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Belize Government

    Country name:
    conventional long form: none
    conventional short form: Belize
    former: British Honduras

    Data code: BH

    Government type: parliamentary democracy

    Capital: Belmopan

    Administrative divisions: 6 districts; Belize, Cayo, Corozal, Orange Walk, Stann Creek, Toledo

    Independence: 21 September 1981 (from UK)

    National holiday: Independence Day, 21 September (1981)

    Constitution: 21 September 1981

    Legal system: English law

    Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

    Executive branch:
    chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor General Sir Colville YOUNG (since 17 November 1993)
    head of government: Prime Minister Said MUSA (since 2 August 1998); Deputy Prime Minister Dean BARROW (since NA July 1993)
    cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister
    elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch; prime minister appointed by the governor general

    Legislative branch: bicameral National Assembly consists of the Senate (eight members; members are appointed for five-year terms, five on the advice of the prime minister, two on the advice of the leader of the opposition, and one after consultation with the Belize Advisory Council—this council serves as an independent body to advise the governor general with respect to difficult decisions such as granting pardons, commutations, stays of execution, the removal of justices of appeal who appear to be incompetent, etc.) and the National Assembly (29 seats; members are elected by direct popular vote to serve five-year terms)
    elections: National Assembly—last held 1 August 1998 (next to be held NA August 2003)
    election results: percent of vote by party—NA; seats by party—PUP 26, UDP 3

    Judicial branch: Supreme Court, the chief justice is appointed by the governor general on advice of the prime minister

    Political parties and leaders: People's United Party or PUP [Said MUSA]; United Democratic Party or UDP [Manuel ESQUIVEL, Dean BARROW]; National Alliance for Belizean Rights or NABR [Philip GOLDSON]

    Political pressure groups and leaders: Society for the Promotion of Education and Research or SPEAR [Assad SHOMAN]; United Workers Front

    International organization participation: ACP, C, Caricom, CDB, ECLAC, FAO, G-77, IADB, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ITU, LAES, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WHO, WMO, WTrO

    Diplomatic representation in the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador James Schofield MURPHY
    chancery: 2535 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 332-9636
    FAX: [1] (202) 332-6888
    consulate(s) general: Los Angeles

    Diplomatic representation from the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Carolyn CURIEL
    embassy: Gabourel Lane and Hutson Street, Belize City
    mailing address: P. O. Box 286, Unit 7401, APO AA 34025
    telephone: [501] (2) 77161 through 77163
    FAX: [501] (2) 30802

    Flag description: blue with a narrow red stripe along the top and the bottom edges; centered is a large white disk bearing the coat of arms; the coat of arms features a shield flanked by two workers in front of a mahogany tree with the related motto SUB UMBRA FLOREO (I Flourish in the Shade) on a scroll at the bottom, all encircled by a green garland

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)