The power struggle within the United Democratic Party continues. There are some active and vocal proponents who want Party Leader Patrick Faber gone and other advocates see him as the logical and suitable choice to take the party into the 2025 general elections. While the two factions differ on internal philosophy, the government’s policy decisions are going almost unchallenged. In our interview with former Belmopan Mayor Khalid Belisle, he told us that the infighting is costing party valuable time to keep the Briceno government accountable.
Khalid Belilsle, Former Mayor of Belmopan City: “While it is that we are having a difficult time getting our house in order and our act together that is detracting from our ability to key in on what it is that the government of the day is doing and as an opposition that’s your primary role to ensure that you’re keeping the government honest and that the policies and the moves that they’re making and putting into place are in alignment with the wellbeing of our nation on a whole and the Belizean people. So unfortunately we are losing valuable time in that regard as well. Outside of rebuilding the party we are also struggling to come up with a unified voice to speak about the prevailing issues of the day.”
Former Minister of Transport, Edmond Castro agrees that the infighting is taking away from the party’s ability to focus on national policy but he feels that the party has to get its act together first.
Edmond Castro, Former Transport Minister: “I think first of all nothing is going to happen if we don’t get our acts together. We have to get our act together and the quicker we can get our act together then the easier everything else will fall in place. So bottom line is party leader Faber needs to get the ship together and not looking at ‘Oh you never won or you lost and so we don’t need you we need fresh blood, we need new blood.’ stop that foolishness. What kind of new blood or old blood or fresh blood Said was; I mentioned I said Said lost two times nobody threw him away. Said came back and ran and became Prime Minister of this country, two time prime minister not easy. So for that mentality I don’t know who is advising him but for people to come up with that mentality and say ‘We don’t want you because the people rejected you.’ People reject lots of people all the time and they come back and win.”
Reporter: So really what do you think is the center of these differences. There is those who want Faber gone and those who want Faber to stay. Is it a difference of philosophy or is it a difference of personality ?
Edmond Castro, Former Transport Minister: “I think it’s more a personality issue and like what I said only he can save himself and only he can help us to save ourselves because if he continues with the path that don’t want to meet with us or bring the party as a united party then we’ll always have problems.”
Reporter: So if let’s say the party leader calls you tomorrow morning and says ‘Castro I want to have a meeting with you to chart the way forward in Belize Rural North.’ will you respond ?
Edmond Castro, Former Transport Minister: “Yes man. Yes man. The man called me for the second time in eight months he called me a couple days ago when he was leaving the country he wanted me to meet with him, I’ll meet with him and I’ll explain to him and tell him the same thing I’m saying now I will tell it to him so that we can get our act together man. Like what I said it’s not everybody interested in running again but if he doesn’t want to meet with people and man feel like you’re putting man against you and want to dash you out like you have no value you can’t build back and start back and try to build a shaft or a bearing when you can go get the bearing and get the shaft and put the machine together. You don’t start from scratch all the time. Come and let us unite and get the thing together.”