There is major upset and tension emanating from within the People’s United Party tonight. With the resignation of Thea Garcia-Ramirez from the Northern Caucus after a crushing defeat this past Sunday, tensions increased after the Party’s National Executive decided to reject applications submitted by Arthur Saldivar and Patrick Jason Andrews to run in the Belmopan Division. We will have their comments later on in the newscast but first we have comments from former Prime Minister and PUP Leader Said Musa. After the PUP National Executive committee met, Love News received reports that the party is considering to ask Musa to step aside to make way for Henry Charles Usher to run in the Fort George Division. We asked Usher for confirmation and his response was quote, “We have not even set a date in Fort George yet for the Convention.” We pressed, asking Usher if that idea was discussed during the PUP meeting yesterday. His response was quote, “No. Fort George convention never did come up. The upcoming conventions were the only ones that we spoke about.” We asked Usher if he is interested in running in the Fort George Division. His response was quote “I am a servant of the people. I work for the party and for the people” End of quote. We pressed him on that particular matter but Usher would not categorically deny or confirm the report. But Musa did. In an exclusive interview, Musa told Love News that he will not step aside before the next general elections unless the voters in his constituency ask him to do so.
Said Musa, Former Prime Minister: “I don’t know where this is coming from Mr.Hipolito but I can tell you that I was elected by the people of the Fort George Division and as far as I know and I’m being modest about it here but I believe they still love me and want me to continue. I am in my eight term now in the Fort George division and yes I’m not getting any younger, I know I’m getting on, but the truth of the matter is that I have not yet decided not yet made up my mind to step aside or to step down for the next election- I have not and that is my position. I don’t know where this is coming from no member of the executive has approached me to step aside, maybe thier talking these things obviously somebody spoke to you I don’t know where it’s coming from but my first loyalty in terms of politics is to the people of the Fort George division. When I decide to step aside, to step down, it will be because I am doing it in consultation with the people of the Fort George. I believe I’ve been doing a good job I was elected by them to serve for five years or whenever the next elections are called and I will continue to do so.”
Reporter: You don’t see yourself stepping down or retiring from politics on a whole.
Said Musa, Former Prime Minister: “Hey I’m not immortal you know of course I can envisage the day when I will step aside or perhaps the people will step me aside.”
Reporter: Before the 2020 general elections?
Said Musa, Former Prime Minister: “Um I don’t see that. At this moment in time I can tell you very frankly I’m in good health, I can only speak of now and in this state of health I intend to continue doing my work in politics because I believe the people want me to continue to serve them in the Fort George. I don’t have any aspiration to become the Prime Minister again but I do believe that I have a contribution to make in politics and to serve Belize as I have been doing most of my life quite frankly.”
Musa says he will not be forced to step aside.
Reporter: Some political spectators who are seeing what’s happening internally within the PUP might say that the leadership is purging the PUP of what they might describe as liabilities for the upcoming 2020 elections if it’s held then. Do you see yourself being forced out before the next general elections?
Said Musa, Former Prime Minister: “Well first of all the premise on which you ask that question is a false one. Nobody can force me out so why would I even answer that question in the sense of whether or not do I see myself being forced out because the leadership know full well that an elected member of the house of representatives cannot be forced out, they can disqualify people from running, our party has done that in the past and no doubt will continue to do that but in terms of disqualifying an elected member that would be a major step for any party leader to take or any executive to take for that matter.”
Reporter: What would you have to say to someone who said ‘Mr.Musa it’s time to give way to younger blood.’
Said Musa, Former Prime Minister: I always believe that we should encourage younger blood in the party, the People’s United Party is built on that very premise that we need the young and the old. Mr.Price used to say it ‘Young and old we build Belize.’ and that is still certainly my philosophy. So I repeat I am not immortal and I realize that the time will come when I will have to give way to much younger blood yes.”