Kareem Musa changes his mind

By Marion Ali, Assistant Editor

Kareem Musa, the People’s United Party’s (PUP) Caribbean Shores Area Representatives who, two weeks ago announced that he was considering challenging John Briceno’s leadership of the party at its November 26 convention, has decided that he will not run for leadership at this time.

In a 2-minute, 33-second video statement released on Wednesday, Musa explained his reasons for his decision. His main reason is that at a crucial time when his party needs unity to fight a “vindictive and corrupt government” at municipal polls, he will not stand in the way and allow the perception that his party is not united. He feels his challenge for leadership at this time would impair the capacity of the PUP to win the municipal elections in March.

Musa said his decision is not about him nor the PUP, but about the state of Belize’s economy and increasing poverty. “We must win and win big for Belize,” he said. “The stakes are high; the people are depending on us, and we must not let them down. We must be decisive and deliver a clear message to deliver a first strike against the UDP. I am prepared for this fight,” Musa said.

Musa opened his statement by explaining that he was contemplating running for leadership after the media mentioned his name as a possible candidate for that position. Even though it came as a surprise to him, he said, the numerous calls of support that he received since the media announcement encouraged him to consider running for leadership.

The first-time parliamentarian said he listened and took counsel on the prospects before making his decision. He also explained this to the media last week when he called a press briefing to explain that based on the calls of support, he was considering to contest the leadership at the November convention. He also said on that occasion that he did not think contesting at the convention would be best for the party, because of the perception it would cast just a few months before the municipal elections. The timing, he felt, was not right. Musa closes his message by expressing his sentiment that the PUP will win the municipal elections.

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