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Editorial
PUP and UDP a Clear Difference in Leadership Print E-mail
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Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 12 February 2015 00:00

Prime Minister, Hon. Dean Barrow, has described PUP party leader, Francis Fonseca as ‘tiptoeing through the tulips’ in the manner in which he is dealing with the Marco Tulio Mendez situation. Remember, Mendez is accused of child molestation and the PUP and Fonseca’s position has been to refer to the victims as ‘alleged victims’ and to Tulio Mendez as a friend and colleague who is going through a trough time.

If we were to contrast this with the manner in which the Prime Minister handled the Elvin Penner situation, we can clearly see a night and day difference in leadership. While Francis ‘Hems and ha’s’ on what action he is to take, the Prime Minister was very decisive when it came to the Penner matter. The issues of course are completely different as well. Penner was accused of selling one passport while Tulio Mendez is accused of molesting two young girls who were under his care.

When the matter came to light as to what Penner was being accused of, he was immediately kicked out of cabinet. As matters began to become more clearer on that issue, he was asked to even resign from the House of Representatives (he is yet to do so). In this matter, the PM has been clear that he cannot force Penner to resign but he asked. It went further where Penner cannot represent the party in any electoral capacity, he was even replaced as the UDP rep in Cayo North.

Look at what is now taking place with the PUP. They are rallying around Mendez, despite the severity of the accusations. The Prime Minister has categorically stated that the entire deal is outrageous and Mendez should resign. There is no such call from the PUP however and they continue to refer to this man as their colleague. The PM called out Francis Fonseca saying that there is nothing forthright about his response to the issue. He asked that the media would continue to challenge him on the lack of forthrightness. 

Knowing the modus operandi of the PUP we will not hold our breath that Fonseca will anytime soon ask Tulio to resign despite the severity of the accusations. And while we cannot expect very much from Fonseca, we would hope that the 5th Estate, the media would bring pressure on the issue to call for Tulio to resign. Sadly however, that is also not something than can be expected. When Penner was accused there were all manner of voices calling for his resignation. Now that Tulio is caught in this mess, there is not a single voice crying for him to resign. The yardstick is indeed different for the PUP and for the UDP. The UDP stick is much much shorter than the PUP’s.

That being the case however, we can at this point stand in great relief knowing that while we can’t expect others to call for Tulio’s resignation, what we can say is that if this were to have happened with a UDP the consequences would have been swift and severe.