Gaspar Vega, Belize’s Deputy Prime Minister has been a longstanding First Deputy Leader of the United Democratic Party under the leadership of Party Leader, Dean Barrow. On Wednesday, March 9, however, Vega sent a letter to Barrow and the UDP Secretariat, saying that he is resigning from the post of Deputy Party Leader and that he will not be contesting the next general election due in 2020. It was an announcement that came as a surprise for many including Minister Godwin Hulse. As you may or may not be aware, when the Barrow administration won their third consecutive general election in November 2015, Prime Minister Dean Barrow did a little adjustment to his Cabinet which saw Vega losing the ministry of Natural Resources and taking over in the agricultural sector. Since then there have been rumors that Vega has been uneasy about the Prime Minister’s decision despite the comment by Barrow that he is doing it as an ease to Vega who has been working extremely hard. There are some who are sceptical about the reasons for the shift in Cabinet and some who are saying that Vega’s decision was based on his removal from natural resources which is considered a high-powered ministry. Minister Godwin Hulse told some members of the media today that he was just as surprised as many at Vega’s resignation and despite speculations that his taking over natural resources is to blame, he disagrees.
Hulse went on to say that while Lands and Immigration are crucial ministries, he believes that agriculture is an even greater one as it can drive the country’s economy and that would have been his first choice had he had the option.
Upon Vega’s resignation there were also speculations and rumors that there were some untoward undertakings under Vega’s leadership at the Lands Department and that this is what has triggered the sudden resignation. Minister Hulse clarified, today, however, that there is no truth to those speculations.
As we mentioned yesterday, with Vega’s resignation as the First Deputy Leader of the UDP, that seat will be filled via a special national party convention to be carried out after the upcoming party convention slated for March 20.