PUP turns 64
Wednesday, October 1st, 2014
The People’s United Party, the oldest political party in Belize, turned 64 on Monday September 29th. The event was celebrated with a National Party Council meeting on Sunday September 28th in Belmopan City, where over 300 delegates from all 31 electoral divisions attended. The Party was officially founded by a group of young Belizeans on September 29, 1950, following the devaluation of the British Honduras (BH) dollar.
In a press release, the PUP said that they took the opportunity to reflect on the party’s accomplishments during its 64 years of existence. “Some 300 delegates from throughout the country ratified various resolutions and conducted Party business. Most important among the resolutions was that of the Party’s Social Justice Agenda, which reiterates our commitment to placing the needs of all Belizeans, especially the less fortunate, front and center of the Party’s Manifesto Pledges,” stated the release.
During the meeting, 31 senior members of the PUP were bestowed with the George Price Service Award, the party’s highest award, for longstanding service in the PUP. A special posthumous tribute was paid to former Mayor of Orange Walk Town Don Ramon Cervantes Sr., in the presence of his widow and family members.
The PUP was formed after the People’s Committee (PC) was dissolved and its leaders received the support of the General Workers Union. Their main objective was to break colonialism and fight for independence. Amongst the accomplishments was the achievement of internal self-government on January 1, 1963. Self government brought Belize one step closer to independence, which was granted on September 21, 1981 under the leadership of the Rt. Honorable George Cadle Price. Since its formation, the PUP won every single election up until 1984 when they lost to a young United Democratic Party under the leadership of Rt. Hon. Sir Manuel Esquivel.
Throughout its 64 years of existence, the PUP has seen six leaders: John Smith (1950 – 1952), Leigh Richardson (acting 1953 – 1956), Rt Hon. George Cadle Price (1956 – 1996), Rt. Hon. Said Musa (1996 – 2008), John Briceño (2008 – 2011) and Francis Fonseca (October 29, 2011 – present). Price was the longest serving PUP leader, and because he was with the party from the onset, his name has been synonymous with the party.
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