Hon. Patrick Faber remains the leader of the United Democratic Party (UDP), the party’s chairman, Hon. Michael Peyrefitte informed Sunday afternoon.
Today, the United Democratic Party hosted their recall convention at the Birds Isle in Belize City, and after several hours at the polls, at 4:00 this evening it was announced that the Hon. Patrick Faber remained the leader of the United Democratic Party.
Following the subsequent counting of the ballots, UDP Chairman Michael Peyrefitte addressed the media, “483 delegates cast their votes today. 226 said yes they wanted Patrick Faber to remain the leader of the UDP while 257 said ‘no’ they didn’t want him to remain the leader of the party. The 226 is more than the one third (162) threshold that Minister Faber needed to remain the leader of the UDP and so with those numbers the Hon Faber remains the Leader of the UDP.”
Faber’s win today is in line with the Party’s constitution which reads:
“The Party Leader may at any time be removed from the office of the Party Leader following a petition calling for his or her removal signed by at least one-third (1/3) of the registered delegates to the National Convention and a vote of at least two-thirds (2/3) of registered delegates in attendance voting in favour of the petition.”
Right on the heels of that announcement the media also caught up with Faber who said that he was overjoyed at the results, even though he had hoped to win by a much larger margin.
“I am very much happy to remain as the Leader of the UDP. I think the vast majority of people in our party, the masses but also the wider population of Belize, believes that I am the best person to be the Leader of the UDP and from all that has been said in the mainstream and also on social media, people are not happy with what was happening with the new Leader of the Opposition. … I am going to do my best now that the people have endorsed me as Leader of the Party to make sure that I regain my post as Leader of the Opposition.”
Faber then went on to say that he will seek to reunite and rebrand the UDP while asking those none elected officials to step away from the party business. He also claims that he will also seek to embrace and work with all those who had opposed him.
The recall process was formally triggered last month when approximately 290 delegates–significantly more than the needed one-third–signed the recall petition. A few days following the petition, current UDP Party Leader Hon. Patrick Faber was replaced as the Leader of the Opposition (LOO), after three of the five UDP Area Representatives had co-signed a letter to Governor General Froyla Tzalam to indicate that they have lost confidence in Hon. Faber as the LOO. The letter also named Mesopotamia Area Representative Moses “Shyne” Barrow as the new LOO. Barrow, thereafter, was officially sworn in as the new LOO on Thursday, June 24th.
Regarding what is likely to follow in terms of the LOO position, the UDP’s constitution also states:
“In the event the occasion arises that the Party Leader is not elected in a general election, or vacates his seat in the House of Representatives or is recalled during the parliamentary term and there is an urgent need to identify a UDP member of the House to assume the office of Prime Minister or Leader of the Opposition, the Central Executive Committee shall name a UDP member as Leader in the House according to the following order of precedence and the Governor General shall be immediately so informed: (a) First Deputy Leader, (b) Second Deputy Leader, (c) The UDP representative with the longest service in the House, (d) The UDP representative that won his or her seat with the largest percentage constituency votes in the preceding general election.”
While the UDP’s constitution does not influence the happenings in Parliament (the Constitution of Belize is the relevant guide for the House of Representatives), it is, nonetheless, clear that the UDP’s internal rules expect the Party Leader to also serve as the Leader of the Opposition, especially given that Faber did not “vacate his seat in the House of Representatives” and has survived the recall. It is yet to be seen, however, how the internal party politics will play out.