|Member of the Belize House of Representatives for Belize Rural Central|
30 June 1993 – 7 February 2008
|Preceded by||(constituency created)|
|Succeeded by||Michael Hutchinson|
|Minister of Home Affairs|
|Prime Minister||Said Musa|
|Born||9 August 1949|
|Political party||People's United Party|
|Alma mater||St. John's College, Belize|
In 1984, he became a candidate for the House of Representatives in Queen's Square, running against attorney and city councillor Dean Barrow. He lost and returned to private life until 1989, when he was appointed a Senator and Minister of State in Finance and Leader of Government Business in the Senate until 1993.
In 1993 elections he won in the newly created Belize Rural Central constituency despite the PUP's close overall loss. He repeated this victory in 1998 and 2003. He served in Cabinet as Minister of Budget Management, Investment and Home Affairs until 2003, when he was moved to Finance again while keeping Home Affairs. Beginning in 2006, he was in charge only of Home Affairs. He became the PUP's national campaign manager in 1985.
Fonseca was undecided as to whether he would seek a fourth term in the February 2008 election, but he subsequently decided to contest his constituency. He was defeated, in what was considered an upset, by the UDP's Michael Hutchinson, a relatively unknown candidate. On 14 February, the PUP announced that Fonesca had resigned as PUP campaign manager.
Personal life and education
Fonseca attended St. John's College High School and Sixth Form before going to university in Canada to major in information technology, specialising in systems analysis and control data. He is married with three children. Fonseca reportedly loves diving and fishing. Fonseca is a cousin of former PUP leader and Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca. Fonseca's younger brother, David, served as Mayor of Belize City from 1999 until 2006.
Fonseca's only son, Ralph Fonseca Jr. was killed in a motor accident on 11 September 2007.
Before going to Canada, Fonseca acted as an assistant general manager at the Texaco oil company in Belize. In Canada, he was employed in various capacities of information technology. After returning to Belize, he worked as managing director for Belize Brewing Ltd., Hilllbank Agroindustries and Consolidated Electricity Services. Sandwiched between these jobs were posts as Chairman of the former Belize Electricity Board, now Belize Electricity Limited, and the Telecommunications Authority, now BTL. Presently he serves as a consultant in the petroleum, mining, airline, and shrimping industries.
As Minister of Finance, Fonseca popularized the policy of growth economics, which proposes to develop Belize's economy through privatization of assets and encouraging foreign investments, which in turn is supposed to create jobs for Belizeans. Supporters argue that Growth Economics is behind Belize's consecutive gains in total growth; detractors say any benefits from growth economics only accrues to PUP interests and in reality Fonseca has damaged Belize's international reputation due to high debt and poor economic indicators. He has further been accused of practicing official corruption, granting favors to party supporters in return for shares in the profits. However, claims either way cannot be measured.
Fonseca has a notably tense relationship with certain media houses antagonistic to his policies. The Amandala and KREM Radio, who under chairman Evan X Hyde had been in partnership with the PUP since 1994, claimed to have ended that relationship under pressure from Fonseca. Tropical Vision Limited Channel 7, managed by Jules Vasquez, has also come under fire by Fonseca for a perceived bias against him.
- http://www.guardian.bz/bzered.html The UDP Guardian on Fonseca's chances after 2007 village council elections (partisan)
- http://www.amandala.com.bz/index.php?id=5208 Godfrey Smith of the PUP on whether Ralph should run
- "Red, red, red!!!", Amandala Online, February 8, 2008.
- "Former Belize prime minister steps down as party leader" Archived 2008-04-23 at the Wayback Machine, Caribbean Net News, February 14, 2008.
- "Francis Fonseca on Why He Wants to Lead the PUP", Tropical Vision Limited, February 25, 2008. (accessed 25 October 2014)
- "Former Bze. City Mayor David Fonseca Takes His Own Life", Tropical Vision Limited. (accessed 4 May 2015)
- Nembhard, Anita. "Freak accident kills two Ralph, Jrs".
- http://www.amandala.com.bz/index.php?id=5484 Amandala editorial on growth economics and Belize's present troubles
- http://www.amandala.com.bz/index.php?id=5546 Amandala editorial: Message to the Blue People.