Albert Area Rep. Tracy Panton speaks on John Saldivar’s resurgence – and call for a return of Patrick Faber
In our extended interview with the Albert Area Representative, Tracy Taegar-Panton, this week, she discussed a wide range of issues. One of those issues is the challenge the United Democratic Party has faced since the general elections of November 2020. Specifically, we asked her to weigh in on what appears to be John Saldivar’s steady re-emergence in Belmopan. We asked what she made of the convention and Party Leader Shyne Barrow’s defying norms and publicly supporting Saldivar’s main competitor.
Hon. Tracy Panton, Area Representative, Albert Division: “I believe that we are a democratic party. I think we each are allowed to voice our support for the candidates that we believe will bring something of value to the table. It’s now water under the bridge John is the standard bearer of Belmopan and he has committed publicly to work very closely with the part leader so I guess all is well that ends well.”
Reporter: And do you think that the caucus for change, big supporter behind certainly the Saldivar bid in this case, their call for party unity do you think it’s genuine ?
Hon. Tracy Panton, Area Representative, Albert Division: “Well I hope it is. I don’t know why it wouldn’t be. I think that as a mass political party, as the Queen’s Loyal Opposition we have a duty and a responsibility, an obligation to hold the government to account to be the voice for those who don’t have a voice, to support those in our society who believe in principles and values of the United Democratic Party I don’t think we play games with that. I certainly hope that is not the case, I believe that there area areas that still require some talking through but there is a renewed commitment for us to sit down at an NPC meeting which will be held on April 1st to talk through some of these issues so we can hopefully the collective wisdom of the party and the collective wisdom of the key decision makers will prevail.”
We also asked her about the situation with Patrick Faber. He’s currently the longest-serving UDP parliamentarian in the House of Representatives, but the party rejected his application to serve as the standard bearer in Collet, and now Ian Jones is there. She says that someone with Faber’s experience should not have been treated the way he was.
Hon. Tracy Panton, Area Representative, Albert Division: “I don’t know that Patrick should have ever been misplaced. He is an elected representative of the United Democratic Party. While there may have been some internal issues that really didn’t belong in the public domain but the internal issues we needed to sort out. I don’t believe that it serves any good to have someone with Patrick’s experience- obviously he’s demonstrated his commitment to the Collett people and they have demonstrated their commitment to him. If we’re going to have fair play we have to have fair play for all persons involved. You know the party had made a decision that elected officials of the party would not have to reapply to serve their constituencies for the upcoming general elections, that all we needed to do was send a letter indicating out interest to continue to serve the constituencies we were elected to and Patrick did that and so a lot that has happened really happened because we departed from the rules and guidelines of the constitution of the party and you know I continue to maintain that we cannot dismiss the party’s constitution. It’s there for a reason, it has helped especially when we’re having challenges it is there to guide us in our decision making and I do believe that in the case of Patrick in this scenario fair play was not exercised and I’m hoping that we can get him back on the saddle because I think the party needs what he brings to the table.”
Saldivar himself has also called for the party to reconsider its position regarding Faber saying, quote, “We want him back.”