It is almost eight years ago when Said Musa stepped out of the spotlight as the leader for the People’s United Party, leaving the vacant post up for the taking. Subsequent to that, on March 30, 2008, the People’s United Party went to a national convention where Francis Fonseca and John Briceno went toe to toe in that round with Briceno emerging victorious in what was a 652-delegates convention. Briceno took on his role as the Party Leader but underwent much opposition and struggles internally and despite the momentum he had gained in the almost four years that he was in that seat, he ended up resigning, citing medical reasons for his decision. There are some who were close to Briceno at the time who will tell you that medical reasons had nothing to do with it, but rather, it were the divisions and power struggles that went on within the blue and white grand ole’ party that made him resign. Briceno is the 3rd Party Leader for the PUP and in 2011, Francis Fonseca became the fourth. It has been years now since the party has been trying to regain strength and go back to Belmopan but efforts have been futile and with this last loss at the polls in November, Fonseca gave up too and resigned as the Party Leader. Deputy Party Leader, Julius Espat says that it was an emotional decision and that Fonseca is coming back to try again. Today, we can tell you that Fonseca is not the only one wanting a come-back; John Briceno too is looking to take back his seat as the Party Leader while Cordel Hyde is looking to see how he can get in to that position. The three men were nominated between yesterday and today and since five o’clock this evening was the deadline, it is official as indicated by the PUP Chairman, Henry Charles Usher.
“As you know, today, December 15th at 5pm was the deadline for nominations for the post on the National Executive of the People’s United Party. We were in the office just now putting together all the nominations that we’ve received. For the post of Party Leader we’ve received three nominations; the Honorable John Briceno, the Honorable Cordel Hyde and the Honorable Francis Fonseca. For the post of Deputy Party Leader we’ve received six nominations; Honorable Florencio Marin Jr., Honorable Jose Mai, Honorable Julius Espat, Honorable Mike Espat, Honorable Rodwell Ferguson, and Honorable Kareem Musa. For the post of National Communications Director, we’ve received three nominations; Dolores Balderamos Garcia, Anthony Mahler and Emilio Zabaneh. For the post of National Campaign Manager we received one nomination, Victor Espat. For the post of Legal Advisor we received one nomination; Anthony Sylvester Jr. For the post of Treasurer we’ve received one nomination, Ramon Cervantes. For the post of Chairman we’ve received two nominations, Henry Charles Usher and Honorable Oscar Requena. Those are the nominations that we’ve received and they have been accepted. This is just the first step, today was just the deadline to get the names in and we still have to have another National Executive at which these names will be tabled followed by a National Party Council and then the National Convention on the 31st of January. We have a deadline of December 22 for the list of delegates to come in. In all we have a total of 2,793 delegates.”
If you can recall when the last national convention had taken place in 2008, it was Mark Espat who withdrew his candidacy and joined the Briceno campaign. This time around, there is no Mark Espat and with about six weeks left for the national convention to take place, anything can happen including unexpected alliances. The national convention is set for January 31, 2016 and there will be over a thousand delegates allowed to cast their votes in the process.