by Khaila Gentle
BELIZE CITY, Fri. Sept. 23, 2022
In a letter addressed to Hon. Patrick Faber, the chairperson of the UDP Nominations Committee has informed the Collet area representative that his application to once again be the party’s standard bearer of that division was denied. That letter accuses Hon. Faber of failing to comply with at least three articles in the United Democratic Party’s constitution by publicly criticizing the party through a series of posts made on his official Facebook page. The controversial move has polarized not only some residents of the Collet division but members of the United Democratic Party itself.
On September 23, three days after the letter to Faber was issued, area representative for the Albert division, Hon. Tracy Panton, wrote to UDP chairman, Michael Peyrefitte, questioning the authenticity of the letter and expressing her concern regarding the matter.
“I…ask for your kind intervention for the letter to be immediately retracted and for Hon. Faber’s interest to represent the United Democratic Party Collet be re-considered post haste,” she said.
Hon. Panton noted that the issuance of the letter seemed “misguided,” since the UDP’s National Party Council (NPC) had agreed that “current sitting parliamentarians would not be subject to the same application process as new aspirants.”
Earlier, in August, the NPC came to an agreement that all party members would remove any negative posts regarding the UDP—and its leader—from their social media pages. In addition to making his own posts, Hon. Patrick Faber also re-shared several advertisements by now ousted UDP member Delroy Cuthkelvin. (Despite being removed from the party, Cuthkelvin has continued to express his discontent with the party, and particularly with party leader, Hon. Moses “Shyne” Barrow.)
In addition to Hon. Tracy Panton, both the vice chairman of the party, Alberto August, and UDP Caribbean Shores standard bearer Lee Mark Chang have spoken out against the denial of Faber’s application. On Friday, Chang posted on his public social media page, “If Patrick, Tracy, or Alberto [are] out, I am out too”—a statement that was met with agreement by many party supporters.
Also weighing in on the matter this past weekend, however, was former Belmopan area representative John Saldivar. He spoke out in support of the decision, stating that it came as no surprise.
Saldivar noted, “We have been grappling with this Patrick Faber issue for some time now.”
According to Saldivar, both the UDP’s Central Executive and the NPC have attempted to urge Faber to “cease and desist” on several occasions, but he has only ever responded disrespectfully. The former area representative shared on his social media page an email from Hon. Faber sent on August 12 in response to a letter from the party chairman. The email states, simply, “ain’t gonna happen. I won’t miss the company of the majority ****heads on the central executive anyhow.”
During that month, Faber had been removed from the UDP’s Central Executive Committee for his continued criticism of the party’s leaders.
Hon. Patrick Faber has served a total of five terms as the Collet division’s area representative and is currently the most senior member of the opposition in the House of Representatives. Despite his checkered past, which consists of a series of domestic violence accusations, he has maintained a vast amount of support from the residents of his constituency.
Notably, in March of 2011, Hon. Faber, as the then chairman of the UDP Nominations Committee, wrote a letter to the then Orange Walk East representative, Marcel Cardona, informing him that Cardona had been removed from the party for publicly declaring his “hostility to, and non-support of the UDP Administration’s Budget and the UDP Government generally.”
In an ironic twist of fate, Hon. Patrick Faber now finds himself in a position similar to Cardona’s.
According to an internal message to the party from UDP leader Hon. Moses “Shyne” Barrow, the rejection of Hon. Faber’s application could be reconsidered, but the Collet area representative has until the end of this month to “cure his breaches to the Party Constitution” and reapply for the standard bearer position.