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Patrick retakes Opposition leadership from Shyne

BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Sept. 16, 2021– The leader of the UDP, Hon. Patrick Faber, is poised to reclaim his role as Leader of the Opposition after finally succeeding in carrying out the same parliamentary maneuver that Shyne had used to unseat him — the procurement of support of the majority of the Opposition members in the House of Representatives, whose signatures were placed on a letter submitted to the Governor General of Belize, H.E. Froyla Tzalam. In a letter dated September 13, 2021, three Opposition House members requested that Hon. Shyne Barrow be removed as Opposition Leader and that he be replaced by Hon. Patrick Faber.

As readers would recall, Hon. Moses “Shyne” Barrow, who is area representative of the Mesopotamia constituency, was able to oust Patrick Faber from his leadership in the House of Representatives and to position himself in the House as Leader of the Opposition after he garnered the support of the majority of the Opposition members of the House — a move that required just two signatures other than his own: that of Hon. Hugo Patt and Hon. Barrow’s own aunt, Hon. Denise Barrow. Those signatures were presented to the Governor General in a letter on June 21 this year and resulted in his being sworn in as Opposition Leader just a few days later.

His stint as Opposition leader, however, has now come to an end after Hon. Faber was finally able to secure the signatures of both the deputy leader of the party, Hon. Hugo Patt, and the area rep of the Albert division, Hon. Tracy Panton. Those signatures were placed on a letter to the Governor General, which stated, “We write pursuant to Section 47 of the Constitution of Belize…. We hereby notify Your Excellency that Honorable Patrick Faber commands our support for the office of Leader of the Opposition. It follows therefore that the present Leader, Honorable Moses Shyne Barrow, does not enjoy the support required to remain in office.”

Interestingly, Hon. Panton, who had not supported Shyne’s bid for leadership, had also hesitated prior to offering her signature in support of Faber’s return to his Opposition Leader role and had called for the holding of a National Party Council before she pledged her support of Faber.

The National Party Council is reportedly set to take place this Saturday and will be used as the party catalyst to rebuild unity within the party.

It is to be noted that some intriguing alliances were made during Faber’s efforts to reclaim his leadership role in the House — with Faber’s foremost rival within the party, John Saldivar, who just a few months ago was reportedly involved in the orchestration of a recall petition to remove Faber from his position at the helm of the party, also publicly declaring his support for Patrick Faber. Saldivar said that the survival of the party depends on both of them, and as a result a truce has been struck. But concessions apparently had to be made in order for such an alliance to be forged, and Faber is now expected to support Saldivar when he seeks once more to be selected as the UDP’s Belmopan area representative — sidelining Khalid Belisle, who was reportedly planning to be a contender for that position.

Reports are that Faber is set to be sworn in as early as today — in time for him to deliver the Independence Day address next Tuesday.

In what is expected to be his last press release as Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Shyne Barrow stated, “I accept with grace that the majority of the Elected Opposition members of the House have now elected a new Leader of the Opposition”.

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