The PUP’s National Party Council meeting is set to start on Saturday morning in Belize where several points will be ratified and other matters discussed. This meeting falls in line with the upcoming Special National Convention that comes up at the end of the month …. But the campaign has been heating up and the party seems to continue being divided. Renee Trujillo took a closer look at the opinions and perception of some stalwart supporters being aired on the public domain.
RENEE TRUJILLO REPORTING
“In just twenty three days, almost three thousand selected delegates will be converging in the capital city, Belmopan to select a new Party Leader for the People’s United Party as well as other vacant posts on the National Executive. Up until the start of 2016 things had been fairly quiet on the news and the social media regarding the leadership campaigns as all three candidates, namely, Francis Fonseca, John Briceno and Cordel Hyde have refused to do an interview on their campaign. The silence of the three men, however, is certainly not indicative of the works and lobbying they are doing in the thirty one constituencies or with the arms of the party. The campaigns are hot and heated and while the men, themselves are not taking part in the disrespectful tirades and the bold statements being thrown around on social media, there are supporters on Facebook who are pulling out all the stops when it comes to criticizing either candidate. As it relates to Francis Fonseca there has been very little attacks coming from the Briceno or the Hyde camps; as a matter of fact, the attacks on Facebook seem to be coming from the Fonseca supporters. One supporter posted, quote, “I understand that after the 31st of January JB will stand for John Barrow. Dean Barrow is adopting him as his son cause he has done an excellent job in dividing and destroying the PUP. JOHN BRICENO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR KICKING OUT THE FATHER OF OUR NATION OUT OF THE PUP. HE SHOULD BE HANG FOR TREASON IF YOU ASK ME.” The remarks go on attacking the personal life of Cordel Hyde whilst engaging in name-calling at John Briceno. While we can assert that in any campaign there will be differences, this particular one stands out because the PUP has been divided and in internal turmoil for some time now and once again, as the PUPs get ready for their National Convention on January 31, the division is even more clear as the social media posts are nothing short of insults, obscenities and disrespect from known PUP supporters. For some, still hanging on under the blue and white tent, it has become distasteful and there have been comments posted like, quote, “the so called PUPs who post negative comments do more damage than good to our party. Instead of being part of the solution, they themselves are part of the problem.” Another well-known PUP posted, quote, “We are just making enemies and disunity within our own party .. I can’t wait for this to be over.” And another one read, quote, “I am going to change political party; tired of the fights and bad minded.” The list of delegates and alternates who will be allowed to vote at the national convention was submitted to the PUP Secretariat earlier this month and distributed to the candidates contesting the seats. Love News learnt through social media and some supporters in Belmopan that there are some concerns coming out of Belmopan as there were two delegates list coming out of that division with one being altered in favour of one of the candidates; the other concern was the absence of stalwart supporters on the list sent in to the Secretariat. Come Saturday, January 9, a National Party Council meeting is set to take place in Belize City where concerns will be ironed out and venue, date and time for the national convention will be confirmed.”