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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.[1]

Contents

1 Executive branch

1.1 Current Members of the Executive

1.1.1 Ministers 1.1.2 Ministers of State 1.1.3 Government appointed Senators

2 Legislative branch 3 Political parties and elections 4 Judicial branch 5 Local government 6 Defence 7 Foreign relations 8 References

Executive branch[edit] As head of state, Queen Elizabeth II
Elizabeth II
is represented in Belize
Belize
by a governor general who acts on the advice of the prime minister and the cabinet.

Main office holders

Office Name Party Since

Queen Elizabeth II

21 September 1981

Governor-General Sir Colville Norbert Young, Sr

17 November 1993

Prime Minister Dean Barrow UDP 8 February 2008

Belize
Belize
is a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary, its democracy is based on the Westminster model. Belize
Belize
is a member of the Commonwealth
Commonwealth
of Nations. Queen Elizabeth II
Elizabeth II
is head of state and is represented in the country by Governor General His Excellency Dr Colville Young, Sr. Dr Young is the country's second Governor General. The primary executive organ of government is the Cabinet led by a Prime Minister. Cabinet ministers are members of the majority political party in Parliament and usually hold elected seats in the National Assembly concurrently with their Cabinet positions. Cabinet members can also be drawn from the Senate. Current Members of the Executive[edit] (as of August 10, 2017)

Dean Barrow, Prime Minister Patrick Faber, Deputy Prime Minister Carlos Perdomo, Cabinet Secretary

Ministers[edit]

Dean Barrow, Finance and Natural Resources Patrick Faber, Education (including Science and Technology), Culture, Youth and Sports Erwin Contreras, Economic Development, Petroleum, Investment, Trade and Commerce Michael Finnegan, Housing and Urban Development Sen. Godwin Hulse, Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development, Immigration and Nationality Manuel Heredia, Tourism and Civil Aviation Anthony "Boots" Martinez, Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation Pablo Marin, Health John Saldivar, Defence Rene Montero, Works Edmond Castro, Transport and National Emergency Management Organization Wilfred Elrington, Foreign Affairs and Home Affairs Hugo Patt, Labor, Local Government and Rural Development, Public Service, Energy & Public Utilities Sen. Michael Peyrefitte, Attorney General

Ministers of State[edit]

Sen. Dr. Carla Barnett, Finance and Natural Resources Tracey Taegar-Panton, Investment, Trade and Commerce Dr. Omar Figueroa, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development Beverly Williams, Immigration and Nationality Elodio Aragon, Jr., Home Affairs Dr. Angel Campos, Health (National Health Insurance and Primary Care) Frank Mena, Public Service, Energy & Public Utilities

Government appointed Senators[edit]

Senator Macario Coy Senator Stephen Duncan Senator Aldo Salazar

Legislative branch[edit] Main articles: Senate of Belize
Belize
and House of Representatives of Belize The National Assembly of Belize
Belize
is a bi-cameral body which consists of a House of Representatives and a Senate. The 31 members of the House of Representatives are popularly elected to a maximum five-year term of office. The Senate currently consists of 12 Senators plus the President of the Senate. The Senators are appointed by the Governor General as follows: six (6) on the advice of the Prime Minister, three (3) on the advice of the Leader of the Opposition, one (1) member on the advice of the Belize
Belize
Council of Churches and the Evangelical Association of Churches, one (1) on the advice of the Belize
Belize
Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Belize
Belize
Business Bureau and one (1) on the advice of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize
Belize
and the Civil Society Steering Committee. The President of the Senate is then selected by the 12 Senators, either from amongst themselves or from the general populace. The President presides over the sessions of the Senate but ordinarily has no voice nor vote in the proceedings (as would an appointed Senator), except in the cases of the passing of bills (legislation) where he/she has a casting vote. Where the President is selected from amongst the twelve, the powers of Senator and President of the Senate are vested in this one person. Otherwise, the President has no powers as would ordinarily be vested in a Senator. Over the past few years, there has been much debate over whether the members of the Senate should be appointed or elected. This discussion continues as Belizeans continue to weigh the pros and cons of an elected versus appointed senate. As of 8 February 2008, the Government of Belize
Belize
is controlled by the United Democratic Party (Belize)
United Democratic Party (Belize)
(UDP) which has a confirmed majority in the House of Representatives after general elections of 7 February 2008. The former government, the People's United Party
People's United Party
(PUP) is now in Opposition, after having governed Belize
Belize
from 28 August 1998 to 8 February 2008. The UDP previously governed Belize
Belize
from 30 June 1993 to 27 August 1998; the PUP had governed from 4 September 1989- 30 June 1993; and the UDP from 14 December 1984-September 4, 1989. Before 1984, the PUP had dominated the electoral scene for more than 30 years and was the party in power when Belize
Belize
became independent on 21 September 1981. Political parties and elections[edit] Main article: Elections in Belize For other political parties, see List of political parties in Belize. An overview on elections and election results is included in Elections in Belize.

e • d Summary of the 7 March 2012 Belizean House of Representatives election results

Parties Votes % Seats

United Democratic Party 64,976 50.37 17

People's United Party 61,329 47.54 14

People's National Party 828 0.64 —

Independents 822 0.64 —

Vision Inspired by the People 382 0.30 —

Total valid votes 128,999 100.00 31

Invalid votes 1,259

Total votes cast (turnout 73.16%) 130,258

Registered voters 178,054

Judicial branch[edit] Members of the independent judiciary are appointed. The judicial system includes local magistrates grouped under the Magistrates' Court which hears less serious cases, the Supreme Court (Chief Justice) which hears murder and similarly serious cases, and the Court of Appeal, which hears appeals from convicted individuals seeking to have their sentences overturned. In 2001, Belize
Belize
joined with most members of CARICOM to campaign for the establishment of the Caribbean
Caribbean
Court of Justice, which replaced appeals to the Privy Council in London. Belize
Belize
is divided into six districts: Corozal District, Orange Walk District, Belize
Belize
District, Cayo District, Stann Creek District, and Toledo District. Court cases are also heard in the capital city of Belmopan. The Supreme Court holds hearings from January to December of each year, starting in Belize
Belize
City and then going to the districts; Magistrates' Court hears cases on most weekdays. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is Kenneth Benjamin (a dual citizen of Guyana
Guyana
and Antigua and Barbuda) since 15 September 2011. He succeeded Abdulai Conteh
Abdulai Conteh
of Sierra Leone, who had served in that position since 2000.[2] A special Family Court has been set up to hear cases regarding child maintenance, domestic violence and spousal abuse, and other similar cases. This court is located in downtown Belize
Belize
City. A Quick Trial Court processes selected cases especially speedily. Local government[edit] Main article: Local government in Belize Belize
Belize
has a system of local government comprising four types of local authorities: city councils, town councils, village councils and community councils. The two city councils ( Belize
Belize
City and Belmopan) and seven town councils cover the urban population of the country, while village and community councils cover the rural population.[3] City and town councils consist of a mayor and a number of councilors (ten in Belize
Belize
City, six in Belmopan
Belmopan
and the towns). Mayors and councilors are directly elected to three-year terms, using the first past the post system. The most recent municipal elections were held in March 2006. The mayor (except in Belize
Belize
City) acts as the chief executive of the city or town, and allocates portfolios to the other councilors.[3] Village councils consist of a chairperson and six councill-ors, who are directly elected by registered villagers. Village councils in their current form were established by the Village Councils Act 1999, and the first elections for village councils were held in March and April 2003. According to the Government of Belize
Belize
website, "urban authorities are responsible for street maintenance and lighting, drains, refuse collection and public cemeteries. They also have discretionary powers over other services including infrastructure, parks and playgrounds, markets and slaughter-houses, public libraries, public buildings and the amenities of the city or town center." Village and community councils have a more limited range of functions: they "encourage and assist co-operation on economic and social development and general welfare", and can run community centers.[3] Some rural villages in Belize
Belize
also have an alcalde: a local magistrate who has both an administrative and a judicial role. In addition to presiding over local courts, alcaldes are responsible for managing communal land and act as school officers. This form of local governance is practiced mainly in Mayan communities in Belize, but any rural community can choose to appoint an alcalde.[4] Defence[edit] The Belize
Belize
Defence Force (BDF), established in January 1973, consists of a light infantry force of regulars and reservists along with small air and maritime wings. The BDF, currently under the command of Brigadier General David Jones, assumed total defence responsibility from British Forces Belize
Belize
(BFB) on 1 January 1994. The United Kingdom continues to maintain the British Army Training Support Unit Belize (BATSUB) to assist in the administration of the Belize
Belize
Jungle School. The BDF receives military assistance from the United States
United States
and the United Kingdom. Internal security is the domain of the Belize
Belize
Police Department, currently staffed by about 1,200 police officers established in all six districts. The commissioner of police is Crispin Jeffries (since April 2009) Drugs in Belize
Belize
are controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act. However, other types of crime are becoming more commonplace, and the murder rate has increased, due to unsolved gang-related issues and the presence of drugs on the streets. In 2012 the BDF had developed a new unit they call their intelligence cell. "the Intelligence Cell is the unit that does the gathering of intelligence with respect to both our borders, national security and internal security." They travel around the country and to remote areas via Chinese made Meilun motorbikes that were donated to the BDF.[5] Foreign relations[edit] Further information: Foreign relations of Belize Belize- United States
United States
relations have traditionally been close and cordial. The United States
United States
is Belize's principal trading partner and major source of investment funds. It is also home to the largest Belizean community outside Belize, estimated to be 70,000 strong. Because Belize's economic growth and accompanying democratic political stability are important U.S. objectives, Belize
Belize
benefits from the U.S. Caribbean
Caribbean
Basin Initiative. The United States
United States
is the largest provider of economic assistance to Belize, contributing via various bilateral economic and military aid programs. Belize
Belize
is a member of the Commonwealth
Commonwealth
(formerly the British Empire, then after 1931, the British Commonwealth
Commonwealth
of Nations) and was granted independence from the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
in 1981. The United Kingdom maintains a training centre for the army in Belize. In order to strengthen its potential for economic and political development Belize
Belize
has sought to build closer ties with the Spanish-speaking countries of Central America
Central America
to complement its historical ties to the other English-speaking Caribbean
Caribbean
states.

v t e

Belize articles

History

Pre-Columbian 1506–1862 Battle of St. George's Caye British Honduras
British Honduras
(1862–1981) Belizean–Guatemalan territorial dispute Belize
Belize
Act 1981 Belize
Belize
since 1981

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v t e

Politics of North America

Sovereign states

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Dependencies and other territories

Anguilla Aruba Bermuda Bonaire British Virgin Islands Cayman Islands Curaçao Greenland Guadeloupe Martinique Montserrat Puerto Rico Saint Barthélemy Saint Martin Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saba Sint Eustatius Sint Maarten Turks and Caicos Islands United States
United States
Virgin Islands

References[edit]

^ http://www.belizelaw.org/web/e_library/constitution.html.  Missing or empty title= (help) ^ Trapp, Adele (2011-07-29). "Guyanese jurist, Kenneth Benjamin, 56, to succeed Conteh". Amandala. Archived from the original on 17 March 2013. Retrieved 2012-04-18.  ^ a b c Government of Belize
Belize
- Local Government ^ The Local Government System in Belize, Caribbean
Caribbean
Forum of Local Government Ministers Archived 25 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine. ^ http://www.7newsbelize.com/ss

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