NPC decides in John Saldivar’s Favor
Turning now to political news, John Saldivar survived a very contentious meeting of the United Democratic Party’s National Party Council (NPC) on Saturday. After an intense discussion, the NPC decided to allow Saldivar to contest the party’s convention in the Belmopan constituency. As we’ve reported, Saldivar won the NPC’s vote by a slim margin, with 42 voting in favour and 40 against. This latest development in the John Saldivar saga comes after the US Department of State designated Saldivar and his entire immediate family and accused him of being significantly corrupt while in office. Saldivar continues to deny the allegations. Providing an update on the situation is UDP Chairman Michael Peyrefitte.
Michael Peyrefitte, Chairman, United Democratic Party: “The leader took a position he’s entitled to a position. He’s entitled to his opinion but like he made very clear to the National Party Council afterward that he took a position but the decision of the NPC is a decision of the NPC and nobody is bigger than the NPC and sometimes you take positions and you’re outvoted by the majority that’s a normal course of action in a party that is democratic. We don’t see that as any weakening of anything at all. As a matter of fact we see it as a strengthening of our processes and the way we do things and democracy is messy at times, it’s not the neatest of things at all but the NPC had it’s say and then now the people of Belmopan will have their say. We can’t imagine a better out come than that. Whatever the NPC would have said Mr.Saldivar made it clear. Well this is it if the NPC says he can’t run he can’t run. The NPC says he can run he can run. Nobody necessarily won or lost on Saturday. The people of Belmopan will have their say and that’s as much about it as anybody should make of it.”
On his social media, Saldivar stated (quote) “justice prevailed”. (end of quote) Party Leader Moses Barrow stated (quote) “I categorically support the Special Committee Decision to disallow the Candidacy of John Saldivar in the best interest of the UDP. The NPC decided to allow the people in Belmopan to ultimately decide the fate of John Saldivar in a Standard Bearers Convention on February 5, 2023. The NPC is the highest decision-making body of the UDP after the National Convention thus as Party Leader I am bound to yield to the Democratic majority of the NPC.” (end of quote) While Saldivar is still in the race, Former Belmopan Mayor Khalid Belisle has withdrawn his candidacy for the position of UDP Standard Bearer for Belmopan. Belisle stated that (quote) “After careful consideration and a multitude of discussions with those I have come to lean on for guidance over the years I have decided to withdraw from the race…. For now, I return to life as a private citizen but remain eternally grateful to the people of Belmopan and my wider UDP family for all the support gifted me.”