Model Role Details

Said Musa

Said Musa

Sector : Government Officials , Prime Ministers

Personal Info

  • Country of residence : Belize
  • Gender : Male
  • Born in : 1944
  • Age : 72
  • Curriculum vitae :

Information

Said Wilbert Musa (born 19 March 1944) is a Belizean lawyer and politician. He was the Prime Minister of Belize from 28 August 1998 to 8 February 2008.

Said Wilbert Musa was born in 1944 in San Ignacio in the Cayo District of what was then British Honduras. He was the fourth of eight children by Aurora Musa, née Gibbs, and Hamid Musa of Palestinian descent. Hamid Musa was also involved in politics, running for the British Honduras Legislative Assembly as a National Party candidate in the 1957 general elections.
 
As a boy, Musa attended Saint Andrew's Primary School in San Ignacio. He then attended high school at St. Michael's College in Belize City and later St. John's College Sixth Form. While living in Belize City, Said Musa aided his parents by selling tamales and other Belizean delicacies. After completing secondary school he then studied law at the University of Manchester in England, receiving an Honours Degree in Law in 1966, and then qualified as a barrister at Gray's Inn. He returned to Belize the following year, serving as crown counsel and then going into private practice. Said Musa has significantly contributed to law in Belize by representing thousands of underprivileged and poor individuals who come into contact with the law.


Musa first came to notoriety in the late 1960s when he co-founded the Ad Hoc Committee for the Truth About Vietnam with Assad Shoman to protest the Vietnam War in British Honduras. On 1 January 1969 the group protested a showing of the American film The Green Berets in Belize City, which it characterized as pro-war propaganda.
 
Musa joined the People's United Party (PUP) under George Cadle Price in the early 1970s. He soon became a leader of the party's socialist wing. He ran for the Belize House of Representatives for the first time in 1974 in the eastern Belize City-based Fort George constituency, but was narrowly defeated by then-United Democratic Party leader Dean Lindo by 46 votes. Musa was appointed to the Belize Senate for the ensuing term.
 
Musa was successful in the next Belizean election in 1979, winning the Fort George seat and defeating Lindo by a margin of 71 votes. Musa served as attorney general and Minister for Economic Development in the 1979–1984 Price-led government. Musa also served on the committee that wrote the 1981 Constitution of Belize.
 
Musa defended Belize's large national debt, mostly incurred in the 1980s, by saying Keynesian economics was being used: "The economy was in a deep recession, the country was broke (due to hurricanes) therefore it had to get the private sector moving again. The country started a major expansionary program ... to pay for the program we took on a lot of debt."
 
In the 1984 election, Musa was defeated for re-election by Lindo, losing by a margin of 57 votes. He regained the Fort George seat in the 1989 election, defeating Lindo by 449 votes. He has won the Fort George constituency in every election since. Under Price, Musa was Minister of Foreign Affairs and Education from 1989 to 1993.
 
As of May 2015 Musa has continuously served as his party's standard bearer in the same constituency for over 40 years, longer than anyone else in Belizean history. (Price was a standard bearer for 49 years, but in three different constituencies). He also trails only Price and Philip Goldson in total time served in the Belize House. Musa is the only current Area Representative to serve in the Belize House before the country's full independence from Great Britain in September 1981.

As party leader and prime minister:
Musa took over leadership of the PUP upon Price's retirement from party leadership in 1996, defeating Price's longtime lieutenant Florencio Marin in the leadership election. Musa then led the PUP to a landslide election victories in 1998 and 2003.
 
Musa led Belize to significant growth over his near-decade long term in office, but his popularity declined during his last years in office due in part to increasing public perception of corruption among his Cabinet and within his party.[citation needed] He was also accused of abandoning his previous socialist stances in favour of neoliberal policies as prime minister.
 
Outside of Belize Musa chaired several regional organisations, including CARICOM and the Central American Integration System (SICA).
 
Musa again led the PUP in the election held on 7 February 2008, but the PUP suffered a severe defeat at the hands of the UDP, winning only six out of 31 seats. Musa himself was re-elected in the Fort George constituency. UDP leader Dean Barrow succeeded Musa as prime minister on 8 February.



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