It is official. The UDP wants Patrick Faber off the leadership seat and they just may get it. Three hundred and thirty-five days after narrowly winning the very divisive UDP national party convention, Patrick Faber is squarely looking at a revolt from within. A petition bearing two hundred and ninety signatures was delivered to the UDP Secretariat this afternoon just after three o’clock. It is a powerful document and an unprecedented move made by the very base that Faber once campaigned around. Delivering the document were UDP Standard Bearers for Corozal Southeast and Port Loyola, Tony Herrera and Philip Willoughby, respectively. According to Herrera, the document reflects a resounding message from the UDP delegates around the country.
Tony Herrera, UDP Corozal Southeast: “Today we brought in the recall petition. I must inform you that the recall petition the constitution calls for a hundred and seventy two we got two hundred and ninety signatures from twenty six different constituencies here and this is mainly to recall the party leader of our party. This is a resounding answer from the delegates, this is the rank and file of the party so for us to go over one seventy two means a lot for us and also for the party. It sends a clear message to where we want to go. This is two hundred and ninety that signed freely, this was not secret ballots of anything this was free and fast. This is we went out there we got the signatures and brought them back, this was twenty six constituencies. We are not here to expose everything we’re trying to handle everything internally as best as we can but it’s like what the two hundred and ninety is resounding. Obviously there’s something wrong and I’m not here to disclose what is wrong one thing I can say is that we are not happy in the way he is leading, he’s not fit to lead and that is the bottom line and that’s probably where I will leave it not taking out what there for the public we rather handle it internally. In these twenty six constituencies we have three parliamentarian’s constituencies which is rightfully said Corozal North, Queen Square and Mesopotamia and that’s very important because it’s not only the people like the ones that lost this is also the parliamentarians that are not satisfied with the way our party leader is leading this party.”
The rumors of the UDP’s Caucus for Change meeting to discuss the removal of Faber were vehemently denied by the Deputy Party Chairman, Alberto August on Tuesday, June 1. We began reporting on this development since then but the matter quickly turned into he said/she said drama between UDP’s Shyne Barrow and Tracy Panton. Tonight, however, confirmation has been given by Herrera who says the Caucus for Change is the group that has instigated the move against Faber. With John Saldivar being a part of the caucus, it does beg the question if Saldivar is making a power move from the shadows.
Tony Herrera, UDP Corozal Southeast: “We have a caucus for change that is made up of about twenty to twenty two aspiring standard bearers and present standard bearers so it’s a group effort that came to this where we are today.”
Reporter: But no one that the people have indicated that they have confidence in.
Tony Herrera, UDP Corozal Southeast: “You can ask who you want. You know you can call the names and I will whistle so that’s alright. You can ask me the direct questions and I will answer it for you.”
Reporter: Sir John Saldivar posted that he would spearhead the effort.
Tony Herrera, UDP Corozal Southeast: “Well John is a leader in our group, not our group it’s comprised of about three or four leaders collectively that’s the core of the caucus for change but I am glad that Jules asked that because I want to clear publicly this is not about John Saldivar this is about the United Democratic Party. John has stated openly that he has no interest in leading at this time and also you must remember that the constitution does not allow John to run for leadership of this party. So I would like to clarify that this is not about John Saldivar this is about the United Democratic Party our party that we hold dearly. I don’t think that it’s disgruntled members because he has not gone publicly and said I don’t like “Tony Herrera, I don’t like Philip Willoughby.” this is how we feel as a party this is two hundred and ninety delegates that signed freely. Nobody no secret ballot because it probably would have been more than three hundred so I would not take that as a statement that it’s disgruntled members and that we have been with the Honorable Patrick Faber it’s not that, we just don’t see it fit that he can lead the party.”
Reporter: Symbolically it’s not like they sent the strongest messenger of the UDP DNA how would you answer that criticism ?
Tony Herrera, UDP Corozal Southeast: “Jules I am a UDP. I said it openly even in my campaign I was a PUP and I will not deny that I will bear it truthful but at the end of the day it’s been said that it has to be a new vision to take this party out and I am part of that new vision. I am new. I am vibrant and energetic so they didn’t make a bad choice in sending me, they elected me as a group to come and deliver this I am the new vision of the UDP Jules. It’s simple as that.”
With all said and done, the burning question is, ‘who will lead the UDP?’ All indications are that there aren’t many options to choose from.
Tony Herrera, UDP Corozal Southeast: “We went out there. We got two hundred and ninety signatures quickly we are more than sure that we can pass that three fifty five when crunch time comes along and we have to go to a convention.”
Reporter: But you all don’t seriously want to do that. What you would prefer is that Mr.Faber would see these two hundred and ninety signatures and send in his resignation that’s what you all want.
Tony Herrera, UDP Corozal Southeast: “Exactly, that is what we would like to end this thing in peaceful way and an amicable way and we can continue doing the party business that we need to rebuild this party again.”
Reporter: The party can’t be rebuilt without a leader. I am saying that is it that you all want Tracy Panton to lead? Who would lead?
Tony Herrera, UDP Corozal Southeast: “I will say one more time we’ll take it one step at a time. You know when the Vatican is looking for a Pope you see the white smoke right ? We have that ,you don’t worry about that.”
Reporter: Unu di play fu tek. You di come fi wah man head todeh you mus have another head fi put deh. Like what kind of end game are you all looking at ?
Tony Herrera, UDP Corozal Southeast: “No worry about that Jules I say take it one step at a time. We’ll have that when the time comes we’ll have that for you guys but we do have someone in mind.”
This is the first of several steps needed to be taken to remove Faber as the UDP Leader. While the petition garnered more than enough signatures to possibly trigger a convention, the way forward would be determined by the UDP Chairman, Michael Peyrefitte. If the UDP does go to a convention the caucus would need three fourths majority of the five hundred and eighteen delegates.