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Feb 28, 2006

U.D.P. leader exposes Belize Times headline as fiction

Story PictureNewspapers, particularly those published by our two major political parties, are known to tell a fib now and then. But even by those loose standards the headline in today’s election eve issue of the Belize Times was something of a shocker. “Barrow Resigns” said the uncharacteristically red banner; while the text went on to describe a raucous U.D.P. executive meeting at which the leader threw in the towel. The only problem with the story says Dean Barrow, is that it’s…

Dean Barrow, Party Leader
“Absolutely untrue! I can?t understand what they could have been thinking of, because surely it will succeed initially in confusing some people, in creating a distraction. But it is so easily refuted and once it has been, I think the P.U.P. looks incredible bad. So, it really shows me the level of desperation that I didn?t think that they were prepared to show public.?

Stewart Krohn
?In the particular article they refer to a meeting that took place last night, a very boisterous one. Is this a total fiction or there is a grain of truth??

Dean Barrow
(Laughing) “Absolute fiction. I was in Benque yesterday for more than half of the day. I?d been there from the Sunday evening. I did a couple of things in the afternoon and I was so tired I went home very early and didn?t leave my house. In other words, certainly I was at home by four o?clock and I did not leave my house until this morning. There was no meeting and so it?s just completely manufactured, completely fabricated?

With that distraction dealt with, News Five’s Stewart Krohn took the opportunity to ask the U.D.P. leader to assess his party’s campaign.

Dean Barrow
“The hype apart, it?s really gone well. People have been very welcoming and whenever you are so well received, it naturally does a great deal for your spirits, for your enthusiasm, for your energy. Not everybody who receives you well is going to vote for you, but it certainly is a morale booster when you think about the fact that nobody turns you away, nobody has harsh words for you. And so I have to feel very, very satisfied at this point in time.?

Stewart Krohn
?The usual knock on the U.D.P. is that while many people see Dean Barrow as very capable, very intelligent, very well respected, there is not that kind of certainty on the people who would be holding party positions just below that of the Prime Minister or leader, and that gives people a certain pause when they go to vote. How would you respond to that analysis??

Dean Barrow
“Well we?ve certainly made an effort in terms of the tickets in the respective districts to put our best foot forward. Again, if you look, firstly at Belize City, I think Zenaida Moya was a coup; somebody who already had a public profile because of her activism as a member of the Public Services Union and of the National Trade Union Congress. Again, somebody who had a public profile because as registrar of cooperatives she blew the whistle on what was happening at that particular cooperative. So, while you will not find that sort of thing to the same degree in the other districts, everywhere I think with respect to certainly our mayoral candidates, we have been able to field people that the respective communities know, can believe in, can assess as having the qualifications.?

?We are going to have a national convention very quickly after tomorrow?s elections. I suspect that you will see changes in the leadership at the second tier and below. And I think those changes will give us a new look, give us a new fit that people will be able to believe in.?

Stewart Krohn
?Tomorrow, election day, what?s your prediction??

Dean Barrow
“I feel absolutely certain that we will win at least six. That is the minimum in my view, but we actually have a very good chance everywhere. And Stewart, I would not be surprised if we won all nine.?

The P.U.P. did not have a monopoly on yellow journalism as today’s Guardian reached a new milestone of bad taste when it ran a front page photo of Adolph Hitler and likened the German mass murderer to Prime Minister Said Musa.

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