BELIZE CITY, Mon. Aug. 6, 2018– This morning, the Opposition People’s United Party chairman, Henry Charles Usher, confirmed on Positive Vibes, the party’s television and radio show, that the party’s vetting committee had rejected the application of attorney Arthur Saldivar to run in the Belmopan convention that is set for August 26.
Chairman Usher was brief in saying that the vetting committee had met and turned down Saldivar’s application.
Usher urged Saldivar’s supporters to respect the process of the committee, which he said was selected by the party’s national executive.
“The side show is over, and it’s time to move on to our convention in Belmopan and select a standard bearer on August 26, who will represent the party in the next general elections”, Usher said.
In June, Arthur Saldivar, who was once the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) standard bearer for the Belize Rural North constituency, took out a Supreme Court claim and at the same time applied for an urgent injunction to prevent the party from proceeding with its Belmopan convention to select a standard bearer for the next general elections.
The PUP not only postponed their Belmopan convention until after the government’s re-registration exercise at the end of this month, but they also invited Saldivar to submit a new application for the Belmopan standard bearer race — a race which already had three aspirants running for the top spot.
Saldivar not only succeeded in having the party postpone its Belmopan convention, but he won his claim in court after the five executive members he named in his lawsuit failed to present a defense to the court on time.
Then last week, the PUP’s Legal Advisor, Eamon Courtenay, bluntly told the media that Saldivar was not wanted as a candidate by the party.
Saldivar’s camp fired back, branding Courtenay as “elitist.”
Saldivar also made an appearance on KREM’s Wake Up Belize Morning Vibes show with the show’s co-host, Nuri Mohammed, where he outlined his court challenge as being based on the constitution of the party, which he said the executive was not following when they decided not to accept his application for the Belmopan convention.
When we reached Saldivar this morning by phone, all he would confirm is that his legal case is still remaining and that the party has to pay him an assessment of damages.
We asked Saldivar how he felt about the decision by his party to reject his application.
“It seems that Eamon Courtenay owns the party. Dis da Eamon Courtenay party,” Saldivar said.
He added, “What they have done is penalized me for standing up for my rights.”
The three aspirants whose applications were successful and who will battle each other for the PUP standard bearer position in the Belmopan constituency for the next general elections are Oscar Mira, Michelle Rodriguez, and Wiezsman Pat.
The successful candidate will face the incumbent United Democratic Party’s John Saldivar.