Belize has a parliamentary democracy as its form of government much like that of Westminster. The country was granted its independence from Great Britain in 1981. The first Prime Minister was George Price. Said Musa is the current Prime Minister and has been since August 28, 1998. There are two major parties in the Belize Government: The United Democratic Party (UDP) and the People's United Party (PUP).
Branches of Government
The prime minister, governor general, and cabinet are all grouped together to form the government's executive branch. There is a Senate containing 8 appointed members and a House of Representatives containing 29 elected members. The majority of the Senate members are appointed by the ruling party and the remainder appointed by the opposition party and governor general. The President of the Senate is elected by the other members after being nominated by the ruling party. The Governor General appoints the prime minister who will lead the cabinet and the ruling party.
The Supreme Court and Magistrate Court make up the judicial system. You will find a magistrate court in each district except in Belize City there are four courts. Belize City has a locally-elected nine member city council and all of the other towns have a town board of seven locally-elected members.
The Belize Constitution does not require a two-party system (PUP and UDP) but that is how it is today. However, an adult wishing to run for office can do so and not be in one of the two parties. It is fairly easy to start a political party. All the person has to do is declare the party exists and then run for office. In order to minimize conflicts, the parties tend to represent all social classes. However, the party that is not in power as the ruling will oftentimes tend to represent the poorer social class which is typical of most out-of-power political parties throughout the free world.
The Belize government for the most part is stable which helps to make Belize and attractive vacation destination.