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UDP Delegates to Vote on Whether to Attempt to Move Faber as Party Leader Should be Pursued

In about two weeks, just over five hundred UDP delegates will have the opportunity to decide in a Recall Vote on whether the seat of the current Party Leader, Patrick Faber should be challenged via a convention. The Central Executive of the Party met virtually on Saturday and has decided that the Recall Vote will take place on July 11 at the Bird’s Isle in Belize City. Delegates will reportedly be casting secret ballots at this event. If the current UDP Party Leader manages to get majority votes for him to remain as the leader then he would prove victorious in this round of the internal war. In our interview, with aspiring UDP Leader Darrell Bradley we asked him if he would campaign for Faber to be recalled. Bradley responded saying the recall mechanism is an unforced error.

Darrell Bradley, Attorney

Darrell Bradley, Attorney: “I think that a lot of what has transpired really is a huge distraction. It’s a distraction against the work of the United Democratic Party in being able to charge a vision and a platform to convince anyone in the public, convince people like you Hipolito to say I want you to vote for the United Democratic Party and so we must be immune to any kind of challenges in terms of credibility, in terms of our ability to lead a united front and these are questions which even if the Honorable Patrick Faber were to win the recall vote, which is a possibility and which is a strong possibility, we still would have these questions. I won’t really get into the fight. I’ve indicated that I won’t campaign yay or nay in relation to any recall I’m not really interested in a recall mechanism.”

Reporter: You’re interested in the leadership votes.

Darrell Bradley, Attorney: “Yes.”

Reporter: So by saying so your interest now would be that the recall petition is successful.

Darrell Bradley, Attorney: “Yes but what I’m saying is I am not actively involved in any campaigning in relation to the recall. If the Honorable Patrick Faber wins the recall mechanism and there is not the two thirds vote he’s the party leader but if he’s the party leader I still think as a party we have a problem.”

Reporter: But wouldn’t it be in your best interest if you ran along with the campaign for the petition to be successful, for that post to be vacant and for you to —

Darrell Bradley, Attorney: “I want to make this very clear Hipolito it’s not my best interest. So that I am not here, for what it’s worth, I’m not here to say I am a better person that anybody. I am not here to say that I want him to fail. I’m not here to say any of that and I’m not here to campaign for an office; we have a party leader. I think that the whole issue of this recall is an unforced error, it’s a huge distraction that really undermines every candidate from the United Democratic Party in terms of their effectiveness to deal with issues and policies to say that we are a viable alternative and we can be a better government.”

Reporter: The issue is about leadership you mentioned that about two or three minutes ago but you’re saying without saying it that you want to be UDP leader.

Darrell Bradley, Attorney: “Yes. I mean ….”

Reporter: But for you to be leader of the UDP that petition has to be successful, Patrick must be recalled even if it doesn’t happen now in the next maybe other convention you guys have. 

Darrell Bradley, Attorney: “Yes you’re correct.”

Reporter: Okay so you want to be leader, you then would want this recall petition to be successful and Patrick Faber to effectively fail.

Darrell Bradley, Attorney: “I wouldn’t say that. I wouldn’t say it hat far. I would indicate that I am offering a voice and it was an issue like for example I ran for party leader before and I indicated this when I ran for party leader, I met with the Honorable John Saldivar, I met with the Honorable Sedi Elrington after the vote was held I met with the Honorable Patrick Faber, I offered all of them my support. The reason why I am making this statement is not because I want to be party leader,  I do , but the reason why I’m speaking is not because I want to be party leader, I’m quite happy… you saw me before you came in I have lots of files on my desk, I was meeting with clients I’m quite happy being a lawyer. It’s not that I want him to be recalled I wish him the best, I would want for a leader of the United Democratic Party who I can look up to and be proud of and say this is the person who I am inspired by and who I feel passionate going out there and campaigning for but if that’s not the case we have a problem. So that even if they – and I’ll put this to you Hipolito – even if the recall mechanism fails and we go forward we’re still gonna have the party divisions. We’re still gonna have the question of credibility and leadership and who can talk about reform and so forth. So to my mind the recall mechanism means nothing, it’s nothing, it’s a distraction, it’s a sideshow .”

The Recall Vote is a window of opportunity for Faber to reach out to the delegates to vote against the recall in order for him to hold on to his seat. If the majority of the voting delegates opt to remove Faber then a convention will be triggered. It is a situation that escalated quickly in the public domain, stripping Faber of the post of Leader of the Opposition through a no-confidence motion, followed by the current move to remove him as the UDP’s Party Leader. Faber noted on The Morning Show today that he is okay with the Recall Mechanism.

Hon. Patrick Faber, UDP Party Leader: “I think there is enough authenticity in terms of those signatures that have been verified to trigger the convention. They’re saying 270 but when you check with certain people some people say well they never signed it but enough have been verified for it to be triggered and I am okay with that. We did hear a number of people say they were brought the petition by their constituency leader and asked to sign, some say they signed because they don’t want to let their local leader down like that. Some say that they were mislead, some were coerced, some were induced by little sweeties as I call it in a very tough society right now but you know what we can’t hide from is that they indeed signed but these people are also saying listen immediately after the petition became public that I signed but in a private ballot it’s going to be a different story.”

With very few seats on the national and municipal offices the number of delegates compared to the UDP’s last convention will differ. Faber explained how the delegate system will work.

Hon. Patrick Faber, UDP Party Leader:From what has happened in the past – and I don’t expect it to be any different – yes those delegates have to be registered for the convention and they receive a badge but it’s a very manageable list it’s only five hundred or so persons so we know exactly who are qualified to vote on that day. It’s not going to be the same list from July and the reason for that is very simple. When I say that I don’t want people to be confused it’s the same constituency delegates but you will understand that there are some delegates that are on there based on their position in the party, elected officials for instance are all given an opportunity to vote. So whereas before March of this year we had forty- fifty almost municipal councilors and mayors those who lost their election and that only means now that we have Berne Fernandez in Cayo and Mayor Earl Trapp so those are the only two elected persons at the municipal level who will be allowed to vote. So all the others now will not participate and then there’ve been changes on the Central Executive for instance where people who were serving as chairpersons of committees in the central may have changed and so they will not be allowed to participate. So it takes the number down I think about fifty or so from what voted in July. We’re looking at about a hundred and seventy three votes in order to have the recall fail. If a hundred and seventy three people vote yes the recall fails, minimum.”