The issue of the support by the women in the United Democratic Party seems to have taken the spotlight for a bit in the ongoing campaign for the First Deputy Leader. On Saturday, April 9, Collet Representative, Patrick Faber was asked about the support that his opponent John Saldivar is getting from what he has dubbed the top ranking women in the UDP. Here is how Faber responded.
“I don’t know if they are the three top ranking women, the director of the party’s women affairs Ms. Diane Haylock is a member of the Central Executive and a voter in the convention she is on my side, nobody can dispute my mother in politics the first woman to ever be elected in the United Democratic Party the Honorable Faith Babb she is clearly on my side. You saw in fact at my launch that there were some very powerful women present, we saw Guadalupe Magana Dick who is one of our candidates, standard bearer in the Orange Walk South consistency. You saw people like Shari Medina, Bernie Fernandez, you will see pretty shortly that Mayor Fern Gutierrez these people are power houses in the United Democratic Party. Fern is the deputy chair of our party so there can be no dispute that women power can be found on both sides of the party and to me that is a good sign because then women are becoming more prominent and I love women, I big them up all the time.”
Saldivar, in response to that statement by Faber, has indicated that he found it disrespectful and subsequently made a statement on his Facebook page. That post reads, quote, As a consequence of statements made in the media that were diminutive of the three women parliamentarians who have publicly endorsed my candidacy, I wish to declare in the strongest possible terms that such disrespect is intolerable and uncalled for. All women who serve in our National Assembly and Cabinet must be considered among the highest ranking women members of our Party and none more so than Hon. Tracy Panton, Hon. Beverly Castillo, and Hon. Carla Barnett. To hold them in high regard is not to hold any other in less regard.” End of quote. In another section of social media, Dr Carla Barnett had indicated that women’s arm of the United Democratic Party, the National Organization of Women have agreed to not endorse a candidate as a unit but rather to make individual choices on who they will be supporting. Dianne Haylock who heads the women’s unit of the UDP is reportedly supporting Faber while Beverly Castillo, Tracy Taegar Panton and Dr Carla Barnett have been endorsing Saldivar.