The current PUP leadership makes the Belizean people feel a bit like Cassandra, the mythological Greek daughter of the king of Troy who could see the future – most famously, her city-state’s doom – but was cursed such that no one would listen to her. This is a bit of an exaggeration some may say, but is it? The current leadership of the PUP can see that with names such as Fonseca, Musa and Julius Espat as its voice and face, the people of Belize will not vote PUP anytime soon, and hence, the party is headed for another resounding defeat at the polls and apparent doom, but they are cursed to the point where they will not listen to reason.
The polls, though not scientific, speak clearly to the voters’ fear, fatigue and downright frustration at the names aforementioned. One only needs to walk or talk to the common man, the man on the street, who, incidentally, makes up the majority of our voting population, to understand why, despite the missteps of the ruling administration, the PUP, in the eyes of the majority, with its current leadership constitution, is not an option or a risk the voters are willing to take.
Appeals after appeals have been made to these “Honourable gentlemen” to put their egos along with their elitist ideologies aside, step back from the leadership and allow new faces to lead the party into the next general elections. This is not a UDP anti-Fonseca or Musa propaganda issue; this is an issue that as a nation, the people of The Jewel have still not buried or forgotten.
The millions upon millions that disappeared into private bank accounts still haunt our minds and determine our voting patterns. The landslide defeat the PUP experienced in 2008 was enough to get Musa/Fonseca to step down from, but not away from party leadership.
Then comes “holier than thou” Julius Espat, whose hands are as dirty and whose ways even more sinister than that of the Musa/Fonseca era. He has been described by many as a disaster for the party and an even bigger disaster waiting to happen. “Ralph and Said on steroids” is the term coined for this Honourable gentleman.
So Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition is in a dilemma and by extension our country, which is left to grapple with an ever-weakening opposition. Any sound reasoning individual will agree that the current electoral trend does not favour the PUP. They will also agree that there needed to be a radical change, especially in the leadership makeup.
So why did the party opt not to do so? Why is the current leadership hell bent on retaining power? Why do Musa/Fonseca/Julius believe they own the party and hence the Loyal Opposition? Why are they so hard of hearing? In essence, they are saying to the voters, “Screw you. We care not what you say or feel. This is what we think and this is how it is going to be.”
This deluded bunch, which actually thought they would win a third term in 2008, are as deluded in 2015, even after losing consecutive elections, more recently, the thrashing in the Cayo North bi-election, followed by a trouncing at the polls in the March 4 Municipal Elections. Of the 67 possible seats, the PUP only managed to garner 5. Only an insane individual will deceive themselves into thinking the people of this country will be voting PUP with Musa/Fonseca/Julius at the helm. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me … Belizeans, generally, are not fools.
So in the end, who suffers when the party is defeated? The small man; those who carry the flags and would fight and die for the party George Price built. They are the ones who must struggle to feed their families for another UDP term. A prime example is the recent firing of those poor folks at the Dangriga Town Council after the PUP lost the elections in that municipality. They are the ones losing hope and beginning to gravitate towards the UDP to see if in so doing they will get some love. Life is real, but it is evident that the current PUP leadership cares very little about the rank and file of the party. Now it is apparent that the current leadership has taken a “don’t give a damn” attitude towards the rank and file, and more generally, towards the voice of the majority of voters in this country, so why should we, in turn, care about them?
I care not how they leave, and no disrespect is meant by what I pen here, be it by plane or train, bicycle or tricycle, walking or running; I care not – Musa, Fonseca, Julius, just leave the leadership and give the grand old PUP a fighting chance in the upcoming general elections. This country needs the PUP.
What is written, is written ….Time alone will tell.
Former PUP Cayo Central area representative