Belize form of Government
Politics of Belize takes place in a framework of a parliamentary representative democratic monarchy, where by Queen Elizabeth II serves as head of state and the prime minister is the head of government, and of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the Parliament of Belize.
The party system is dominated by the center-left People's United Party and the center-right United Democratic Party. There have been other small parties that have participated at all levels of governmental elections in the past. Although none of these small political parties have ever won any significant number of seats and/or offices, their challenge has been growing over the years.
As head of state, Queen Elizabeth is a B represented in Belize by a governor general who acts on the advice of the prime minister and the cabinet.
Belize is a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary, its democracy is based on the Westminster model. Belize is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. Queen Elizabeth II is head of state and is represented in the country by Governor General Dr. Colville N. Young, Sr., a Belizean and Belize's second governor general. The primary executive organ of government is the Cabinet led by a Prime Minister (head of government). 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.
- Charles Gibson, Public Service and Elections and Boundaries
Ministers of State
- Mark King in the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation (with special emphasis on the Conscious Youth Development Programme and the Gang Truce Programme)
- Herman Longsworth in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (with special emphasis on Youth and Sports)
- Santino Castillo in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (with special emphasis on Economic Development)
- Omar Figueroa in the Office of the Prime Minister
Government appointed Senators
- Senator Mark Pech
- Senator Juliet Thimbriel
Main articles: Senate of Belize and House of Representatives of Belize
The National Assembly of 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 Council of Churches and the Evangelical Association of Churches, one (1) on the advice of the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Belize Business Bureau and one (1) on the advice of the National Trade Union Congress of 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.