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Shyne Barrow for Leader of the Opposition?

Shyne Barrow – he is the man looking to replace Patrick Faber as the Leader of the Opposition. With a 2-page letter already sent off to the Governor General, Her Excellency Froyla Tzalam, it is anybody’s guess how things will unfold from here. What we can tell you is that tonight Patrick Faber’s fate as the Leader of the United Democratic Party remains in limbo. On the copy of the letter sent to our newsroom, there are three signatures expressing no-confidence in Faber, namely Denise Barrow of Queen’s Square, Hugo Patt of Corozal North and Barrow of the Mesopotamia Division. The letter explains to the Governor General that Faber no longer supports the confidence of the majority of the Opposition Member of the House of Representatives. Leading the charge is self-proclaimed Opposition Chief Whip, Moses “Shyne” Barrow. The letter goes on to state that according to the Belize Constitution, if Faber no longer enjoys majority support of members of his own party in the House, he shall be removed and the office of the Leader of the Opposition shall become vacant, and that he (Shyne Barrow) enjoys the majority support of the UDP members in the House. He went further by stating that in accordance with the constitution, he should be appointed as the Leader of the Opposition. This letter comes days after two hundred and ninety delegates signed a petition to replace Faber. They boldly signed the petition which was delivered to the UDP Secretariat by Philip Willoughby and Tony Herrera on Friday. The party’s National Executive is scheduled to meet on Thursday after which a date for a convention will be set and a vote will be carried out. In the meantime, Faber will have to fight tooth and nail to remain the party’s leader by convincing delegates to vote against the petition. Today UDP Chairman Michael Peyrefitte gave the media an update. Senior Reporter Hipolito Novelo has more on this story.

There is a recall petition to have Opposition Leader Patrick Faber removed as the Leader of the once mighty United Democratic Party. 

Michael Peyrefitte, Chairman, UDP: “I’ve looked at it and I’ve called a Central Executive meeting for this Thursday and we will meet and we will discuss the way forward because my goal is to get it over with quickly.”

And so do the two hundred and ninety delegates from twenty-six constituencies who signed the petition delivered at the UDP Headquarters by Tony Herrera and Philip Willoughby. They want Faber gone. The party’s chairman Michael Peyreffitte says a convention should follow Thursday’s meeting during which delegates will vote to either keep Faber as leader or not. 

Michael Peyrefitte, Chairman, UDP: “He was duly elected by the delegates. Those very same delegates that elected him would have to chose to remove him and so two thirds is why some may say it’s a high threshold I think it’s a fair threshold. If you want to remove someone then you have to come overwhelmingly in favor of removing the leader. Either they will vote, the delegates, to keep the Honorable Patrick Faber as the leader or they will recall him but my thinking is to just get on with it. Get it done as quickly as possible, give both sides a chance to get ready. We have to pick a date, a time, a venue, what the question will actually be for the vote and I have pretty much worked those out myself. I have a date, I have a venue in mind, I have the question and everything but I just want to meet with the central executive of the party and the NPC so I can inform them of my intentions and we can discuss the matter more.”

And the matter hasn’t been discussed much by the Party Leader and Chairman. 

Michael Peyrefitte, Chairman, UDP: “I don’t want to speak to him too much and I don’t want to speak to the petitioners too much because I don’t want anybody to say that I am colluding with one side  or the other to bring about a particular result. So I informed him as a party leader as to what the situation is. He was of course fully aware of it and I also informed him again yesterday about my intention to hold a Central Executive Committee meeting this Thursday and that’s been the nature of the conversation.”

The conversation to follow if the petition succeeds would then be focused on a replacement. Who will it be? And who wants to lead the UDP after two successive massive defeats at the polls but more importantly who wants the job to make sure wounds heal in the not so United Democratic Party?

Michael Peyrefitte, Chairman, UDP: “When you’re growing you have difficulties, you have obstacles and this is just to me it’s just a part of it. It’s a part of the process. We have to get it behind us at some point. We have to deal with it at some point but we’re still very early before a next general election. We’re still very early in the rebuilding process and I am not as concerned with it as most people are because then I think that from within this is what happens. When you’re rebuilding a business, when you’re rebuilding family ties you go through these difficulties it’s just that in politics you are in a fish bowl and everything if you blink a certain way it is observed by the world so I think that’s just what makes it so magnified.”

And the magnifying glass was stuck above Faber, especially since that video went viral, the video that made it possible for his own party member to question his capability to lead. But after the dust settles, it will be the job, in part, of the party chairman to help in the rebuilding process. 

Michael Peyrefitte, Chairman, UDP: “I think the party needs a lot of rebuilding right now and I think as Chairman I’m in a good position to deal with all these constituency organizations and committees and that’s where my energies lie. I have no doubt that the United Democratic Party will be a united party again and victorious at the polls again.”

Reporting for Love News, I am Hipolito Novelo.