UDP National Party Council meets in Belize City

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The United Democratic Party’s National Party Council met at its Belchina headquarters in Belize City on Saturday morning. It is the third highest authority in terms of governance of the ruling party, trailing only the Central Executive Committee and the National Convention in importance. This latest meeting considered, among other things, the party’s course of action on a possible recall of Cayo Northeast area representative Elvin Penner, which has effectively been launched by the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) as of this weekend. On Friday, the Prime Minister indicated that the party would support Mr Penner as it believed he deserved a “second chance”, calls for a criminal investigation into his involvement in the granting of a passport to a jailed South Korean businessman notwithstanding. The meeting began just after 10 in the morning with representation from the most senior Cabinet ministers and others; Elvin Penner was not one of them, at least not any longer, and did not appear. The meeting finished at around 1:00 p.m. but as we approached the Prime Minister for an interview he stated that he had to go into another urgent meeting downstairs of the party headquarters, which we gathered was with operatives from Cayo Northeast. That meeting lasted a little over an hour but again we were disappointed when we tried once more to speak with Prime Minister Barrow and were once again refused. He apologized and said that he had to rush off to yet another engagement. So what are we to gather from this? Well, it is clear that the battle lines are drawn as to the fight to recall Elvin Penner, but whether the party will attempt to defeat the recall at the petition stage or wait until signatures are certified and the formal campaign starts remains to be seen.

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