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The UDP circus continues; Faber axed “conditionally” from the party’s Central Exec. Committee

Former UDP Leader, Patrick Faber has been removed from his party’s Central Executive Committee (CEC). That’s because the group says that Faber violated parts of Articles 1, 5 and 8 of the UDP Constitution when he refused to take down videos and posts on social media, which the party says is damaging to the organisation. Party Chairman, Senator Michael Peyrefitte explained today why the party’s CEC says that for right now, Faber is not a former party leader in good standing. 

Michael Peyrefitte, Chairman, UDP: “The Central Executive Committee last week took a vote that he was to remove all the videos that he consistently makes about the party, the negative videos, and to stop making them or he would be no longer deemed to be a past party leader in good standing with the party. The Central Executive Committee being the body that determines who is in good standing then gave an ultimatum to the past party leader to which there was an indication that he would not do what the Central Executive Committee was asking him to do and as a matter of fact, doubled down and issued another video over the weekend. So the letter this morning was just there since it is clear he is not going to adhere to the wishes of the CEC then the CEC is not going to deem him a past party leader in good standing and therefore that was what enabled him to be on the central Executive Committee and so he has been effectively removed as far as the CEC is concerned.” 

But it seems that Faber does not have a high opinion of those sitting on the CEC anyway. In correspondence, when asked to stop sharing the videos and posts, Faber said it quote “ain’t gonna happen”. On his removal from the CEC, he said he won’t miss the company of the members of the CEC, which he described in terms not fit for broadcast. However, Faber’s removal could have an effect on the UDP in the House of Representatives. Peyrefitte said that while that could be true, it does not mean Faber’s behaviour can go unchecked. 

Michael Peyrefitte, Chairman, UDP: “Not because you’re a member of the House or a member of Parliament means that you’re automatically a member of the Central Executive. That’s not how the party structure works so we took a position, the Central Executive took a position that no matter who you may be or not be, you’re not above the party and fi the CEC determines that you’re engaged in actions that are deliberately destructive to the party that it is within their purview to determine whether or not you’re a member in good standing and that was the decision that they made. I don’t know that there are any other actions that we can take at this point. I think the Central Executive Committee has made a decision on that. Hopefully, hopefully, it will lead to a conversation in some form where we can agree to some way forward because the Central Executive Committee made it very clear that once those posts are removed and the negative comments about the party stopped then he will be reinstated. It’s not an issue to say well we want you gone and gone forever. That’s not what they said. They just believe, they just believe that with the incessant attacks that the party had to do something to send a message that the party would not appreciate nor tolerate what was happening.”

And from a parliamentary democracy perspective, the instability that exists within the UDP can also have national ramifications. We asked the Party Chairman if the UDP is worried about that. 

Michael Peyrefitte, Chairman, UDP: “What happens in the UDP most definitely has national ramifications because we are the ones who are tasked to, without fear or favour, point out what the Government is doing wrong and right to the people of this country. We have a job. It is our job to keep the Government on its toes and to make sure that they are following the laws and the rules and regulations of this country. If we are not focussed fully on that because we have internal issues then certainly it has an effect on the national situation.” 

There’s a new video out tonight, which criticises Barrow for the endorsement convention of Melvin Hewlett. As we reported, Hewlett became the party’s Eastern Region leader, replacing Tracy Panton. Faber said of the move quote “It is the height of nonsense when you illegally remove a winner to replace her via an unconstitutional process, with a man who barely got 500 votes in the general elections” Unquote. It’s a situation that indicates that the UDP has not made any meaningful progress in addressing the challenges it faces since the leadership convention in February 2020, with some saying Faber’s agenda and that of the Coalition for Unity and Reform is damaging the party and Belize’s democracy. In context of the Eastern Region convention, Peyrefitte stressed in the press briefing that applications were opened but that Panton did not apply and Hewlett was the single candidate.