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Jan 15, 2019

P.U.P. Leader Says No Internal Political Rift

The I.C.J. Declaration was signed on January ninth by five former Ministers of Foreign Affairs, including sitting Prime Minister Dean Barrow. Barrow was joined by former P.U.P. Prime Minister Said Musa, Lisa Shoman, who served also served as P.U.P. Senator, Godfrey Smith, and Assad Shoman. A day ahead of the signing, the People’s United Party fired off a release making it quite clear that the ex-ministers did not speak on behalf of the party.  Since the signing, reports emerged from within the P.U.P. that the decision from the four to join PM Barrow on stage caused a rift within the party. Today, Party Leader John Briceño was asked if the reports were true.

 

John Briceño

John Briceño, P.U.P. Leader

“I think what is more important is to point out and they quickly mentioned that they are not speaking on behalf of the People’s United Party. They are speaking as private citizens and as former foreign ministers. That is their right to do so. That has been clearly articulated over and over. They were there as private citizens and not as the Party.”

 

Hipolito Novelo

“Sir do you agree with Eamon Courtenay’s description of the event? He said it was a circus, a political stunt.”

 

John Briceño

“Well we know that it was a publicity stunt. The government is desperate in trying to turn the views of the Belizean people and they felt that by having all the former foreign ministers come together that it can help what they are doing. That is fine. That is their decision. They decided to do so and I have no quarrel with them over that.”

 

Reporter

“But these are senior people of your party, all senior counsels too. Has it divided the party?”

 

John Briceño

“They would tell you that they do not speak for the party. Godfrey Smith, Assad Shoman, Lisa Shoman they are not longer active in the P.U.P. The only one yes is the former prime minister who is sitting member of the House of Representatives but they felt that they needed to make their position known as former foreign ministers, not as members of the People’s United Party. There is no division in the party. We are speaking with one voice and that is why I will wrap up the listening tour by the end of this week.” 

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