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Belize to hold parliamentary elections


Belize to hold parliamentary elections


Elections will today be held in Belize to select the 31 members of the House of Representatives.

The elections will pit the ruling centre-right United Democratic Party (UDP) against opponents including the left-leaning People’s United Party. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the UDP was expected to have little issue prolonging its grip on Belize’s legislature. Incumbent Prime Minister Dean Barrow has led the UDP to three consecutive election victories, yet announced he would not seek another term after facing several severe obstacles this year. In January, the supreme court ruled that Barrow had misallocated $645 million of public funds, shortly before the Belizean economy was devastated by the pandemic. Its debilitated tourism industry was responsible for 40% of its GDP, while a drought has crippled agricultural production. The economy is now set for a 12% contraction in 2020 and has the government scrambling for debt relief.

Expect the failures of the UDP to weaken its prospects for retaining a grip on parliament, while leading to increased support for the Belize People’s Front and the People’s United Party. With platforms based on rooting out corruption, these opposition parties will likely secure the 16 seats needed for control of government.

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