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May 12, 2017

P.M. Gone? Not Yet, But He is Thinking About It

Dean Barrow

The House of Representatives met today in special session in Belmopan. Its main business was to introduce nine original and amended bills and two loan motions. We will get to all of that in a moment, but first to an extended interview at the conclusion of the House meeting with Prime Minister Dean Barrow. Two weeks ago in a guest address at the Annual General Meeting of the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry, he hinted at early retirement. Officially, the position is that he will hand over to the party’s chosen successor no later than the end of 2019 or early 2020 so that the new PM would conclude the term and lead the U.D.P. into the next election.  But could he go sooner? He told us candidly that the answer to that has much to do with his health, specifically his chronic back problems.


Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“I am tired of hearing about my back; so how much more so must you, the media, and the public be? But it is a factor of some consequence and I am monitoring my situation carefully. I am now at the stage where I am beginning to hope for miracle cures – I am seeing that there is a Jamaican, Dr. Kingsley Chin, who has developed a new artificial disk that they say is likely to be a breakthrough. Artificial disks have been around for a while but the material out of which they are made did not prove as satisfactory as people might have hoped. This man has had U.S. approval for the replacement of the natural disks in the cervical spine by his artificial disk; he’s hoping to get similar approval for his artificial disk, called the Freedom Disk, for the lumbar spine. I keep following up what’s happening with the stem cell therapy treatment; so I am hoping for some kind of a breakthrough. But if that doesn’t come, I quite honestly have to, in order to be fair to people, to my own party and to the Belizean electorate, contemplate the possibility of going earlier if it is that I begin to sense that I am not in my position to give it my all; that’s all it is. And I don’t want for anybody to be taken by surprise, and that’s why I have been dropping these rather broad hints that there is a chance that I will go, certainly before the end of 2019.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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