BELIZE CITY, Mon. Apr. 9, 2018– Today is the last day for a most unlikely acting prime minister, the Corozal North area representative Hugo Patt, who is Minister of Local Government, Rural Development, Public Service, Energy and Public Utilities, but who was named Acting Prime Minister when Prime Minister Dean Barrow departed Belize last Friday.
The announcement that Patt was named Acting Prime Minister came via a government press release from the Office of the Prime Minister. The release said that PM Barrow left the country to get medical attention for his back ailment.
Reportedly, it could not be confirmed on Friday if the Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber, the Collet area representative, was in the country.
John Saldivar, the Belmopan area representative and Faber’s rival, however, was in the country and was touring police stations on the south side of Belize City on Friday. In terms of Cabinet seniority, Saldivar is senior to Patt, who is a two-term area representative and first-time minister.
Prime Minister Barrow’s selection of Patt to act as prime minister is a strange signal that has been sent to the rest of his Cabinet. Political observers are of the view that all is not well in the Cabinet of the United Democratic Party (UDP) government, especially since the Prime Minister is said to be winding down in preparation for his announced retirement, so whoever succeeds him will have enough time to take over the reins of the party.