House of Representatives
Since January 13, 2017
HM Most Loyal Opposition
|4 November 2015|
| National Assembly Building of Belize |
|National Assembly of Belize|
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politics and government of
The House of Representatives of Belize is one of two chambers of the National Assembly, the other being the Senate. It was created under the 1981 constitution. Members are commonly called "Area Representatives."
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.
The Constitution of Belize is the supreme law of the nation of Belize. It was signed on September 1981 with effect from that date.
Area Representatives are elected by winning a majority of votes in their respective constituencies under the first-past-the-post system. The body is directly descended from the British Honduras Legislative Assembly created in 1954 with nine elected members. It has been expanded several times since: to 18 in 1961, 28 in 1984, 29 in 1993 and finally to 31 in 2008. The leader of the majority party in the Belize House typically becomes Prime Minister of Belize.
Belize's 6 districts are politically divided into 31 constituencies. Each constituency sends one representative to Belize's House of Representatives for 5-year terms. This election is known as the General Election. Each person votes for the candidate they would want to represent their constituency in Central Government.
A first-past-the-post electoral system is one in which voters indicate on a ballot the candidate of their choice, and the candidate who receives the most votes wins. This is sometimes described as winner takes all. First-past-the-post voting is a plurality voting method. FPTP is a common, but not universal, feature of electoral systems with single-member electoral divisions, and is practiced in close to one third of countries. Notable examples include Canada, India, the United Kingdom, and the United States, as well as most of their current or former colonies and protectorates.
British Honduras was a British Crown colony on the east coast of Central America, south of Mexico, from 1862 to 1964, then a self-governing colony, renamed Belize in June 1973, until September 1981, when it gained full independence as Belize. British Honduras was the last continental possession of the United Kingdom in the Americas.
The elected representatives and their constituencies according to the Elections and Boundaries Department are:
Francis William Fonseca is a Belizean politician who served as leader of the People's United Party (PUP) and as Leader of the Opposition of Belize from 2011 to 2016. First elected to the Belize House of Representatives from the Belize City-based Freetown constituency in 2003, Fonseca served as Attorney General and Minister of Education, Culture and Labour in Prime Minister Said Musa's cabinet until February 2008, when the PUP lost the general election to the opposition United Democratic Party (UDP). Fonseca was one of only six PUP representatives nationwide to retain his seat in the National Assembly in the 2008 election.
Wilfred Peter "Sedi" Elrington is a Belizean politician who has been the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belize since 2008.
Said Wilbert Musa is a Belizean lawyer and politician. He was the Prime Minister of Belize from 28 August 1998 to 8 February 2008.
Gaspar "Gapi is a Belizean politician. He is a former Deputy Prime Minister of Belize. He held the office as Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment in Belize (2008-2012). Currently he is the Minister of Natural Resources and Agriculture.
Juan Antonio Briceño, commonly known as Johnny Briceño, is a Belizean politician who served as leader of the People's United Party (PUP), as well as the Leader of the Opposition, from 2008 to 2011. Previously, he was Deputy Prime Minister from 1998 to 2007. On February 8, 2016, Briceño again became Leader of the Opposition in Belize.
Omar Figueroa is a Belizean politician and a member of the United Democratic Party (UDP). He was elected in January 2015 as Area Representative for the Cayo North constituency in the Cayo District. As of 2016, Figueroa is Minister of State for the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development.
Julius Espat is a Belizean Politician who was born in Belize City. He was first elected as Cayo South area representative on March 7, 2012. and was reelected in November 2015. He is currently the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and represents Cayo South area as the Honorable Julius Espat in the Belize House of Representatives.
Erwin Rafael "Winchi" Contreras is a Belizean politician and former footballer. From 2008 to 2012 he was the Minister of Economic Development, Commerce, Industry and Consumer Protection in Belize. After the 2012 election he was made Minister of Trade Investment, Private Sector Development and Consumer Protection.
According to Section 84 of the Constitution of Belize, the National Assembly must be dissolved "five years from the date when the two Houses of the former National Assembly first met" unless dissolved sooner by the Governor-General of Belize upon the advice of the prime minister.and the election held within three months of the dissolution. The current parliament first met on Friday 13 November 2015, so the next election must be held no later than 13 February 2021.
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The most recent general election to the House of Representatives, held on 4 November 2015,was the 15th since 1954 when universal literate adult suffrage was introduced, and the 8th since independence from the United Kingdom in 1981. The United Democratic Party led by Dean Barrow increased its majority from 17 seats to 19 seats. While the People's United Party won 12 seats.
Politics of Belize takes place in a framework of a parliamentary representative democratic monarchy, whereby Queen Elizabeth II serves as head of state and the prime minister is the head of government, and of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the Parliament of Belize.
Cayo District is a district located in the west part of Belize. It is the first-most extensive, second-most populous and third-most densely populated of the six districts of Belize. The district's capital is the town of San Ignacio.
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.
Elections in Belize are the duly held elections held at various levels of government in the nation of Belize.
A legislative election was held in Belize on 5 March 2003. Belizeans elected 29 members to the House of Representatives for a term of five years.
General elections were held in Belize on 27 August 1998. The result was a victory for the People's United Party, which won 26 of the 29 seats and Said Musa was elected as Prime Minister for the first time. Voter turnout was 90.1%, the highest since independence.
General elections were held in Belize on 30 June 1993. Although the People's United Party received the most votes, the United Democratic Party-National Alliance for Belizean Rights alliance won more seats. Voter turnout was 72.1%.
The Belize Elections and Boundaries Department is the hands-on administrator of Belizean electoral politics. It was established in 1989 as a subordinate to the Elections and Boundaries Commission.
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.
A legislative election was held in the nation of Belize on February 7, 2008. Beginning with this election, Belizeans elected 31 members to the House of Representatives of Belize instead of 29. In what was considered an upset, the opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) won the election with 25 out of 31 seats; the ruling People's United Party won six.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and introduction to Belize:
John Birchman Saldivar is a Belizean politician. A member of the United Democratic Party, Saldivar has represented the Belmopan constituency in the Belize House of Representatives since its creation in 2008. He was previously Area Representative for Cayo South.
Her Majesty's Government of Belize, also referred to as the Belizean Government is the democratic administrative authority of Belize, a constitutional monarchy under a parliamentary democracy. It was formed in 1981 after gaining sovereignty from the United Kingdom. The constitution is the supreme law of Belize.
A legislative election was held in Belize on 7 March 2012 to elect all 31 members of the Belize House of Representatives as well as offices in the various local governments. The election was run by the Elections and Boundaries Commission's Elections and Boundaries Department. Dean Barrow and his United Democratic Party (UDP) were re-elected, but lost eight seats to the opposition People's United Party (PUP) to maintain a slim 17-14 majority in the Belize House. The upper house of the Belize National Assembly, the Senate, was appointed after the election by the UDP-led government in accordance with the Constitution of Belize.
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.
Toledo East is an electoral constituency in the Toledo District represented in the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belize since 2012 by Michael Espat of the People's United Party. Espat also served several non-consecutive terms in the constituency dating back to 1989.
The next Belizean general election will elect members of the country's House of Representatives. It will be held on or before 1 November 2020.