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Belize, Government

Belize is governed under a constitution that became effective at independence in 1981. The British sovereign is head of state and is represented by a governor-general, who has little power. Executive power is mainly exercised by a cabinet of ministers, led by a prime minister. The bicameral National Assembly consists of a Senate of 8 appointed members and a House of Representatives of 29 members elected by universal suffrage to terms of up to five years. The prime minister must have the support of a majority of the members of the House. The leading political parties are the People’s United Party (PUP, 1950) and the United Democratic Party (UDP, 1974).

 
 

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