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Feb 6, 2008

Musa says P.U.P. is best choice for Belize’s future

Story PictureOn Monday night right after this newscast we ran an in depth interview with U.D.P. leader Dean Barrow. Excerpts from that interview were also shown on last night’s news. Tonight, with regard to the P.U.P., we reverse the process, showing a few minutes of clips from an interview with Said Musa with the full length forty-five minute version airing immediately following this newscast.

Prime Minister Said Musa
“I think in any election the record of a government obviously is an important part. Well it’s not the whole story. In terms of the record, I believe we have a very proud record when you look at the overall picture in terms of what we’ve done to make life better for the Belizean people. Whatever area you want to look at, education, health care, housing for the people, infrastructural development, managing the economy. I am prepared to sit here and defend the record of the Peoples’ United Party. But I don’t believe it’s just the record that will to decide this election. I believe it has a lot to do with which party has really provided that inspiration and hope for the Belizean people for a better tomorrow.”

Stewart Krohn
“It’s sometimes disheartening to the average citizen out there and perhaps to the participants themselves that in such a small country where human resources are probably the most important resource that we have, that a country of three hundred thousand, is really—it becomes a country of a hundred and fifty thousand when it’s divide in half. And so one government will only use the resources of half its people and the other government, when it gets in, only uses the resources of half its people. Is there some possibility that this pattern could ever be broken?”

Prime Minister Said Musa
“Certainly, I really believe that. That’s a very good point you’re making. Since ‘98 when we came into office, this Peoples’ United Party government—I have made a deliberate decision that we need to work in unity for the whole country. If you look at the public service today—even in the higher echelons—we have set about providing opportunities for employment for people irrespective of their political persuasion. I think on that record alone the P.U.P. is way ahead of our opposition in terms of creating a climate of fairness, a climate of openness. Can they accuse the P.U.P. of victimisation? Never. Can we accuse the opposition of victimisation? All the time. This is their whole policy, one of tribal politics. I am totally against that because I think that is what is hurting this country; dragging our people down based on whether you are blue or red. We have sought deliberately to try and remove that. We haven’t done it completely and you are perfectly right it is still there. It’s polarization. We have to get beyond that. We have to realise that it’s Belize first. We have to believe in Belize, that’s what this manifesto is all about. That it’s for all of us.”

Stewart Krohn
“Lets looks at the internal situation with People’s United Party. It is axiomatic in politics that a divided party does not win elections. You can talk about how unified the People’s United Party is said to be but looking at it objectively, you have Mark Espat out there, you have Cordel Hyde out there and while they are certainly running on a P.U.P. ticket, it is clear that there is major division within the Peoples’ United Party. How are you going to get around that issue either in victory or in defeat?”

Prime Minister Said Musa
“I don’t think we need to be too troubled about that. I think it would have been tragic if the Peoples’ United Party was a monolithic party that there had to be uniformity. That’s not how you bring about development. You look at experiences in other countries, whether it be the democratic party or the republican party—well they’re showing it right now in their primaries—there’s serious division in terms of their ideas for how to accomplish thing, how to get things done for the country and we have that within the party as well. And in a sense I have stimulated that. Not only have I allowed it to happen, I have allowed the blossoming of new ideas in our party. So I am not concerned about that. What I am and will always be concerned to ensure is that once we make a collective decision, once there is a consensus about a decision then every member of Cabinet has to tow that line because that is how you govern. There is no other way to govern but through consensus or no effective way of doing it. If somebody can sit in Cabinet and agree to something or allow the majority decision to prevail and then go out and criticize it then you cannot have good governance. It’s as basic as that.”

That interview was conducted on Friday. The full version airs immediately following this newscast.


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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