When all is said and done, the UDP now has to find a new party leader. As the Prime Minister indicated yesterday they will be going back to a convention and Faber is welcome to run again. The question is whether he has any interest in going at it again. Faber says he is not so sure but he also says that Patt would be a good candidate too.
Hon. Patrick Faber, Former Deputy Prime Minister, United Democratic Party: “After the events of yesterday, is it yesterday now or the day before, evidently we have to make moves in order secure a new leader and that means that all of us, all thirty one of us including the Prime Minister and everybody else we must try to come up with ideas as to how we are going to fill the gap of leadership and to ensure that our party secures a victory.”
Reporter: Are you interested in the job ?
Hon. Patrick Faber, Former Deputy Prime Minister, United Democratic Party: “Well it is something that I am still going over in my mind. I won’t tell you absolutely what I’m going to do just yet in fact it takes a lot of consulting, it will take my own process of discernment but I’m not quite at that position where I’m prepared to give an answer as to whether I’m going to run or not just yet.”
Reporter: Would you be prepared to support Jugo Patt as the leader of the UDP.
Hon. Patrick Faber, Former Deputy Prime Minister, United Democratic Party: “Absolutely I think that Jugo is somebody who is deserving of the leadership spot. I think in terms of his experience this is something that he will need to catch up and catch up on very quickly. The roll of leading the party is a tough job, the role of leading the House, leading the cabinet, leading on the matters that would be in a portfolio like that which the Prime Minister holds now which is primarily finance is a big hat and a heavy load to carry but I wouldn’t discount anybody who has a genuine heart and is able to surround himself with the right people. I wouldn’t discount anybody being able to do the job.”
As it relates to some of the issues faced within the UDP, Faber says he has been encouraged to leave the party. He says that’s not even something he would consider.
Reporter: Sir you have been groomed for this job, is the UDP being counter strategic and personal in backing him when by all outward indications you are the next man up.
Hon. Patrick Faber, Former Deputy Prime Minister of Belize: “Well I will tell you that I won’t go there to be accusatory of my colleagues or even of the wider party. Politics is very dynamic, everybody has their own view and their objective. It’s not something that is very straightforward as some people would want to see it so there are different views and what is the objective for people like me? To try to bring people to what many others may see but some in our party do not see. Take the issue of corruption and fair play for instance. Nobody whenever there is human beings involved we will have these things but you don’t hear me necessarily trying to fix all the ills of the UDP from the outside in fact I think that our struggle ought to be from within and that is why especially at this time some have said ‘Well Faber, the party has not supported you.’ especially in those moments before Minister Saldivar resigned there were many who prodded me to say why don’t you go and form a third party or join forces with some others out there who are like minded who want to see good come.’ and I say to that absolutely not. I am a UDP, nobody is going to drive me away from my party and rather than get out there and tear down the party publicly, criticize the party and even abandon the party, my action of choice is to try to work from within to get people to see what my views are and I believe what the view points are of many right minded members of our party and also of the wider country. We have to be able to read what the country and what the party membership wants and then deliver on that. I know that’s a very roundabout answer to your question but ultimately it’s what the people want.”
Reporter: How long before you think you’ll decided whether you will seek leadership again?
Hon. Patrick Faber, Former Deputy Prime Minister of Belize: “Well I think that it is a very quick process. Things are moving very quickly. I mean we’ve had a new leader come and go in a matter of hours so I don’t think it’s a decision I can sit on top of very long but I will certainly try to do my best to come up with an answer. I don’t think that my supporters certainly that they ought not be given some kind of word from me very quickly. So I suspect I’ll make a decision over the weekend and let people know. I don’t get the impression the party is going to call that convention over night and even if they wanted to I think there are regulations that specify a time frame to give notice and all of that so it cannot be that it is anything quick but I’d hope to have an answer by Monday.”
The speculation is that Faber’s loss was a strategic move from within the party. All indications were that the leadership was his but moves were made and the convention was rigged. We asked Faber to comment on this.
Hon. Patrick Faber, Former Deputy Prime Minister of Belize: “Anybody who was a standard bearer, all of my colleagues they have a right to decide on who they wanted to support and that includes of course the Prime Minister who made it clear that he would not have gone public but that in fact he would make his choice known to the colleagues and I think he did that but there is no ill feeling there for me. I believe in the things that I put forward, like I said there was a lesson learnt, if you want to be a leader you have to be able to get along and while in my own immediate revision of how I operate I might not be able to see where these shortcomings are, I’m certain that introspection even if it comes after a kind of loss like Sunday anybody would be wise and I certainly put myself in that category of now needing to reflect, to introspect on what has gone wrong or what didn’t work out and then try to improve on it especially if I am to throw my hat in the ring again.”
At Sunday’s convention, Faber took a beating in numbers. Of the 569 delegates, Faber received 227 while Saldiver got 342 votes. Despite it being a national party event, Faber says the public support since the results have been overwhelming.
Hon. Patrick Faber, Former Deputy Prime Minister of Belize: “While of course it hurt that I did not meet the mark I am always comforted by the fact that there are so many of course who supported me and the fact that there was still very much love from the people of the country and my party. I was telling somebody yesterday that I have been of course on many winning campaigns where I have received many messages from people upon winning elections or conventions as it relates to the national convention of the UDP,this convention would have been my fourth convention and so I’ve been on the winning side and I’ve been on the losing side before and normally when you win you expect the kind of multitude of congratulatory messages and well wishes and I also know that there is quite often another side of things when you don’t win and it’s almost like nobody is your friend anymore but I certainly did not get that feeling on Sunday after my loss, in fact it was a tremendous outpouring of love and support from people so that in itself caused me to feel no so much as somebody who did not win but rather somebody who just didn’t claim the prize this time but of course received many honors in many other respects.”
As it relates to the support in his Collet constituency, Faber says there is no love lost there. Love News learned that following yesterday’s meeting in Belmopan, there was a meeting that followed in Armenia Village were an estimated twenty Cabinet and Standard Bearers gathered to discuss Patt’s future as the Party Leader. We are following the developments in the UDP and the Barrow administration.