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May 30, 2007

Musa says he doesn’t fear Barrow; Barrow renounces violence

Story PictureAnd while Dean Barrow will continue as an attorney in the A.C.B. claim, his comments earlier this week as Leader of the Opposition have prompted a response from Prime Minister Said Musa. During a press conference on Monday, Barrow declared that his United Democratic Party would “take all appropriate action” if the P.M. does not resign within a certain amount of time. Before leaving for Venezuela on Tuesday, Prime Minister Said Musa responded to Barrow’s statement in a taped interview with press office director Nuri Muhammad.

Said Musa, Prime Minister of Belize
“I think the Belizean people should take note that this is a very serious threat coming from the leader of a party that is aspiring to become the government of this country. If you read clearly between the lines of what that statement is saying, it’s an ultimatum. It’s a threat to the head of government, saying if you don’t resign, we are going to remove you by any means necessary. That is what it is saying. It is telling me that we’re dealing here with a very desperate politician, an obsession almost with having to become Prime Minister of this country. We are dealing with a very desperate party. We are living in very dangerous times and I would only say this: that I will not be moved by threats. I have never been intimidated in what I do. I act according to my conviction, according to my conscience. I have faith in what I am doing and I have faith in a superior being and I will not be threatened, by Mr. Barrow or anyone else, if what I believe I am doing is right. When I have doubts about what I am doing, I am quite prepared to be humble and change course. But when I believe in what I’m doing and when I know that there are people in support of what I’m doing, I believe that we must fight tooth and nail to uphold the constitution of this country and under the constitution the government has until next year to call an election. No one in my party is calling for my resignation. So who is Mr. Barrow to be telling me that I must resign otherwise he will take whatever action is necessary? No Mr. Barrow, you’re not going to threaten me, you’re not going to threaten my party. You can continue with your negative, desperate, destructive moves. We will continue with our positive, constructive, energetic measures to continue to build our country and to make sure that we uphold the rule of law, to make sure that we uphold our democracy, indeed the freedoms of our people. I have never exercised force in trying to carry out the wishes of my party or my government, of this government and I don’t intend to go down that route.”

Janelle Chanona
“How would you feel about setting that sort of precedent politically, of bringing down the government by “appropriate action” rather than waiting for the constitutional time for the elections?

Dean Barrow, Leader of Opposition
“Well we are talking about obliging the government to resign, that is politically acceptable and that is constitutionally acceptable. Nobody is talking about a violent overthrow, nobody is talking about guerrilla warfare, nobody is talking about insurrection. We are talking about all appropriate means within the constitutional order.”

“I deliberately didn’t set any parameters because it is a fluid situation, it is ongoing and, to some extent, what we do subsequently will be determined by how much success or otherwise we have with the Chamber of Commerce and the social partners. In that kind of a scenario there really is not the kind of the predictability that would allow me to say with certainty what the subsequent steps would be. As I say, to some extent, those subsequent steps will be driven by the results of the meetings with the Chamber and the social partners.”

According to Barrow, separate meetings with the Chamber of Commerce and other social partners have been scheduled for Thursday in an attempt to coordinate a united call for the Prime Minister’s resignation.

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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