Michael Finnegan (Belizean politician)
|Member of the Belize House of Representatives for Mesopotamia|
|Assumed office |
30 June 1993
|Preceded by||Curl Thompson|
c. 1951 (age 68–69)
|Political party||United Democratic Party (1973–present)|
United Black Association for Development (1970–1972)
|Residence||Belize City, Belize|
Michael Kwame Finnegan (born Michael Myvett, c.1951) is a Belizean politician and a member of the United Democratic Party. He is currently Minister of Housing and Urban Development in Prime Minister Dean Barrow's cabinet. He is a member of the House of Representatives, representing the Mesopotamia Electoral Division in Belize City. Finnegan hosts the television show Mek Wave and Lik Road.
Michael Myvett was born c.1951, and grew up in Belize City. He has one sister.
As a young activist in 1969, Michael Myvett protested the Vietnam War conducted by the United States, while affiliated with the Ad Hoc Committee for the Truth About Vietnam. This group was co-founded by Said Musa, a future Prime Minister. In 1970 Finnegan became a member of the United Black Association for Development. By late 1972 he had become estranged from UBAD president Evan X Hyde. In this period he changed his name to Michael Kwame Finnegan.
Finnegan then became a political protege of Dean Lindo, an early UDP leader. He was a founding member of the UDP in 1973. Finnegan already had a reputation as a gifted street campaigner. He worked as a UDP activist throughout the rest of the 1970s and 1980s.
Finnegan was first elected to office in 1993, when he became a member of the Belize House of Representatives from the Mesopotamia constituency, a safe UDP seat in Belize City. Finnegan was one of only two UDP House members re-elected in 1998 (Dean Barrow, current Prime Minister, was the other); they were two of three successful UDP candidates nationwide. Finnegan has been re-elected with at least 60 percent of the vote in every election since.
Finnegan's sister Frances Imeon Myvett is the mother of rapper Shyne (then known as Jamal Michael Barrow). Finnegan's friend Dean Barrow is Jamal's father. Finnegan raised Jamal from the age of three to eight, after the boy's mother Frances had immigrated to New York City for work. The boy joined her there, and they lived in Brooklyn, where he later started his music career. Due to Shyne's role in a 1999 nightclub shooting in New York City, the rapper served a nine-year sentence in prison. Afterward the United States deported him to his birthplace of Belize, as he had never become a naturalized citizen.
There had been speculation that an ailing Finnegan may stand down at the 2015 general election. In March 2015 Finnegan told Tropical Vision Limited that he was "worn" and considering retirement. However, in September 2015, Finnegan confirmed he was running for re-election. Former Belize City Mayor Zenaida Moya may seek to succeed Finnegan in Mesopotamia should he stand down in the future.
Finnegan will not be a candidate in the 2020 Belizean general election. The UDP has nominated his nephew, Shyne Barrow, to succeed him in the Mesopotamia constituency, which is widely considered a UDP safe seat.
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- "Finnegan gets nasty with Dolores in the House", Great Belize Television, 8 August 2013. (accessed 9 May 2015)
- "Shyne Released, Deported To Belize". Retrieved 29 July 2012.
- "Hon. Finnegan Gets A Jump On Competition", Tropical Vision Limited, 28 September 2015. (accessed 29 September 2015)
- "Finnegan Defends Use of G.O.B. Vehicle in U.D.P. Parade", Great Belize Television, 12 February 2015. (accessed 9 May 2015)
- "Rt. Hon Musa & Hon. Finnegan, Ready For The Road, But Not Ready To Retire", Tropical Vision Limited, 6 March 2015 (accessed 9 May 2015)
- "Healthy Living and Michael Finnegan talk Cancer", Great Belize Television, 17 May 2012. (accessed 9 May 2015)
- "Finnegan back in Belize following spinal surgery", Great Belize Television, 27 February 2014. (accessed 9 May 2015)
- "Shyne For Mesop? Mike P For Queen's Square?", Tropical Vision Limited, 13 March 2017. (accessed 21 May 2017)
- "Standard Bearers - United Democratic Party", United Democratic Party, (accessed 19 February 2020)