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32. Belize (1981-present)

 

Pre-Crisis Phase (September 21, 1981-present):  Belize formally achieved its independence from Britain on September 21, 1981.  Elmira Minita Gordon was appointed as Governor-General of Belze, and George Cadle Price of the People’s United Party (PUP) was sworn in as prime minister of Belize on September 21, 1981.  Some 1,500 British troops remained in Belize following independence.  The United Nations (UN) General Assembly voted 144 to 1 to admit Belize as the 156th member of the UN.  Parliamentary elections were held on December 14, 1984, and the United Democratic Party (UDP) won 21 out of 28 seats in the House of Representatives.  Manuel Esquivel of the UDP was sworn in as prime minister on December 17, 1984.

Parliamentary elections were held on September 4, 1989, and the PUP won 15 out of 28 seats in the House of Representatives.  The UDP won 13 seats in the House of Representatives.  George Cadle Price of the PUP was sworn in as prime minister on September 7, 1989.  Parliamentary elections were held on June 30, 1993, and the UDP-led alliance won 16 out of 29 seats in the House of Representatives.  The PUP won 13 seats in the House of Representatives.  Manuel Esquivel of the UDP was sworn in as prime minister on July 3, 1993.  Sir Colville Young was appointed as Governor-General of Belize on November 17, 1993.  The British government handed over the responsibility for the defense of Belize to the 1,000-member Belize Defense Force (BDF) on January 1, 1994, and most British troops withdrew from Belize by October 1, 1994.  Governor-General Colville Young dissolved the House of Representatives on July 15, 1998.  Parliamentary elections were held on August 27, 1998, and the PUP won 26 out of 29 seats in the House of Representatives.  The UDP won three seats in the House of Representatives.  Said Wilbert Musa of the PUP was sworn in as prime minister on August 28, 1998.  Governor-General Colville Young dissolved the House of Representatives on February 4, 2003.  Parliamentary elections were held on March 5, 2003, and the PUP won 22 out of 29 seats in the House of Representatives.  The UDP won seven seats in the House of Representatives.  Governor-General Colville Young dissolved the House of Representatives on January 7, 2008.  Parliamentary elections were held on February 7, 2008, and the UDP won 25 out of 31 seats in the House of Representatives.  The PUP won six seats in the House of Representatives.  The Commonwealth of Nations (CoN) sent three observers (Jamaica, Sierre Leone, and Canada) and three staff members to monitor the parliamentary elections from February 1 to February 12, 2008.  Dean Barrow of the UDP was sworn in as prime minister on February 8, 2008.  Parliamentary elections were held on March 7, 2012, and the UDP won 17 out of 31 seats in the House of Representatives.  The PUP won 14 seats in the House of Representatives.  The Organization of American States (OAS) sent 22 observers from 13 countries led by Ambassador Frank Almaguer of the U.S. to monitor the parliamentary elections from March 1 to March 9, 2012.

[Sources:  Associated Press (AP), June 29, 1993; British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), March 8, 2012; Commonwealth of Nations (CoN) press release, January 31, 2008; Los Angeles Times (LAT), January 10, 1985; New York Times (NYT), September 26, 1981, December 14, 1984, December 15, 1984, September 6, 1984; Organization of American States (OAS) press release, February 21, 2012, March 8, 2012; Reuters, March 8, 2012; Seattle Times, February 23, 1994.]