IPU Logo    INTER-PARLIAMENTARY UNION
>>> VERSION FRANÇAISE  
   HOME -> PARLINE -> BELIZE (House of Representatives)
Print this pagePrint this page
PARLINE database new searchNew search
BELIZE
House of Representatives

This page contains the full text of the PARLINE database entry on the selected parliamentary chamber, with the exception of Specialized bodies modules which, because of their excessive length, can be only viewed and printed separately.

Modules:
GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE PARLIAMENTARY CHAMBER

Parliament name National Assembly
More photos  >>>
Structure of parliament Bicameral
Chamber name House of Representatives
Related chamber (for bicameral parliaments) Senate
Affiliation to the IPU No
Affiliation date(s)
LEADERSHIP
President Michael Peyrefitte (M) 
Notes Elected on 21 March 2012.
Secretary General Eddie Webster (M) 
Notes Appointed on 12 Apr. 2010.
COMPOSITION
Members (statutory / current number) 32 / 32
PERCENTAGE OF WOMEN


More statistics  >>>
Women (current number) 1 (3.13%)
Mode of designation directly elected 31
other 1
Notes Other: the Speaker may be designated from outside parliament and becomes a member of parliament by virtue of holding the office of Speaker.
Term 5 years
Last renewal dates 7 March 2012
(View details)
CONTACT INFORMATION
Address The House of Representatives
National Assembly Building
P.O.Box 139
BELMOPAN, Cayo District
(Export mailing lists)
Phone 501 822 2141
2142
2144
Fax 501 822 3889
E-mail clerkna@bna.gov.bz
Website
http://www.nationalassembly.gov.bz/

ELECTORAL SYSTEM

Parliament name National Assembly
Structure of parliament Bicameral
Chamber name House of Representatives
Related chamber (for bicameral parliaments) Senate
LEGAL FRAMEWORK
Electoral law 29 March 1978
Last amendment: 7/7/1998
Mode of designation directly elected 31
other 1
Constituencies 31 single-member constituencies.
Voting system Majority: Direct election, simple-majority vote.
Vacancies arising between general elections are filled through by-elections.
Voting is not compulsory.
Voter requirements - age: 18 years
- Belize or British Commonwealth citizens who are domiciled or have resided in the country for at least one year immediately before polling day.
- disqualifications: insanity, undischarged bankruptcy, electoral fraud, sentence to death or imprisonment exceeding one year
CANDIDATES
Eligibility Qualified electors
- age: 18 years
- Belize citizenship
- residence in the country for at least one year immediately prior to nomination.
- ineligibility: allegiance to a foreign State
Incompatibilities - election-connected offices
- membership of the armed or police forces
- government contractors
Candidacy requirements (data unavailable)

LAST ELECTIONS

Parliament name National Assembly
Structure of parliament Bicameral
Chamber name House of Representatives
Related chamber (for bicameral parliaments) Senate
BACKGROUND
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) 7 March 2012
Timing and scope of renewal Elections were held on 7 March, nearly a year ahead of the constitutionally due date. Prime Minister Dean Barrow's United Democratic Party (UDP) ran on the government's record of promoting "pro-poor and pro-people programmes". The UDP was returned to power, taking 17 of the 31 directly elected seats; down from 25 that it held in the outgoing legislature. The opposition People's United Party (PUP), led by Mr. Francis Fonseca, took the remainder. Only one woman candidate, from the PUP, was successful. On 21 March the newly-elected House members were sworn in alongside the newly-appointed senators.
Date of previous elections: 7 February 2008

Date of dissolution of the outgoing legislature: 3 February 2012

Timing of election: Early elections

Expected date of next elections: March 2017

Number of seats at stake: 31 (full renewal)

Number of candidates: 74 (71 men, 3 women)

Percentage of women candidates: 4.05%

Number of parties contesting the election: 3

Number of parties winning seats: 2

Alternation of power: No

Number of parties in government: 1

Names of parties in government: United Democratic Party (UDP)

Date of the first session of the new parliament: 21 March 2012

Name of the new Speaker: Mr. Michael Peyrefitte (appointed member)
STATISTICS
Voter turnout
Round no 17 March 2012
Number of registered electors
Voters
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes
178'054
130'303 (73.18%)

Notes
Distribution of votes
Round no 1
Political group Candidates Votes % of votes
United Democratic Party (UDP)
People's United Party (PUP)
Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Political Group Total of seats Gain/Loss
United Democratic Party (UDP) 17 -8
People's United Party (PUP) 14 8
Distribution of seats according to sex
Men

Women

Percent of women
30

1

3.23%
Distribution of seats according to age
Distribution of seats according to profession
Comments
Source: http://www.elections.gov.bz

PRESIDENCY OF THE PARLIAMENTARY CHAMBER

Parliament name National Assembly
Structure of parliament Bicameral
Chamber name House of Representatives
Related chamber (for bicameral parliaments) Senate
APPOINTMENT AND TERM OF OFFICE
Title Speaker of the House of Representatives
Term - duration: 5 years (term of House)
- reasons for interruption of the term: resignation, death, dissolution of the House, if he becomes a Minister, if he ceases to be a citizen of Belize or is disqualified by virtue of Section 58(1) of the Belize Constitution
Appointment - elected by all Members of the House
- election is held at the first sitting of the newly elected House
- before Members are sworn in
Eligibility - any citizen of Belize who satisfies the qualifications required may be a candidate
Voting system - formal vote by simple majority
- one round by voice vote
Procedures / results - the Clerk presides over the House during the voting
- the Clerk supervises the voting
- the Clerk announces the results
- the results cannot be challenged
STATUS
Status - ranks fifth in the hierarchy of State
- comes before the President of the Senate in the order of precedence
- both Presiding Officers preside together over the joint sittings of both Chambers
- in the absence of the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker can assume his/her role and functions
- is Chairman of the House Committe of Staff
Board
Material facilities - salary of $ 11,520 p.a. Bze dollars
+ special allowance of $2,808 p.a. Bze dollars
FUNCTIONS
Organization of parliamentary business - convenes sessions
- establishes and modifies the agenda
- organizes the debates and sets speaking time
- examines the admissibility of bills and amendments
- refers texts to a committee for study
- examines the admissibility of request for setting up committees and/or committees of enquiry, proposes or decides on the setting up of such committees
- is entitled to appoint special select committees
Chairing of public sittings - can open, adjourn and close sittings by order of the House
- ensures respect for provisions of the Constitution and Standing Orders
- makes announcements concerning the House
- takes disciplinary measures in the event of disturbance, and lifts such measures
- establishes the list of speakers, gives and withdraws permission to speak (the Member who catches the Speaker's eye would have the floor)
- establishes the order in which amendments are taken up (last amendments debated first)
- calls for a vote (collection of voices and by division)
- checks the quorum
- authenticates the adopted texts and the records of debates
- interprets the rules or other regulations governing the life of the House
Special powers - recruits, assigns and promotes staff in his capacity of Chairman of the House Committee of Staff
- is responsible for safety, and in this capacity, can call the police in the event of disturbance in the House
Speaking and voting rights, other functions NA (no information received)

This page was last updated on 2 May 2012
Copyright 1996-2013 Inter-Parliamentary Union