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Is the United Democratic Party now united?

The United Democratic Party (UDP) says that it has managed to take steps to become united. A press statement from the Opposition shared that Leader Moses “Shyne” Barrow, former party Leader Patrick Faber and Tracy Panton met and (quote) agreed on a roadmap for cooperation in the best interest of Belize.” (end of quote) The meeting was hosted by Reverend C. David Goff at the Henry Young Building on Tuesday afternoon when members had a frank and candid discussion for several hours in which a wide range of issues was discussed that would provide for unity. We asked Albert Area Representative Tracy Panton about it. 

Tracy Panton, Area Representative, Albert: “I think it was a very, in my assessment, a cordial meeting, a very open – there was definitely frank and open dialogue. Very respectful. It would be safe to say that we all understand the critical importance of ensuring that the United Democratic Party is best poised to safeguard Belize’s democracy and to be a voice for the voiceless. I think that’s universal and it was universal in that meeting. There are various issues that have been lingering for some time that we reviewed and we were able, in the three hours or so that we met, we had an opportunity to find common ground on some issues, not all issues and you know, Rome was not built in a day. Particularly for the Former Party Leader and myself the bottomline is that we need to, as best as we can, respect and adhere to the U.D.P. party’s constitution. It is our bible. It should guide our decision making and also to respect the decision making bodies of the party. So, whether it is the Leadership Team, whether it’s the Central Executive Committee, the National Party Council, which is the highest making decision body of the party outside of a National Convention, that we need, where we may have – there have been lapses in these bodies meeting that we need to get back to our regular schedule so the voices of our Executive Committees in all 31 constituencies can be head. We talked about getting the party ready in terms of contacting our constituency conventions, looking at caretaker conventions in tandem with the constituency conventions as a start and then later on, you know, the current executive leadership team, that term is up and so we need to look at leadership team in a special convention and then move to enshrining standard bearers closer to 2025 when we have to be most ready to win the next General Elections. So I think it was, it was definitely a robust discussion. It was a very frank, open, and respectful conversation amongst the three of us. Rev. Goff was really there to listen and to provide whatever moral or spiritual support we felt was necessary and then it’s now for us to put some of those agreements into action with a first step in convening a National Party Council meeting as soon as is practical, hopefully not longer than within two weeks.”