While politics has taken a back seat to more pressing matters such as COVID-19 and the recent increase in crime, it is important to note that the UDP still needs a new leader. The deadline for submissions is March 26, however, Patrick Faber and John Saldivar have already submitted their names. If this may seem like a case of déjà vu, it is because they were the aspirants in the last convention held on February 9. Saldivar made it clear that he was willing to endorse Omar Figueroa, but that if Faber decided to run, he would as well. Today we spoke to Faber about his decision to run again, but it was clear that the Minister was more focused on keeping Belize COVID-19 free rather than playing politics.
Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture: It is for me not important at this time. I made the submission as you noticed that I had promised all of you in the media that when I made up my mind I would come back to you and tell you and I did no such thing merely because it’s not the kind of time for that. We are in a fight to try to ensure that this country remains COVID-19 free and that’s the bigger fish that we have to fry at this time. Now of course we can walk and chew gum at the same time but we don’t want all of the issues that we’re trying so desperately to attain in terms of this fight to be drowned out by all of this drama that we know can come with the convention and that is why my submission of my name for the leadership was very quiet. But now even trying to stay on the quiet front it is neither here nor there because we’ve agreed at least I participated in that decision yesterday, I don’t think Honorable Saldivar was there but I certainly agreed that in fact at this time all our energies need to be focused on the fight against COVID-19 and so in a Cabinet decision yesterday – while we were there in Cabinet I should say we agreed that the convention should be put off until we are able to deal with this matter effectively the matter being COVID-19.”
Reporter: John Saldivar’s Facebook post where he said that he’s supporting Omar Figueroa, you should support Figuera or if you do submit your name he will submit his name the tone of that status update was very pointed.
Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture: “Well as I said I’m not going to get into that sort of back and forth, my main focus right now is to lend all of my efforts and of course I have to be very concerned about my constituents as well so for the next few days I will batten down the hatches in my own constituency to make sure that our people try to remain as safe as possible both from the issue of gun violence which now seems to be very real and rearing its head again in our constituency and of course to help in the fight against COVID-19.”
The UDP convention was originally set for April 5, but may end up being postponed. According to Faber, this is a decision that would be made by the Cabinet.