By Michelle Sutherland
Belize City, Sept 29. (The Reporter)—Despite the recently publicized decision by the United Democratic Party (UDP)’s Nomination Committee to reject his application for standard bearer in the Collet division, Hon. Patrick Faber has opted to remain silent on the issue.
“I have no comment at this time,” Faber replied, via WhatsApp, to The Reporter’s questions on his reaction to the Nomination Committee’s decision. “I will inform you as soon as I am ready.”
It is unclear whether Faber’s decision to reserve comment “at this time” is in an effort to respect the UDP Constitution’s Article 5(6)(d), which stipulates that members should ensure that all “criticism and self-criticism must take place in private councils and committees of the Party.” However, at the time of writing, it is worth noting that the Facebook posts that the Nominating Committee cites as the grounds for their denial of his Collet division candidacy remain on his official social media page.
The most recent, critical post was uploaded on Saturday, September 17, 2022. Prior to that, there are the four for the month of August that unambiguously and openly criticize UDP Party Leader Moses “Shyne” Barrow’s decisions.
The Nomination Committee’s letter to Faber, dated September 20th, 2022, signed by the Chairperson of the Nominations Committee, Shirlette Martinez, notified Faber, “We write to inform you and in accordance with Article 12 (13) of the Constitution of the United Democratic Party that the Nomination Committee of the Party has reviewed your application for Standard Bearer for the Collett Division. Regrettably, the Committee, at this time, denies your application.”
The letter went on to inform Faber that the decision to deny his application is based on the fact that he has failed to comply with Article 5 of the UDP Constitution, which addresses the duties and rights of party members. The Committee also referred to a separate letter that the National Party Council had sent last month that called on all members to respect the UDP’s Constitution’s rules on public criticisms.
“Your actions are contrary to Articles 5 and 8 and are evident in the public attacks against the Party which currently remains on your official Facebook Page,” the Committee reminded. The committee would go on to list seven instances in which Faber had published those posts.
Following the release of the Nominations Committee’s letter, Albert Area Representative Tracy Panton wrote to the UDP Party Chairman asking whether the letter was authentic.
Apart from asking for an explanation, Panton pointed out that the information contained in the letter goes against previous decisions made by the party, which had stipulated that sitting parliamentarians would not be subjected to the same application process as new aspirants. Panton also noted her grave concern for the decision and asked for an urgent intervention to reverse such a decision.
Barrow wrote back to Panton, explaining, “Faber’s application has been denied due to his refusal to comply with the binding decision of the National Party Council (NPC) to immediately remove public attacks and criticism of the Party and its members and refrain from such acts in adherence to the Party Constitution.”
Barrow went on to tell Panton that the Nominations Committee had cited several instances of Faber’s defiance of the NPC and in violation of the Party’s Constitution, one such offense as recent as September 18th. Barrow also informed Panton that the Party Chairman Michael Peyrefitte had written to Faber on several occasions regarding his continued violations against the party. Those requests, according to Barrow, have always been met with contempt, and so he urged Panton to try and convince Faber to align his behavior with the party’s rules.
“This matter is not at all complicated. Once Hon. Faber cures his breaches of the Party’s Constitution and reaffirms his commitment to adhere to and respect the decision of the NPC, Hon. Faber can reapply to be the UDP Candidate for Collet before the September 30th, 2022, cut-off. And I believe the Nominations Committee may reconsider his application favorably,” ended Barrow.