Former Prime Minister Dean Barrow Gives Failing Grade to PUP Rebranding Efforts
While Musa sang praises for his party, the former Prime Minister, the Right Honorable Dean Barrow, says the PUP gets a failing grade from him. Barrow explained that while he doesn’t keep up much with current affairs, his ears are often on the pulse of the people. The three-time PM spoke about the feedback he’s gotten from the everyday Belizean and explained why he believes the PUP failed in rebranding itself.
Dean Barrow, Former Prime Minister of Belize: “While I have taken no poll and I’m not very much about the place, it is certainly my sense that there is a great deal of disappointment, a great deal of disgruntlement, and when you move from the general to the specific first and foremost is the cost of living. There is no doubt that high and low people in this country are complaining bitterly about the cost of living, the cost of fuel being one component but only one. So there have been a number of missteps on the part of the government but perhaps that is par for the course. You will expect missteps. Overall though, it is my sense that people at this juncture do not give the government a passing grade. I will not be like the Prime Minister and call any names and say things about ministers, that I absolutely can’t do. But one hears of the acquisitions of ministers, the visible acquisitions, the properties, the farms, the homes and one also hears about a number of individual deals that, in fact, fatten the pockets of ministers. So there is that and that certainly I think is contributing to the disenchantment.”
Barrow further explained that the government has not been able to address several issues affecting the most vulnerable and weighed in on whether the UDP is a viable alternative.
Dean Barrow, Former Prime Minister of Belize: “I think because people are experiencing a daily grind, a particularly difficult struggle to make ends meet and this would be felt most by those who are at the margins, those who were never very well off. I think and my sense is I don’t travel about the country, but in talking to people from various districts, my sense is that this is countrywide. And so when you couple the fact that people are personally suffering in a real way with the fact that they also see that not only are ministers not suffering, that they are getting fat physically and metaphorically. That, I think, is a formula for trouble. Now whether my old party is in a position to capitalize on that properly, whether my party has yet convinced the electorate that it is an immediate alternative to the PUP is another story. And I am not in a position to say what the sentiment is where that is concerned. But I feel able to offer a definitive opinion insofar as the PUP and the government are concerned, they clearly are getting a failing grade.”