Today’s Cabinet meeting got underway at ten o’clock this morning in Belmopan. Of course, the press wouldn’t be doing its job if we didn’t at least try to find out what was discussed and decided.
Reporter: In terms of cabinet meeting anything major ?
Hon. Anthony “Boots” Martinez, Area Representative, Port Loyola: “Confidential. Confidential.”
Reporter: But can you at least give us any indication ?
Hon. Anthony “Boots” Martinez, Area Representative, Port Loyola: “Confidential. You want to sell news bad, Cabinet is confidential.”
And while the Cabinet matters are confidential, we were able to get an interview with Albert’s Area Representative, Tracy Panton. Panton had run in Sunday’s convention for the seat of First Deputy Party Leader. For weeks we had been getting reports of a rigged convention and delegate lists filled with family members and close allies who would align with who the Area Representatives were supporting. We asked Panton to respond to the issue of fair play.
Tracey Taegar- Panton, Area Representative, Albert Division: “Listen, nobody enters a race to lose, you enter a race to win. That was not going to be the case on Sunday for various reasons. I understood that I was climbing a steep hill you know but I was intent to ensure that we maintained some democracy and some integrity in the process. So the experience for me has really I think been extremely valuable as I continue forward with my political career in Belize. The privilege of visiting the communities throughout this country and meeting with delegates of the United Democratic Party is one that I will hold near and dear and I can tell you that I have new tools in my took it and this is certainly not going to be the only time I run for office within the United Democratic Party.”
Reporter: Was that convention fair? One hears all these reports about a delegates list with fifteen of the same name as the standard bearer and maybe one name different? That doesn’t seem fair.
Tracey Taegar- Panton, Area Representative, Albert Division:“The convention is over, I entered a race. I had to deal with the circumstances as they presented themselves, I did so to the best of my ability, I was not able to win the race this time and for me that’s the end of the story.”
Reporter: But if there wasn’t fair play then clearly you weren’t given a fair chance to win in terms of what you bring to the table on the executive, I mean that cannot be a good feeling.
Tracey Taegar- Panton, Area Representative, Albert Division:“No it’s not a good feeling. It’s certainly not a good feeling. I did not step back from the race, I did not withdraw my application because I feel very strongly then as I feel strongly now that the only way you can change a system or change a process is if you’re prepared to get involved and I worked with the circumstances as best as I could. I believe in fair play, I believe in the democratic process and I tried the best as I knew how to add to the mix. The rest is history, the votes have been counted, we have a new deputy leader of the United Democratic Party, we will have by this afternoon a new deputy prime minister of this government and I am prepared to work with him and all my colleagues to move this party forward.”
As for the outcome of the convention, Area Representative for Belize Rural North, Edmond Castro had predicted a victory for Saldivar. Today he went even further to predict a victory for the UDP in the next general election.
Edmond Castro, Area Representative, Belize Rural North: “I move around the constituency and around the country enough and I have a good feel of the political pulse so I could make those predictions when it gets near to such elections.”
Reporter: So then, since you are the elections predictor what do you predict for the next big one coming up this year ? Because –
Edmond Castro, Area Representative, Belize Rural North: “We will win.”
Reporter: Sir that’s impossible. You’re dreaming.
Edmond Castro, Area Representative, Belize Rural North: “I was dreaming the last two and three times too right ?”
Reporter: No man, UDP right now their name is rotting in the road.
Edmond Castro, Area Representative, Belize Rural North: “Well listen to me, just like the wave it comes and goes. Good news bad news comes and goes, everything will get cleared up in due time and we will win the next general election. I will give you the number we will win by in the next interview sir. Thank you very much.”