BELIZE CITY, Mon. Sept. 17, 2018– Attorney Dean Russell Lindo, S.C., who was the first leader of the now ruling United Democratic Party (UDP), passed away at 3:25 p.m. today at his Buttonwood Bay home. He was 86.
Lindo’s family said that he suffered from diabetes and had heart complications.
Lindo rose to political significance following the 1973 formation of the UDP when he became the party’s first leader.
In 1969, Lindo went up against Philip Stanley Wilberforce Goldson, challenging him for the leadership position of the National Independence Party (NIP), but Goldson defeated him. That defeat was devastating to Lindo and became the catalyst which propelled him to form his own political party, the People’s Development Movement (PDM)
In 1973, however, Lindo merged his PDM with the Liberal Party and the NIP to form the UDP, which he led until 1979.
By 1974, the UDP was in good fighting form and captured six seats in the then 18-member House of Representatives. That was the first time that an Opposition party had won that many seats in a general election in Belize. The UDP ended up creating six dots on its flag to signify its performance in the first election it contested.
Another decade would pass before the UDP finally took over the reins of government from the People’s United Party, which three years before, in 1981, had attained independence for Belize.
Lindo first ran for the Fort George constituency on an NIP ticket in 1969, but lost to the PUP’s Alexander Hunter, who was the incumbent. Lindo won his first election in 1974, when he defeated Said W. Musa, but in the next general election in 1979, Musa defeated Lindo, causing him to lose the leadership of the UDP to Dr. Theodore Aranda.
In the general election of 1984, which swept the UDP to power for the first time, Lindo took back the Fort George seat from Musa. He would lose the Fort George seat again to Musa in 1979, this time by a margin of almost 500 votes. That defeat was humiliating, and Lindo left politics after that election, but continued to advise the UDP and continued working in his law practice.
In the early 1970s during the United Black Association for Development (UBAD) era, Lindo defended the UBAD three: Norman Fairweather, Michael Hyde and Edwardo Burns, who were charged with, among other things, causing damage to Radio Belize’s transmitter. That was the first time the then government monopoly radio station had been knocked off the air.
Lindo was a graduate of New York University and Durham University, England, and was a member of the Honorable Society of Lincoln’s Inn. From 1964, up until a few months ago, Lindo practiced his legal craft in Belize.
Kremandala extends condolences to the family of Dean Russell Lindo.