Will Deputy Leader Kareem Musa challenge current Party Leader John Briceno in a national convention slated for November 26th? That’s the question that has been spreading fast and furious for several weeks since the PUP held its National Party Council in Belize City and announced that there would be national convention.
Today the Deputy Leader addressed the issue squarely in media interviews. He explained that he has had no intention as he believes the Party must stay united, but the talk out there has caused supporters to encourage him.
Hon. Kareem Musa, PUP Deputy Leader
“Naturally what that has done is, I’ve been getting a lot of calls, many supporters from the party have been asking me to please consider it even though like I said it was never my intention at this stage we only had a leadership convention eighteen months ago and personally I believe it is not in the best interest of the party at this point to be holding a convention, I also indicated that to the party leader, we are months away from a municipal election and that really should be where our focus is on the municipal elections so I think it disappointed some of our area reps and standard bearers that in fact we are going to be having a convention, not necessarily a contested convention but regardless there is a lot of resources that go into a national convention and the message that I’ve been getting from a lot of the municipalities is that these resources could have been applied to their causes because as you know that should be our focus at this point but the long and short answer is that I’m considering it I owe it to those individuals that are calling me, to those standard bearers and area reps I owe it to them to consider it.”
According to the Caribbean Shores’ representative, more important than the leadership issue to him are concerns that have been coming his way.
Hon. Kareem Musa, PUP Deputy Leader
“Is the fact that I am the one getting the concerns, I am the one hearing the calls and saying this is wrong we need to fix this, we don’t like this steering committee, we don’t like the fact that there is no standard bearers in place, there is a lot of issues so even if I don’t challenge or no one else challenges the party leader we need to sort out this issues, we need to come together as a party and address these issues and that is a huge things that I think the party leader ought to be listening to, to these cries and to these calls because there needs to be more inclusivity in the party this George Price big tenth approach we have to go back there, this party has been in a battle since 2004, you have young blood like myself even though I am not in any particular fraction I am branded in that faction but we have to get out of that mind set we cannot say ok we want the leadership and then we will then outs the entire half of this party and not include them that is not the way that we are supposed to be working, we are about to form government and I am confident of that but we need to be more inclusive and that again is another one of the cries from the people.”
With the date of a national convention set, any official challenge to any executive post would need to turn in his or her name into the Secretariat by October 26th.
To show near unanimous support for PUP Leader John Briceno, letters of support have been submitted to the PUP secretariat by the Northern Caucus, Western Caucus, Southern Caucus and a majority of the Divisions in the Eastern Caucus.
We have confirmed also that Deputy Leader from the West, Hon. Julius Espat plans to join Briceno’s slate which will be presented later his month ahead of the National Convention.