Dean Barrow

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Dean Barrow
Belizean Prime Minister, Dean Barrow in London, 27 June 2013 (cropped).jpg
4th Prime Minister of Belize
Assumed office
8 February 2008
Monarch Elizabeth II
Governor General Colville Young
Deputy Gaspar Vega (2008–2016)
Patrick Faber (2016–present) [1]
Preceded by Said Musa
Leader of the Opposition
In office
30 August 1998 8 February 2008
Prime Minister Said Musa
Preceded by Said Musa
Succeeded by Said Musa
Member of the Belize House of Representatives
for Queen's Square
Assumed office
14 December 1984
Preceded byConstituency established
Personal details
Dean Oliver Barrow

(1951-03-02) 2 March 1951 (age 67)
Belize City, British Honduras
(now Belize)
Political party United Democratic Party (1984-Incumbent)
Spouse(s)Lois Young (before 2009)
Kim Simplis (2009–present)
Alma mater St Michael's College
University of the West Indies
University of Miami

Dean Oliver Barrow (born 2 March 1951) is a Belizean politician who has been Prime Minister of Belize since 2008. He is also the leader of the United Democratic Party (UDP) since 1998. An attorney by trade, he served as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1993 to 1998 and was Leader of the Opposition from 1998 until the UDP won the February 2008 election. Barrow started his first term as Prime Minister after victory in the 2008 election. He started his second term after the UDP again won an election on 7 March 2012. He started his third term when the UDP won again on 4 November, 2015.

Belize country in Central America

Belize is a country located on the eastern coast of Central America. Belize is bordered on the northwest by Mexico, on the east by the Caribbean Sea, and on the south and west by Guatemala. It has an area of 22,970 square kilometres (8,867 sq mi) and a population of 387,879 (2017). Its mainland is about 180 mi (290 km) long and 68 mi (110 km) wide. It has the lowest population and population density in Central America. The country's population growth rate of 1.87% per year (2015) is the second highest in the region and one of the highest in the Western Hemisphere.

United Democratic Party (Belize) political party in Belize

The United Democratic Party (UDP) is one of the two major political parties in Belize. It is the ruling party, having won the 2008, 2012 and 2015 general elections. A centre-right conservative party, the UDP is led by Prime Minister of Belize Dean Barrow.


Barrow, a senior counsel, is one of Belize's successful attorneys and has appeared in several high-profile cases. He began his legal work in the law firm of uncle Dean Lindo in 1973 and became a partner there in 1977. He would eventually leave to form his own law firm, Barrow and Williams (with Rodwell Williams) until he vacated office prior to the 2008 general elections, although he remains titular senior partner. Among his firm's more controversial clients is Lord Ashcroft and the businesses he is connected with, particularly the Belize Bank and at one time, Belize Telemedia Limited, formerly Belize Telecommunications Limited.

Dean Russel Lindo was a Belizean attorney and politician. He was one of the principal founders of the United Democratic Party in 1973 and served as its first leader from 1974 to 1979.

Rodwell Roosevelt Adlai Williams is a Belizean lawyer. He is a name partner, along with Prime Minister of Belize and United Democratic Party leader Dean Barrow, in the Belize City law firm Barrow & Williams.

Belize Telemedia Limited telecommunications company in Belize

Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL), formerly Belize Telecommunications Limited, is a telecommunications company in Belize. Established in 1972 as the Telecommunications Authority, it rapidly became Belize's leading telecommunication provider in the 1980s and 1990s. In May 2007, it changed its name from Belize Telecommunications Limited to Belize Telemedia Limited. The wireless division of BTL is called DigiCell. In August 2009, the company was nationalized by the Government of Belize, who appropriated 94% of its shares which were previously controlled by Michael Ashcroft.

Political career

In December 1983 Barrow entered electoral politics as a candidate for Belize City Council elections, which he won as part of a nine-man slate. Before that year's redistricting, in 1984 Barrow was preselected as the UDP candidate for Collet but after redistricting chose to contest the newly created Queen's Square constituency instead, as was his prerogative under UDP party rules. In the ensuing election Barrow handily defeated Ralph Fonseca of the People's United Party. Soon after he was appointed to the first Manuel Esquivel Cabinet as Attorney-General and Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Belize City City in Belize, Belize

Belize City is the largest city in Belize and was once the capital of the former British Honduras. According to the 2010 census, Belize City has a population of 57,169 people in 16,162 households. It is at the mouth of the Haulover Creek, which is a tributary of the Belize River. The Belize River empties into the Caribbean Sea five miles from Belize City on the Philip Goldson Highway on the coast of the Caribbean. The city is the country's principal port and its financial and industrial hub. Cruise ships drop anchor outside the port and are tendered by local citizens. The city was almost entirely destroyed in 1961 when Hurricane Hattie swept ashore on October 31. It was the capital of British Honduras until the government was moved to the new capital of Belmopan in 1970.

Preselection is the process by which a candidate is selected, usually by a political party, to contest an election for political office. It is also referred to as candidate selection. It is a fundamental function of political parties. The preselection process may involve the party's executive or leader selecting a candidate or by some contested process. In countries that adopt Westminster-style responsible government, preselection is also the first step on the path to a position in the executive. The selected candidate is commonly referred to as the party's endorsed candidate.

Collet is an electoral constituency in the Belize District represented in the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belize since 2003 by Patrick Faber of the United Democratic Party.

In the 1989 general election, Barrow defeated Thomas Greenwood but his party lost the election. Barrow continued in his law practice. In 1990, he became deputy UDP leader under Esquivel after the death of Curl Thompson. In 1993, Barrow won his third straight general election and returned to the Cabinet in the posts he held from the previous administration in addition to Minister of National Security. His detractors called him "Minister of Everything" during this period because he was a particularly high-profile spokesman for the Esquivel government.

Curl Osmond Thompson was a Belizean politician. Thompson served as an Area Representative in the Belize House of Representatives and as deputy prime minister. He was also interim leader of the United Democratic Party for a brief period in the early 1980s.

After the UDP's devastating 1998 election loss in which he was one of only three UDP winners, Barrow was elevated to UDP party leader and Leader of the Opposition, succeeding the defeated Esquivel. Barrow presided over the smallest oppositions (three and seven respectively) in the House of Representatives since 1974 and ever in the UDP's history. Barrow was reelected in 1998 and 2003 by closer margins than his previous elections over attorney Richard "Dickie" Bradley. He has since been re-elected by comfortable majorities.

Leader of the Opposition (Belize) parliamentary position of Belizes House of Representatives

The Leader of the Opposition of Belize is an elected official who, according to the Constitution, "commands the support of those elected officials that do not support the Government." He or she speaks on behalf of the Opposition Members of Belize's House of Representatives.

Barrow is currently the most senior member of the UDP delegation in the Belize House as well as the Area Representative with the longest tenure of uninterrupted service. Among current Area Representatives, only Said Musa has a longer cumulative time in office.

Said Musa Belizean politician

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

Prime Minister of Belize

The UDP won a massive victory, with 25 out of 31 seats, in the general election held on 7 February 2008, and Barrow was sworn in as Prime Minister on 8 February. He is the country's first black Prime Minister. [2] He announced his Cabinet, including himself as Minister of Finance, on 11 February. [3]

The UDP won a reduced majority in the 2012 general election and Barrow started his second term as Prime Minister on 9 March 2012. He announced his cabinet, including himself as the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, on 12 March 2012.

Barrow led the UDP to a third consecutive general election victory in November 2015, however he stated the election would be his last as party leader. [4]

Upcoming retirement in 2019

Citing health issues, Barrow said he will step down as prime minister no later than the end of 2019 and hinted he could do so earlier. [5] A convention to name Barrow's successor as UDP party leader is tentatively scheduled for May 2019. [6]

Barrow will also stand down from his House seat in Queen's Square at the next general election, endorsing his sister, Denise "Sister B" Barrow, to succeed him. [7]


Barrow has four children. The oldest is rapper Jamal "Shyne" Barrow, born 8 November 1979. [8] (Shyne was born out of wedlock; his mother is the sister of Barrow's political colleague, Michael Finnegan). His second son Anwar runs a small-scale lending institution. His daughter Deanne practises law out of her mother's (Barrow's first wife Lois Young) firm.

Barrow was married a second time 7 February 2009 in Savannah, Georgia to his long-time girlfriend Kim Simplis. [9] They have one daughter, Salima.


Barrow attended St. Michael's College in Belize and the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, Barbados (LL.B. 1973); Norman Manley Law School, Mona, Kingston, Jamaica (Certificate of Legal Education, 1975); University of Miami School of Law (LL.M., 1981); University of Miami (M.A. International Relations).

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2015 Belizean general election

General elections were held in Belize on 4 November 2015 to elect members of the House of Representatives. On 28 September 2015 Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced that he had advised the Governor-General to dissolve the National Assembly and to fix Wednesday 4 November 2015 as the date for the next general elections.

Next Belizean general election

The next Belizean general election will elect members of the country's House of Representatives. It must be held on or before 13 February 2021.


  1. "Hon. Patrick Faber Sworn in as Deputy Prime Minister". The San Pedro Sun. 7 June 2016. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
  2. "Belize's opposition party wins landslide in congressional elections", Associated Press (International Herald Tribune), 9 February 2008. Archived 3 June 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  3. "Prime Minister Dean Barrow announces new Cabinet" [ permanent dead link ], The San Pedro Sun, Vol. 18, No. 7, 14 February 2008. [ dead link ]
  4. Parks, Rowland A. "General elections no later than 'first part of next year' – PM Barrow", Amandala , 4 September 2015. (accessed 27 September 2015)
  5. "P.M. Gone? Not Yet, But He is Thinking About It", Great Belize Television , 12 May 2017. (accessed 21 May 2017)
  6. "PM Barrow gives timeline for departure", Breaking Belize News , 16 May 2018. (accessed 8 October 2018)
  7. Ali, Marion V. "Barrow to hand over Queen Square to Sister B", The Reporter, 4 December 2015. (accessed 22 May 2017)
  8. "Belize elects first black leader, ousts incumbent (page 2)". Catherine Bremer Reuters. 8 February 2008. Retrieved 27 August 2009.
  9. "Belize prime minister will get married in Savannah", Associated Press (Atlanta Journal-Constitution), 15 January 2009. Archived 22 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine
Party political offices
Preceded by
Manuel Esquivel
Leader of the United Democratic Party
Political offices
Preceded by
George Cadle Price
Leader of the Opposition
Succeeded by
Said Musa
Preceded by
Said Musa
Prime Minister of Belize