The PSU has received unwavering support from its sister unions during its plight over the hilltop land. Support even came from the main opposition, People’s United Party. On the other side, however, Belmopan Mayor, Khalid Belisle came under heavy scrutiny. Some said that the council should not have sold the property while some said if the union was not paying their lease then they had no claim over the land. Today, we found out what Prime Minister Dean Barrow had to say on the matter.
Honorable Dean Barrow: “There have been criticisms and I would have to concede that, that notice in my view should have been given to the PSU before the sale was agreed. I don’t pronounce at all on the merits of whether the Council was entitled to sell the property. In fact let me say distinctly and directly that it was the Council’s entitlement but whatever the disagreement was, it was common ground that the PSU ought to have been given the right to first refusal and according to the Council it was and there was this inability to come to terms so lets accept that. Even so before the Council actually sold I think it would have been preferable if they had given the PSU notice by way of what they might have framed as an ultimatum, a last chance opportunity for the PSU to come to terms with them. It is a matter of great regret that, that wasn’t done so that the sale itself took the PSU completely off guard with the resultant upset and hurt feelings all around. That’s water under the bridge, the objective is to cure the situation, the mischief, the prejudice as the PSU sees it that has been done to the PSU and thats what we will do.”
There is also the matter of Mayor Belisle’s political career. Did this deal mar the image of one of the UDP’s most esteemed member? Prime Minister Barrow weighed in.
Honorable Dean Barrow: “Of Course because I have been on record saying that I think that Khalid Belisle is the future of the United democratic Party but the course of Politics like the course of true love never did run smooth. I am hoping that Khalid will be able to recover from the political fallout of what has gone on, in fact though it may take some time he will recover because he is an extremely bright, savvy, energetic, well meaning individual with a good heart and a good soul so I am confident he will recover.”
The Prime Minister says while he has spoken with Mayor Belisle on the issue, he was unable to reach him before his meeting with the PSU today.