On Monday’s newscast, Minister of Education Patrick Faber raised everyone’s eyebrows when he extended his personal congratulations to newly elected Belize National Teacher’s Union Senator Elena Smith on her victory at last Thursday convention. Now, we all know that the BNTU and Faber have had a testy relationship for almost the entire time Faber has served as Minister of Education. In his interview with the media, Faber placed the difficult time squarely on the leadership of Luke Palacio and alluded to expecting better days under Smith. Today while appearing on Krem Radio morning show both the Senator and the outgoing President made it clear that Faber should not be rejoicing as much as he is.

Screen_Shot_2017-04-25_at_8.12.43_PMHonourable Patrick Faber - Deputy Prime Minister /Minister of Education

“It is no secret that the leadership of the BNTU under Luke Palacio was a very rocky time in terms of that relationship with me and also with the wider government I will not tell you that I am not happy that that has come to an end but I was genuine when I made the comment to congratulate the new president, I have known Mrs. Elena for a good many years in fact when I was serving as a part of the Belize District Branch of the BNTU some years ago when I was a teacher we served together so that I was genuinely offering my congratulation to her as the new president.”

Senator Elena Smith - NTUCB President-Elect

“I don’t care the minister had said that yes we are friends, he and I sat on the executive together some years ago, we were never boson body, we were cordially and I knew him because of the Union but we were always cordial with each other.”

Luke Palacio - BNTU outgoing President

“Whether he is happy or unhappy, Luke Palacio has nowhere to go, my Union has elected me as the first Vice-President of the BNTU for the next two years. Our constitution provides and that is why we refer to Sister Elena as the President elect because her presidency becomes effective at the end of June and that is so because we would not have wanted for her to leave the classroom or anybody else who would have become elected as the National President, to leave the classroom and the children miss this last part of the school year so she will continue in her professional as a teacher up until the end of June and then she takes over as President and I will be her right hand.”

The Union leaders also responded to Faber’s claims that he had nothing to do with any sort of political infiltration of the BNTU convention. Faber argued that he took the day off and remained at his Ladyville home on the day of the convention. But Smith revealed today that she has proof that Faber

Luke Palacio - BNTU outgoing President

“So that when the minister now speaks that he was not aware of what was going on and these other things, we are definitely not convinced about that, there were key persons who we know are supporters of the party in government and we have no problem with that that is their democratic right but for you to come out here now and try and indicate that you know nothing of this.”

Screen_Shot_2017-04-25_at_8.12.51_PMSenator Elena Smith - NTUCB President-Elect

“On Wednesday when we were at convention we were informed of a meeting going on at the ministers’ home, while I was on a call telling me about that meeting I heard the conversation and I think what happened to them they never expected anyone to be around while they were having their meeting and unfortunately for them and fortunately for us there was someone around who was listening into their conversation and overheard their and so we aware of what was going on.”

Senator Smith takes up her Presidency on July 1st, during the summer holidays, to allow her enough time to assume the responsibilities.

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