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Belize has 201 recognized municipalities, consisting of 2 cities, 7 towns, and 192 villages. Each type of municipality has a different form of government as defined by Title VIII of the Laws of Belize. The largest municipality by population in Belize is Belize City with a population of 57,164. The smallest municipalities by population are the villages of Estrella and Honey Camp, each with 37 residents.

Cities and towns

There are two cities (Belize City and Belmopan) and seven towns in Belize.Government of Belize - Local Government
/ref> As of 2000, the seven towns are Benque Viejo del Carmen, Corozal Town, Dangriga, Orange Walk Town, Punta Gorda, San Ignacio, and San Pedro. City and town councils consist of a mayor and a number of councillors (ten in Belize City, six in Belmopan and the towns). Mayors and councillors are directly elected to three-year terms, using the first past the post system. The mayor (except in Belize City) acts as the chief executive of the city or town, and allocates portfolios to the other councillors. City and town councils have a wide range of functions. According to the Government of 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 centre."

Villages

Villages in Belize are typically governed by a village council. Village councils began in the 1950s and were formalized by the Village Councils Act 1999 which legalized their role and authority to administer village affairs. Villages are declared by ministerial order and one qualification for village status is a minimum of 200 voters. The council is required to meet at least once every quarter and has discretionary powers to appoint committees. Decisions of village committees are subject to the approval of their council. There are over 180 village councils in Belize. Village councils consist of a chairperson and six councillors, who are directly elected by registered villagers. Village councils have existed in Belize on an informal basis since the 1950s, but they were first put on a statutory footing by the Village Councils Act 1999. After the Act came into force, the first elections for village councils were held in March and April 2001. Village councils have a more limited range of functions than town councils. They "encourage and assist co-operation on economic and social development and general welfare", and can run community centres and advise the national government on the affairs of the locality. Some rural villages in Belize 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 practised mainly in Mayan communities in Belize, but any rural community can choose to appoint an alcalde.

List of municipalities

File:Belize City Aerial Shots.jpg|alt=Aerial view of Belize City|Aerial view of Belize City, the largest local municipality in Belize File:Burns Ave in San Ignacio.jpg|alt=Street in San Ignacio|San Ignacio/Santa Elena, Belize's second largest municipality by population File:Belmopan_Parliament.jpg|alt=Downtown Belmopan|Parliament in Belmopan, Belize's capital city and third largest municipality by population File:OWtownBZE.JPG|alt=Downtown Orange Walk Town|Orange Walk Town is the fourth largest municipality by population in Belize


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References

{{DEFAULTSORT:Municipalities in Belize * Belize Category:Belize geography-related lists Category:Subdivisions of Belize