United Democratic Party wins the elections in Belize

On March 7, national and municipal elections were held in Belize. By preliminary results of these elections, Belize’s ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) of Prime Minister Dean Barrow has won a narrow election victory against the opposition People’s United Party (PUP).

According to unofficial results, provided by Chief Elections Officer Josephine Tamai, the UDP won 16 of the 31 seats at stake in the election, with the main opposition People’s United Party (PUP) winning 14 seats. One seat is not declared yet. In the last general election, the UDP had won 25 seats.

It is possible, however, that several seats won by narrow margins could be challenged by People’s United Party.

The elections’ turnout was approximately 73.11 percent.

As a result of the victory of UDP, the Prime Minister Dean Barrow will stay for another term. The United Democratic Party came to power in 2008, after 10 years of PUP leadership. In the last parliament, Mr Barrow’s party held 25 of the 31 seats, a majority of 19.

Belize is the 13th most indebted country in the world, and Prime Minister Dean Barrow said before the election that he would renegotiate the terms of a US$550m (£348m) bond – the so called Belize superbond, which makes up half the country’s debt and 40 percent of gross domestic product. The opposition had said it would meet debt obligations by boosting the US$1.25bn economy, which is very much dependent on tourism.

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