Security & Strategic Review - April 2021

BELIZE: PUP consolidates gains, but difficulties ahead

Belize’s People’s United Party (PUP) has consolidated its victory in the November 2020 general election with a resounding victory in the municipal elections held in March. On 11 November 2020, the centre-right United Democratic Party (UDP) was beaten in a landslide 26-5 seat general election victory for the PUP thus ending a 12-year stretch in power for the UDP. On 3 March, the PUP followed this up by winning 65 out of 67 seats being contested in the municipal elections and winning all the mayoral seats except in the twin towns of Santa Elena and San Ignacio. Voter turnout was low, but this was nevertheless an important endorsement of Prime Minister John Briceño at a time of extreme economic difficulty due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. It is hard to see how he will retain such levels of popularity given the bitter medicine now being recommended for the country by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

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