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#526320 - 10/12/17 05:17 AM Might Deputy Kareem Challenge Leader Briceno?  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 55,920
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline
PUP Leader John Briceno surprised many in his party on September 30th when he called for a snap national convention on November 26th. It was endorsed unopposed by the National Party Council - but tonight, it's clear that it's not going to be a cakewalk to that date.

Briceno did it to consolidate his power, and quiet those whispers of dissent within his party. But tonight, it's not a whisper; Deputy Party Leader Kareem Musa has made it public that there are those in the party who find Briceno's brand of leadership divisive.

Today, Musa held a press briefing at his office to say that he is considering challenging Briceno for the leadership in November's convention. To hear him tell it, it all started after KREM's Marisol Amaya asked Briceno about a possible challenge right at the September 30th meeting. For background, here's what she asked Briceno:...

Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition
"I have not seen any member trying to say that they were interested in leadership. People are only interested in one thing..."

Reporter
"We have heard some names though, Kareem Musa - at least as one. You are saying you haven't heard those names at all?"

Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition
"None at all and I have great respect and regard for Kareem and He and I have been working very closely. In every instance whatever I ask Kareem to do, he takes on the challenge and I met with him yesterday when I told him my plan and he is prepared to work as a team and he is prepared to continue to support me as the party leader."

As you heard and saw in the story, Musa spoke about signed endorsements, and Briceno has those from more than 20 of the 31 divisions. There's a unanimous endorsement from the Northern Caucus - which covers 8 seats, an endorsement of nine constituencies from the Eastern Caucus, three of the four constituencies in the southern caucus, and a "majority" of support from the Western Caucus.

So, then, where does Kareem Musa fit in there? He surely has the support of his father's division in Fort George, and his own Caribbean Shores - but what else? And is the 39 year old first termer even politically mature enough to realistically make a run for leadership? That's what we asked him today:...

Hon. Kareem Musa, PUP Deputy Leader (East)
"But 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 18 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 a lot of our area reps and standard bearers that in fact we're 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 of your question, the 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. I am aware that over the last two days and this is very surprising to me that at this very early stage the party hierarchy has been getting signatures of endorsement for the party leader, but when in fact nobody is in the ring yet. So I find that a little weird, that they are actually... there's this high degree of insecurity and I don't know where it's coming from."

Jules Vasquez, reporter
"Might you agree with the party leader, whose position as I understand it is that, yes, we need to energize for the municipals, a national convention is a way of energizing, especially if he is not challenged, and we're all there unified, that is how we jump start the process and..."

Hon. Kareem Musa, PUP Deputy Leader (East)
"It's called a rally, Jules, you can have a national rally, a big one at that. So, it doesn't have to be a leadership convention is all I'm saying."

Jules Vasquez, reporter
"Anecdotally we heard that you have to have in you're either with him or against him by last week Thursday."

Hon. Kareem Musa, PUP Deputy Leader (East)
"Yes and I didn't put that it. No I didn't put that in."

Jules Vasquez, reporter
"You did not?"

Hon. Kareem Musa, PUP Deputy Leader (East)
"No, no. Maybe they will have a replacement for me."

Reporter
"You're being very guarded but at the end of the day what we walk away with - pardon me if I'm wrong - is that you will challenge."

Hon. Kareem Musa, PUP Deputy Leader (East)
"How did you get there? How did you get there?"

Jules Vasquez, reporter
"It's obvious!"

Hon. Kareem Musa, PUP Deputy Leader (East)
"I am considering it, yes, of course. You will not force my hand today, Marisol. I am considering it."

Jules Vasquez, reporter
"But obviously the sheer thought of not falling in line behind the leader, it amounts to a rebellion."

Hon. Kareem Musa, PUP Deputy Leader (East)
"No it does not. I can still do my work and effectively so without being a deputy leader for the east which for your information, I get bypassed a lot when it comes to that title, so it means nothing to me, really. Because I don't get involved in anything when it comes to the east, ahm, so at the end of the day, I can still get my work done, in my area and for the party."

Reporter
"What would have convinced you to support your party leader to continue in that position?"

Hon. Kareem Musa, PUP Deputy Leader (East)
"I have told him this already: more inclusivity, listen to the people out there, listen to the municipalities that are crying out right now, their concerns, it's a lot, just listen to them and let's get some action and give them the autonomy that they're asking for. We don't have to impose our way on them."

And while he may not see as a disadvantage, if Kareem Musa wants to be leader, while he be burdened by his father's name and legacy? That's what the press asked him today:

Reporter
"The government always goes back to this Accommodation Agreement that your father signed, and they also ridicule you in the house because he is your father, like son, noh? Do you think that that can come against you and maybe people will look at you with the perception that, well, it's the same old PUP, look, it's just another Musa."

Hon. Kareem Musa, PUP Deputy Leader (East)
"Well, let me say this. That type of propaganda, in my opinion, and at least in the opinion of everyone that supports me, it is old, it is tired, it is gone. People see me for who I am, people don't judge me based on my father. Yes, Dean Barrow will come after me with that, because that is all he has, there is no scandal on me that he can bring. I am my own person. And, everybody knows - well, not everybody - but my father knows that I disagree on a lot of issues, when it comes to him, and the decisions he has made, and I have said that publicly."

Reporter
"And the Accommodation Agreement is one of them?"

Hon. Kareem Musa, PUP Deputy Leader (East)
"That is one of them, yes. But that is his legacy. That is not my legacy, my legacy is left to be built."

By the guidelines set out in the PUP constitution, Musa or any challenger would have to submit their slate by October 26th.

Channel 7


Kareem Musa for P.U.P. Leader? He Says He is Considering Options

Is there an unexpected challenge for the leadership of the People’s United Party ahead of a national convention in the weeks ahead?  Deputy Party Leader Kareem Musa called a press today; he did not spell out he is, but instead he said he is weighing his options.  Musa, the son of the former Prime Minister Said Musa, entered the political fray in 2015 and then went on to upset Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley during general elections held in November of that year in the Caribbean Shores constituency. He would then ascend to deputy party leader of the P.U.P.  Now, at the September thirtieth National Party Council, Party Leader John Briceño called for a national convention in late November 2017 putting all positions in the executive up for grabs. At the time, Briceño spoke highly of Musa, but did expect an imminent challenge to his leadership by the junior politician.  While Musa stopped short of declaring his candidacy for party leader, he says he has been receiving calls from a number of fellow area representatives and standard bearers who have raised serious concerns about the party’s direction.  So is the fairly green politician eyeing the seat held by six-term area representative John Briceño?  Here’s what he said this morning.

Kareem Musa, Deputy Party Leader, P.U.P.

“I haven’t made a decision in that regard as yet.  I have spoken with the party leader last week and I indicated to him that since he called the convention and since he did an interview, I believe, shortly after the convention, on that same day, and Ms. Marisol Amaya asked him a question whether or not he knows he’s going to be challenged.  I think that was the question, and in particular, mentioning me.  I don’t know if I should blame or credit Marisol with that question.  But what that has done, because as Marisol can tell you, I have never indicated to her that I have any intention of challenging the leader at this time.  But 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 from 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 a lot 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’s a lot of resources that go into a national convention and the message that I have 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 the focus at this point.  But the long and short of your question, the long and short answer is that I am 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.”

P.U.P. House Divided: is Son ‘Stalking Horse’ for Ex-Leader Dad?

According to Musa, the P.U.P., despite being in opposition since 2008, remains a house divided and continues to be bogged down by dissent among factions within the party.  Musa says he does not belong to any of the feuding groups, but has been labeled as one or another, the proverbial sins of the father hanging over his head like the Sword of Damocles.

Kareem Musa, Deputy Party Leader, P.U.P.

“I met with the party leader last week and I expressed to him the concerns and more important than any and all of this 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 the steering committee, we don’t like the fact that there are no standard bearers in place.”  There are a lot of issues, so even if I don’t challenge or no one else challenges the party leader, we need to sort out these issues.  We need to come together as a party and address these issues and that is a huge thing that I think the 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 tent’ approach, we have to go back there.  You know, this party has been in a battle since 2004, I’m sure you’re aware of that, you have young blood like myself, even though I am not in any particular faction I am branded in a faction.  But we have to get out of that mindset man, we cannot just say, “Okay, we won the leadership and so we are going to oust the entire next 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, I am confident of that, but we need to be more inclusive and that again is another one of the cries from the people.”

Reporter

“Everybody who listens to the little political rumors knows that the Musas are not happy with the Briceño leadership and so really you are the trigger because Mr. Said Musa, ever the political orchestrator is so unhappy with the leadership of his successor Mr. Briceño, that he would much prefer his son be put there.  So you all are really…”

Kareem Musa

“You realize that none of us called any leadership convention, right.  Do you realize that?  And none was being clamored for by anybody in the party, so you have to first accept that. …Now you’re trying to spin this that somehow we are aggressing anybody when we didn’t call anything.”

Reporter

“…because you all have this whispering campaign…”

Kareem Musa

“No.  Absolutely, absolutely [not.] And I can say this, that myself and I know my father is a loyal and faithful servant of this party no matter whoever the leader.”

Channel 5


#526470 - 10/19/17 05:25 AM Re: Might Deputy Kareem Challenge Leader Briceno? [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 55,920
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline

Kareem Musa Won’t Challenge Briceno For Leadership

Last week PUP Deputy Leader Kareem Musa publicly flirted with the idea of challenging John Briceno for party leadership in an upcoming party convention on November 26th. Musa said the party needs a unifier - and made it clear that his leader has not been that.

But, he didn't commit to challenging him - because that's no small task - since Briceno does have firm support - evidenced by the two dozen or so endorsements he has received from constituencies across the country.

With the deadline to nominate persons for executive posts in just 9 days, Musa's window to declare his candidacy or just to sit back was closing - and in a two minute statement issued today, he made it official - he's not challenging. Here's how he put it:...

Hon. Kareem Musa, PUP Deputy Party Leader (East)
"So many people, especially the young people of Belize, see me as a leader. It was my duty to listen and take counsel on this very important decision."

"I will not stand in the way and allow even the slightest perception of disunity to impair the capacity of our party to win. Therefore, I will not offer myself for party leader at this time."

"We must win and win big for Belize. The stakes are high. The people are depending on us and we must not let them down."

Musa did not indicate if he will remain in the executive as Briceno's Deputy Leader for the East. Via text he told us today that he simply doesn't know because he has not spoken to the Party leader.

Channel 7



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