It has been over six decades since the formation of the People’s United Party on September 29, 1950 – after a year’s worth of demonstrations and protest against the British colonial system by the original People’s Committee. It found its feet in the 1960’s under the leadership of the late Right Honorable George Price and reached its zenith at Independence in 1981. Post-Independence history has seen the grand old party run into stiff challenge from the United Democratic Party and other political movements and is today the opposition party. Today the PUP marked its anniversary by opening Independence Hall to an exhibit of historic pictures from its 65 years of existence. The man who succeeded Price at the top, former leader and Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Said Musa, told reporters that the PUP’s accomplishments, are really those of the Belizean people.
Said Musa, Former PUP Leader and Prime Minister: Today, 65 years later we can look back on the great accomplishments of the People’s United Party. When we see accomplishments of the PUP it is really seeing the accomplishments of the Belizean people because we couldn’t have done anything without the people, without the support of the people. There were times when back in that history, the then opposition was accusing Mr. Price of selling out this country lock stock and barrel as the governor had said himself to Guatemala. But the people said, greeted him back when he came from England. Contact or no contact, in other words whether you were talking to Guatemala or not we believe in you, contact or no contact. PUP all the way!! Those words resonated down the ages because it showed the power the people that once they believe in you, once they believe in the cause they will fight for you.
As the party seeks its fourth term in government, dating back to 1979, Musa says the PUP’s strength is the belief of its members and the country generally, to continue the fight for true democracy. But are the PUP ready to return to Belmopan? Rt. Hon. Musa says they were waiting for the call and it is now time to step up.
Said Musa, Former PUP Leader and Prime Minister: I’ll tell you this much, that all 31 PUP candidates are now moving into a higher gear. We kind of expected that it would be an early election. And so it was announced yesterday. It did not catch us with our pants down that’s for sure, but we do need to now step it up. In politics everything is timing and one has to know how to ride the crest of the wave, how to build that momentum and how to sustain that momentum right through Election Day, and I think our PUP is well poised at this stage to move to a great victory. I sense it, I feel it, but it will depend on the people of course.
Musa himself is seeking an eighth term in the House of Representatives, extending his record as the longest serving parliamentarian in modern history, first entering in 1979 and seated since 1989. The UDP marked its 42nd anniversary two days earlier on September 27, having been formed in 1973.