2015 Belizean general election

Tropical Vision Limited Dean Barrow United Democratic Party (Belize)
2015 Belizean general election

← 2012 4 November 2015[1] 2020 →

All 31 seats in the House of Representatives
16 seats needed for a majority
  First party Second party
  Dean Barrow
Leader Dean Barrow Francis Fonseca
Leader since 30 August 1998 (1998-08-30) 3 November 2011 (2011-11-03)
Leader's seat Queen's Square Freetown
Last election 17 seats 14 seats
Seats before 19 seats 12 seats
Seats won 19 12
Seat change Increase2 Decrease2

Belize general election 2015 - Results by Constituency.svg
Popular vote by constituency. As Belize uses the FPTP electoral system, seat totals are not determined by popular vote, but instead via results by each constituency.

Prime Minister before election

Dean Barrow

Subsequent Prime Minister

Dean Barrow

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General elections were held in Belize on 4 November 2015 to elect members of the House of Representatives. On 28 September 2015 Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced that he had advised the Governor-General to dissolve the National Assembly and to fix Wednesday 4 November 2015 as the date for the next general elections.[1]

Barrow's United Democratic Party increased its majority from 17 seats to 19 seats.[2][3] While the People's United Party won 12 seats.[3]


The prior general election was held on 7 March 2012, and the previous National Assembly opened on 21 March 2012. According to Section 84 of the Constitution of Belize, the National Assembly must be dissolved "five years from the date when the two Houses of the former National Assembly first met" unless dissolved sooner by the Governor-General of Belize upon the advice of the prime minister.[4] A general election must be called within three months of a dissolution, which meant the latest possible date for the next Belizean general election was 21 June 2017.

In March 2015 UDP leader and Prime Minister Dean Barrow ruled out the possibility of a snap election later in 2015 despite his party's recent interim electoral successes.[5]

In early September 2015 Barrow indicated the election would be called in early 2016, however no firm date had been set at the time.[6]

The poll is the second consecutive snap election in Belize held closer to four years rather than five. Both Barrow and the opposition People's United Party support lowering the maximum term of the National Assembly to four years.[7]

Candidates were formally nominated on 16 October 2015.[8]


The ruling UDP led by Barrow attempted to win a third consecutive election for the first time in its history. The UDP won the 2012 election with a considerably smaller majority than it enjoyed after the 2008 election.[9] However, the PUP had not won a major election since 2003.

Going into the 2015 election, the UDP held eight of the 10 constituencies in Belize City, by far the country's largest city. Continued dominance in Belize City was seen as key to future UDP success. Meanwhile, the opposition People's United Party sought to maintain its edge in the rural districts. Gains in the Toledo, Stann Creek and Orange Walk Districts more than made up for the PUP's net loss in Belize City in 2012.[10]

Based on a previously scheduled purge of electoral lists by the Belize Elections and Boundaries Commission, Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca has requested international observation of the election from the Caribbean Community, the Organization of American States or the Commonwealth of Nations.[11]

Constituency boundaries

Constituency boundaries were unchanged from 2012 as Belize does not have a regular reapportionment schedule.[12] Belizean electoral divisions were last redrawn in 2005. In October 2015 the opposition Vision Inspired by the People party filed suit seeking to nullify the election results based on this lack of a recent reapportionment.[13]

Party leadership

Barrow, who has led the UDP since 1998, led the party for a fourth consecutive election. He stated this election would be his last as party leader.[7]

The PUP was led by Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca, despite Fonseca facing a leadership challenge from several PUP area representatives earlier in 2015.[14] The election was Fonseca's second as party leader.

Minor parties

Third parties traditionally perform poorly in Belize, with no third party running independently finishing with more than one percent of the vote nationwide since 1984. Belize's active minor parties at the time of the 2012 election, Vision Inspired by the People and the People's National Party, ran a total of nine candidates between them in 2012 but were not competitive in any seat.

In September 2015, shortly after the election was called, the PNP merged with members of the VIP and other opposition groups to form the Belize Progressive Party (BPP). The BPP ran in 25 out of 31 constituencies.[8][15] Another minor party, the Belize Green Independent Party, ran a single candidate in Toledo East, but garnered only 5 votes.

Interim elections

January 2015 Cayo North by-election

The Cayo North constituency held a by-election on 5 January 2015 to elect a successor to PUP Area Rep. Joseph Mahmud, who unexpectedly resigned in November 2014.[16] Mahmud had previously indicated he was standing down.[17]

The by-election was only the third in Belize since independence, and the first since a by-election in Cayo South in October 2003.[18] Candidate nominations closed on 15 December 2014 with PUP nominee Richard Harrison and UDP nominee Omar Figueroa qualifying. No third party candidates appeared on the ballot.[19] Figueroa won the by-election by a nearly 2-to-1 margin, increasing the UDP's overall majority in the Belize House.[20]

March 2015 municipal elections

Municipal elections held on 4 March 2015 resulted in a decisive UDP victory, with the governing party easily re-electing Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley and retaining control of the Belize City Council. The UDP also defeated PUP-controlled local governments in Dangriga and Punta Gorda. The PUP prevailed in only one municipality nationwide, Orange Walk Town.[21][22]

July 2015 Dangriga by-election

On 8 June 2015 PUP Area Rep. Ivan Ramos resigned after controversially failing to retain his standard bearer status in Dangriga. A by-election was held on 8 July.[23] Nominations were formally made on 22 June. Former Dangriga Mayor Frank "Papa" Mena was the UDP nominee, while retired educator Anthony Sabal stood as the PUP candidate after initial reports the PUP might not contest the by-election at all.[24][25] Llewellyn Lucas from the Belize Green Independent Party was also nominated, becoming that party's first official candidate in any election since it was founded in 2012.[26] A fourth candidate endorsed by both of Belize's other active minor parties, the PNP and VIP, was disqualified due to holding dual citizenship. Belizean candidates for public office may not hold citizenship in any other country.[27]

The by-election was won by Mena with 57.89 percent of the vote, giving the UDP its third consecutive by-election win dating to 2003.[28]

Area Representatives standing down


  1. Santino Castillo (Caribbean Shores), announced 15 April 2015.[29]
  2. Herman R. Longsworth (Albert), announced 25 March 2015.[30]
  3. Elvin Penner (Cayo North East), deselected 8 June 2014.[31]


  1. Marco Tulio Mendez (Orange Walk East), announced 11 November 2014.[32]


Belize Chambre des représentants 2015.svg
United Democratic Party71,45250.5219+2
People's United Party67,56647.7712–2
Belize Progressive Party2,3361.650New
Belize Green Independent Party50.000New
Valid votes141,43198.99
Invalid/blank votes1,4501.01
Total votes142,881100.00
Registered voters/turnout196,58772.68
Source: Elections and Boundaries Department


  1. ^ a b Trujillo, Renee. "Prime Minister Announces Date for General Elections" Archived 2015-09-30 at the Wayback Machine, LOVE FM, 28 September 2015. (accessed 29 September 2015)
  2. ^ Garcia, David Alire. "Belize PM Barrow wins record third consecutive term", Reuters, 5 November 2015. (accessed 5 November 2015)
  3. ^ a b "Election Results". Breaking Belize News. 5 November 2015. Retrieved 14 August 2016.
  4. ^ Belize / Belice: Constitution 1981, Political Database of the Americas. (accessed 9 October 2014)
  5. ^ "Hon. Barrow Pleased, Avoids Gloating", Tropical Vision Limited, 5 March 2015. (accessed 16 March 2015)
  6. ^ "Darrell Bradley on Campaign Trail in Caribbean Shores", Great Belize Television, 4 September 2015 (accessed 7 September 2015)
  7. ^ a b Parks, Rowland A. "General elections no later than 'first part of next year' – PM Barrow", Amandala, 4 September 2015. (accessed 27 September 2015)
  8. ^ a b "A New, Consolidated Third Party Emerges", Great Belize Television, 1 October 2015. (accessed 2 October 2015)
  9. ^ Britell, Alexander (8 March 2012), "Belize's UDP Wins Narrow Re-election; Opposition Gains Eight Seats", Caribbean Journal
  10. ^ Belize election maps, Psephos - Adam Carr's Election Archive. (accessed 20 November 2014)
  11. ^ "PUP Wants Election Observers" Tropical Vision Limited, 30 September 2015. (accessed 1 October 2015)
  12. ^ Belize: Electoral Law, Political Database of the Americas. (accessed 27 September 2015)
  13. ^ "Party Leaders Discuss VIP's Intended Wrench", Tropical Vision Limited, 16 October 2015. (accessed 28 October 2015)
  14. ^ [http://www.7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=33759 "Opposition Leader Discuses Truce With G-11 Rebels">, Tropical Vision Limited, 18 September 2015. (accessed 27 September 2015)
  15. ^ Parks, Rowland and Albert J. Ciego. "88 candidates will contest 31 seats!", Amandala, 20 October 2015. (accessed 28 October 2015)
  16. ^ "Parliamentarian Resigns; Bi-election to be held in Cayo North on January 5th", The San Pedro Sun, 25 November 2014. (accessed 26 November 2014)
  17. ^ "Hon. Mahmud Is Out For Real", Tropical Vision Limited, 23 October 2014. (accessed 20 November 2014)
  18. ^ Result of By-election 2003, Belize Elections and Boundaries Commission. (accessed 26 November 2014)
  19. ^ REPRESENTATION OF THE PEOPLE ACT CHAPTER 9 NOTICE THAT A POLL WILL BE TAKEN The Electoral Division of CAYO NORTH, Belize Elections and Boundaries Commission. (accessed 19 December 2014)
  20. ^ "Dr Omar Figueroa elected as new Area Rep for Cayo North", The San Pedro Sun, 6 January 2015. (accessed 6 January 2015)
  21. ^ "U.D.P. Sweeps 2015 Municipal Elections: Darrell Bradley Re-elected to City Hall", Great Belize Television, 5 March 2015. (accessed 16 March 2015)
  22. ^ Ramos, Adele. "UDP fiesta!", Amandala, 6 March 2015. (accessed 16 March 2015)
  23. ^ "Bye-Election In July! PUP Hon. Ivan Ramos Steps Down As Representative", Tropical Vision Limited, 8 June 2015. (accessed 18 June 2015)
  24. ^ "PUP Still 'Assessing' While Bye-election Date Drawing Nigh", Tropical Vision Limited, 12 June 2015. (accessed 18 June 2015)
  25. ^ Trujillo, Renee. "Political Momentum Picks Up in Dangriga" Archived 2015-06-19 at the Wayback Machine, LOVE FM, 17 June 2015 (accessed 18 June 2015)
  26. ^ "Nomination Day for Bi Election in Dangriga", PlusTV Belize, 23 June 2015. (accessed 23 June 2015)
  27. ^ Clarke, Kareem. "Race for Dangriga seat in high gear", Amandala, 23 June 2015 (accessed 23 June 2015)
  28. ^ Humes, Aaron "Frank 'Papa' Mena is the new Dangriga area representative ", Breaking Belize News, 8 July 2015. (accessed 8 July 2015)
  29. ^ Humes, Aaron. "Santino Castillo hands over to Darrell Bradley in Caribbean Shores", Breaking Belize News, 16 April 2015. (accessed 22 April 2015)
  30. ^ "Tracy Taegar Panton is New UDP Standard Bearer for Albert" Archived 2015-07-21 at the Wayback Machine, The Guardian, 26 March 2015. (accessed 31 March 2015)
  31. ^ Jones, Patrick E. "New standard bearer for the UDP in Cayo Northeast", Breaking Belize News, 8 June 2014. (accessed 21 November 2014)
  32. ^ Humes, Aaron. "PUP Orange Walk East area rep. steps down for health reasons", Breaking Belize News, 11 November 2014. (accessed 23 November 2014)