Prime Minister Dean Barrow says he intends to step down as the leader of government and head of the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) by 2020.
The 64-year-old lawyer, who led the UDP to a record third consecutive victory in general elections in November last year, told Channel 5 Belize News on Monday night that he intends to leave office by January 2020.
He says the party will hold a national convention in March “so that we do not have to hold another convention in two years’ time“.
“We will ask and fully expect it to be done that the date for the next national convention be fixed, not the exact date, but by January 2020 so that by the end of January 2020, I mean this is miles ahead, but it’s just as well to get it all sorted out.
“There will be a convention to elect a new leader of the UDP. I want to go by January so that whoever emerges as the leader can become prime minister and have the nine months or so to in fact read the 2020 budget and prepare the party for general elections at the end of that year.”
Barrow said that the party, which will hold an “interim convention” next month already has a sense “who the aspirants and their exploratory campaign has already started and so it’ll be some interesting time ahead”.
Barrow has been prime minister since 2008. He had previously served as deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs from 1993-1998 and was Opposition Leader from 1998 until the UDP won the 2008 general election.