Would members of the UDP support Gasper Vega’s return to politics?

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Updated: September 7, 2017

Yesterday Gaspar Vega announced that if it meant ensuring a win in Orange Walk North, he is willing to seek reelection. Yesterday Vega received support not only from a handful of the Orange Walk North constituents but Minister John Saldivar was also there. Today we spoke with UDP Ministers Wilfred Elrington and Elodio Aragon Junior about his announcement.

Minister of Police, Elodio Aragon

I saw the interview last night that you all did on your newscast. From that I gathered that he said, if they cannot find somebody to win that division then he will step in. So that means to a certain extent, his answer wasn’t straight to the point and said he wouldn’t run again. But nevertheless I think at the end of the day, the people of the North will have to make that decision and there’s a process within the United Democratic Party in terms of convention until you get who will run in that division. When that time comes then we will know but for the meantime for everybody he is still a representative of the people of the North and I think at the end of the day, like he mentioned, he said the people will decide for him. So I leave that there.

Ministers John Saldivar and Minister of State, Dr. Angel Campos were there to support him. Why weren’t you there then to support his candidacy or to support him generally?

Minister of Police, Elodio Aragon

Well first of all from the information I had gotten in regards to the people going there, first and foremost I had spoken to him personally and I had asked him if he was organizing this and he said No. All he heard was his people were going to come out to be with him there and I did not anticipate any announcement from him so I did not make any plans to go out there. First of all you must understand I am the Minister of Home Affairs who is directly responsible for the police and we had a long and busy day yesterday so I was more focused on that and I will say this; I have never supported corruption, I am not that kind of person. I am a person of integrity, I have been a serving member of the Police Department for many years as a police officer and I will tell you I have a good streak in terms of integrity and look to keep that good name. In terms of him as a colleague, friend, he has always been a friend to me. Personally I have no problem with Mr. Gaspar Vega and it is up to him to make his decision as to whether he continues on his political career or otherwise. To say that the things that have come out affect the party or not, of course it affects the party but at the end of the day he has a process to go through in terms of the legal aspects that are before him and that will at the end of the day play out and of course his political aspirations if he will continue or not is up to him.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington

“I think people are free to decide what they want to do and it all depends on their constituents and if their constituents are supportive of them.”

Jules Vasquez – Reporter

“But for the good of the party, is it good for the UDP that Mr. Vega offers himself as a candidate again?”

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington

“That is a question that his constituents will have to determine.”

Jules Vasquez – Reporter

“But at some point the Party Leadership, just as they did with Ms. Moya, just as they did with the former Marcel Cardona from Orange Walk East, at some point the party says we have to cut our losses.”

 

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington

“When the party does that, we know clearly that this is not going to happen. You are not going to run.”

Jules Vasquez, Reporter

“Is it time for the party to do that?”

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington

“That is not my position but it is not a matter that I have spent time on .To be very candid with you, there are so many allegations and as you know, I am under so much pressure that I hardly have time to deal with other people’s issues. But the democratic process is to be allowed to have its way and ultimately all politics is local. So that it will depend on the people in Orange Walk as to whether or not they think it is prudent for them to elect the Honorable Gaspar Vega and I think it would presumptuous for people like me who don’t live in Orange Walk to interfere in that kind of thing or to express the view.”

Dalila Ical – Reporter

“But do you support it Sir? I don’t think you really answered that question. Do you support it.”

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington

“If I support his aspiration to want to run? I can’t disagree with that, he is free to do that. He is a Belizean and entitled to offer himself for office.”

Jules Vasquez – Reporter

“But he is inked with a very tainted brush. Mr Vega is seen as a symbol of misfeasance, let us be kind, in public office. That is not any brush you want to be painted with I imagine.”

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington

“Actually Jules, I think that is a brush that most people in that position are tainted with. Most people who have held the position of Minister of Natural Resources.”