Politics — 04 April 2014 — by Adele Ramos

PUP claims “nepotism”; Barrow says “petty party politics”

The Opposition People’s United Party has issued a statement calling on the board of directors of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL)—headed by Net Vasquez—to rescind the appointment of Anwar Barrow, son of Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow, as head of the company’s executive committee.

“While Anwar Barrow has served on the board of directors and executive committee of management, this latest appointment places him in full and direct control of the day-to-day management of BTL,” said the Opposition.

It noted that the phone company is state-owned and government-controlled, and they view Anwar Barrow’s appointment as a blatant act of nepotism, and added that this is not in the best interest of BTL or the people of Belize.

The Opposition said that, “If the BTL board fails to act, we call on Prime Minister Barrow to do the right thing and to ask his son, Anwar Barrow, to resign.”

Anwar Barrow has replied by saying that, “The People’s United Party and their media organs have been trying to attack my credibility by making totally baseless accusations for many years now. In fact, over the years, from as far back as 1997, they have settled several libel suits through financial compensation to me and have been compelled to make several public apologies—the last of which was made in 2010.”

Barrow attached a judgment on allegations made by The Belize Times that he had been profiteering from the sale of Belize passports and from the sale of phones to BTL, as well as an apology from the Times.

Barrow said that the PUP’s latest release continues in the same vein and again is totally baseless.

In its press release, the Opposition claims that, “there are serious and credible allegations, which we are presently investigating, that Anwar Barrow may in fact be a ‘silent partner’ in business interests which either have contracts with BTL, or are indirectly engaged in business with BTL.”

Barrow says that, “This is simply petty party politics. I will continue to remain focused while working with my fellow board and committee members to move BTL forward under the stewardship of our board chairman, Mr. Nestor Vasquez.”

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