By NAN STAFF WRITER
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Feb. 2, 2022: A former US-based Bad Boy Records rapper is now the opposition leader in the CARICOM Central American nation of Belize.
Moses Michael Levi Barrow, better known by his stage name Shyne Barrow, has been sworn in as opposition leader for the second time since the United Democratic Party (UDP) in Belize lost the November 2020 general election.
“I’m humbled and honored that I have the distinct privilege to serve as Leader of the Opposition,” said Barrow, who replaces former education minister Patrick Faber in the post after he resigned in the wake of a domestic violence incident.
Barrow said that Faber’s resignation as opposition leader became effective on February 1, adding “we have moved on.”
Barrow, who had previously served in the position for 84 days, says this time around, he believes he has the support of the majority of opposition legislators and that he is also awaiting the party’s convention to be held on March 27th.
“I do believe so. I have the majority of support in the House of Representatives on the opposition benches,” he said. “I have the majority of support within the 31 constituencies as we’ve seen with the massive endorsement from the Caucus for Change and we had 53 percent of the delegates that voted to recall in July of 2021.”
He added: “I led that charge and those delegates remember me very well. I have visited with them just as recently as the holidays and before that, I stayed with them and so they believe that they needed new leadership and they believe that now and anyone that will come and to present themselves as that alternative, that opportunity has already passed.”
Barrow, 43, has also signaled his intention to seek the leadership of the party saying he had given Faber a fair chance to lead the opposition party.
“I gave him a chance…but we saw in the general elections that that is not so, we only won five seats. We saw again in the municipal elections where we only won a mayor and a councilor and again, the writing was on the wall,” Barrow added.
Barrow is Grammy Award-winning musician, and a former Bad Boy Entertainment artist who previously served ten years in prison from 2001 to 2009 for his role in a 1999 nightclub shooting involving Jennifer Lopez and Sean “Diddy” Combs.
Despite being deported back to Belize after his release from prison in 2009, he left the music industry to pursue a career in politics, following in the footsteps of his father, Dean Barrow, who became Belize’s first Black prime minister in 2008.
Barrow returned to the US for the first time last August, after becoming opposition leader for the first time in June, despite his previous deportation record.