P.M. Drops Hints about Retirement at Chamber AGM
Prime Minister Dean Barrow has dropped his largest hint yet that he will, sooner rather than later, be stepping down before the end of his term in 2020. Back on Independence Day last September, he had vowed not to leave office without solving the Superbond. That was accomplished just before the Budget, so time may be winding down for the veteran politician and senior attorney. Notice of the Prime Minister’s plans came in a keynote address to the Annual General Meeting of the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Thursday night in Belize City. Tonight, we air the September 2016 statement and a video obtained by News Five in which P.M. Barrow thanked his contacts in the business community for what he called, “in the main …a constructive relationship,” and their personal support in some cases.
Prime Minister Dean Barrow
“Since this will be my last opportunity to address your annual gathering, I close by saying how thankful I am for what has in the main been a constructive relationship with the Chamber. Also, on an individual level many of you have offered me personal support over these years. Naturally, I am particularly grateful for that. And when the chroniclers look back at the post-2008 economic period, my hope for the narrative is simple: that it will show that a stable business environment prevailed, largely free of rampant cronyism and secret contracts; that my Administration was bold without gambling on the public purse; and that we struck a reasonable balance between rewarding entrepreneurship on the one hand, and protecting society’s disadvantaged on the other.”
Prime Minister Dean Barrow [File: September 23rd, 2016]
“But that confidence is marred by one thing: fear of that other hurricane called the Superbond. So I will say just this: if it is the last thing I do before I leave office, I will solve, once and for all, that problem. (Applause) And it will not take anything like the four-plus years that I have left on my constitutional mandate.”