivar will be allowed to contest in Belmopan. Saldivar was also asked to comment on the slow-moving manner in which a response is forthcoming. Here is how he responded.
Arthur Saldivar, Aggrieved PUP Member: Again, deliberation is what it is. I respect the right of those person who have been charged with that responsibility to take however long it is necessary to come up with the right decision. As long as the right decision is reached and arrived at in the right way, we have no issue.
Arthur Saldivar, Aggrieved PUP Member: I guess it will be an indication that the right decision was not arrived at in the right way.
PUP’s Belmopan Convention is slated for the end of August.