Moving now to the domestic issues within the opposition party:::: When we left you last night, UDP’s Area Representative, Tracy Panton was denying her involvement in the no-confidence motion against the Leader of the Opposition, Patrick Faber. She got caught in a sticky situation, however, when a private text was leaked that proved that she was the one calling for a meeting and looking for a plan to get Faber out. The story further developed when Panton issued a statement chastising Shyne Barrow for leaking the text message, saying that it was a private conversation and not meant for public consumption. Her reprimand of Barrow, however, seems to be an indirect admission that there were discussions surrounding the no-confidence in the leadership of Patrick Faber. The entire situation paints the picture that things are not well within the opposition party, and that Faber may not be the Leader of the Opposition for much longer. Faber has been quiet on the matter, but our newsroom was able to speak to the UDP Chairman, Michael George Peyrefitte who explained that the public should not make too much of it as it is merely a UDP family misunderstanding.
Michael Peyrefitte, UDP Chairman: “There have been some murmurings, there have been some disagreements and some strong opinions on issues within the party but that’s natural when you have a democratic party like the United Democratic Party. That’s what we do. Like I said I would have preferred personally for it not to be made public like that but that’s what happens in organizations and I have no difficulty with that. The Honorable Shyne Barrow expressed his opinion and that’s his opinion but he’s still a member of the UDP, he’s still a member of our family. He had indicated certain things and I think the Honorable Panton had responded to that and that’s just the nature of the business. In political parties as in all organizations at times you have differences the only thing with us is that those differences are plastered on the news and the media everywhere for the public to see but I don’t see any issue with it. I think that it’s a part of the rebuilding process. When you’re rebuilding and trying to put things back into place sometimes you have to allow people to just express themselves and get things off their chest so that we can get back to square one, get back to being the United Democratic Party that we are and then we move on from there.”
As the chairman of the party what is your way forward to quell whatever public fights they’re having and to basically come together under the umbrella again ?
Michael Peyrefitte, UDP Chairman: “Well don’t know I could divulge party secrets it’s an inner party matter but it is indeed a big part of my job to ensure that we are back again, that we are a family again and that we are engaging in nothing but love. Listen to me as I said last night families quarrel, families fight, families disagree and you may even have like one family member decide that they are more vocal than the other one it happens. It happens in a family. When you’re so close and you’re so tight to each other sometimes you know a little bit of content comes about but then you know that’s all a part of the process and it’s good when people express themselves and have their different outburst because then it frees themselves of the bad feelings and the bad blood but at the end of the day we are a family and when you are a family you come back together, you resolve your difference and you move on as one united family and I have no doubt that that is what will happen.”
The fiery exchanges and the discussions on removing the Patrick Faber as the Leader of the Opposition were exacerbated following the recent viral video showing him in a fit of anger towards his ex-lover. In our interview with Chairman Peyrefitte he explained the video as perhaps being the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Reporter: Do you honestly believe that an apology for such an incident is enough ?
Michael Peyrefitte, UDP Chairman: “Renee in response to that question and that scenario being put to me I answered the questions on Friday. I would urge you to go and look at what I said and that’s what I said I need not say anything else on that matter. That’s what I said, that’s my position and it hasn’t changed. And I don’t think I will disagree with you that that is what started this that is not what started this. There’s been murmurings and discussions from ever since there’s been a change of government about the different things happening within the party that people didn’t agree with which is their opinion they’re entitled to their opinion. So that yes you could say that that was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back so to speak but that had nothing to do with issues we’re facing. The issues that we are facing and the opinions being expressed by people I don’t think that that it started with that. It’s been going on and that is healthy, that is something that we encourage. We encourage in the UDP a difference of opinion, a difference of stances and nobody is above the UDP and nobody is above the UDP’s constitution. We’re all subject to analysis and whether or not we’re doing our jobs properly even the party leader said it in our meeting when we have on a regular basis everybody is assessed from the leader to the deputy leader to the second deputy leader, the chairman, the vice chairman all those people who hold official positions in the party they’re always under constant assessment and so it is free for people to express whether or not they believe he or I or anybody else is doing a good job or not. That is what happens in democratic institutions.”
It has only been a few months since Patrick Faber has been at the helm of the United Democratic Party (UDP), and already the optics are not good. With the senior veterans of the UDP now retired from electoral politics, our newsroom asked UDP Chairman Peyrefitte if former Party Leader, Dean Barrow and Michael Finnegan are being sought for advice.
Michael Peyrefitte, UDP Chairman: “Maximum, maximum respect I can’t say maximum enough, maximum, maximum respect to the Right Honorable Dean Barrow and the Honorable Michael Finnegan they currently have no official role in the United Democratic Party. I am sure that they may have their opinion, I am sure that they are there for guidance and advice but and if we were to ask them for their guidance and their advice they would certainly give us but they have made it very clear that they have served their time it is now our time so whatever issues we are having we must find a way to solve it amongst ourselves. Those of us who are here now currently directly involved with the party but they play no official role in the United Democratic Party.”