Matters within the United Democratic Party (UDP) are currently heating up as it, as well as the rest of the country, is anxiously awaiting the next leadership convention to decide who will take over the role of party leader from Prime Minister Dean Barrow. So far, there are two names in the running: Deputy Prime Minister, Patrick Faber, and Minister of Security, John Saldivar. Today, Love News was able to catch up with Minister Faber and he told us that unity within the party is the most important thing.
Patrick Faber – Minister of Education: “I am very interested and I have said time and time again this of course is an internal party issue and we are trying our best given the tremendous momentum that our party has enjoyed by victories over time. It is going to be now very important for us to keep united and keep strong. Both Minister Saldivar and I have made that pledge that while it is inevitable that there will be that kind of race for the leadership that we intend to keep things together, keep this party as unified as possible for the next General Election which we hope to win handsomely. This is a struggle to create a winning machinery but one that also serves the people and by putting the parties best interest, indeed even before that the nation’s best interest at the forefront. If we do that and we are able to set aside our ideas and egos then that result will ultimately come and both Minister Saldivar and I pledge to do so.”
In any contest, it is not always easy to appear unified. Emotions could run high amongst die hard supporters, and so we also asked Minister Faber if he believes that the competition could cause division within the party, especially after Minister Saldivar posted on his Facebook that, quote, “Arriving at any compromise on the Leadership of our Party cannot result from an assumption that there is some rite of passage to leadership for any candidate,” end quote.
Patrick Faber – Minister of Education: “If there are more than one candidates for a race then there is a contest, that is how it is and I think everybody understands that but I think what is most important for us to focus on is certainly the two persons: myself and Minister Saldivar who have indicated that we will enter this race. We have long said and we remain committed to the fact that this convention will be based on unity for our party. While it is a contest yes we will do our very best to keep unified and to ensure that our party remains strong and gets even stronger in fact when we select a new leader and we move forward. I am not going to get into any kind of back and forth, I think what is important is the commitment made again by both Minster Saldivar and I to work with all concern for our parties success.”
Reporter: “Like you said it is a contest so how do you think you will fare against Minister Saldivar?”
Patrick Faber – Minister of Education: “Well if you check the history you would know that I have won conventions against Minister Saldivar already and in fact, I was victorious in 2010 I think it was at the Chairmanship level and also in 2016 at the Deputy Leadership level of course. Every election brings its own intrigue you know and you never know but my intention is to win and to win comfortably and enjoy the support of my colleagues.”