Belize voters elected Peoples United Party opposition leader Juan Antonio Briceño (popularly known as John Briceno) as Belize’s fifth Prime Minister, in a plebiscite that took place amid the SARS COV2 pandemic, an economy in chaos and floods and storm damage from hurricane Eta on 11 November 2020.
The PUP victory after three terms out of office, was an unexpected landslide. Voter turnout reached 81%. The PUP picked up 26 of the available 31 seats in the House of Representatives leaving the former governing United Democratic Party with a paltry five seats. Among those five seats are the UDP leader Patrick Faber, former Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s sister Denise Barrow, and his son former Brooklyn New York rapper Moses Jamal Barrow.
In a television interview Briceño said “Belizeans, in impressive numbers, voted for a new beginning. This 2020 is a call for our young nation to grow up, to face the challenges of our generation and to advance our peaceful, constructive and progressive revolution.”
Following the November 11, 2020 general election, the Governor General H.E. Sir Colville Young today swore in the Hon. John Briceño as the fifth Prime Minister of Belize (image above).
The ceremony took place at Belize House in the City of Belmopan in the presence of the Prime Minister’s family, elected representatives of the People’s United Party, friends and supporters.
Prime Minister Briceño has been involved in electoral politics since 1993. He has served as an elected representative since 1993 and has been PUP party leader twice, once from 2008-2011 and from 2016 to present. He is the first Latino to serve as Prime Minister of Belize and the first prime minister not based in Belize city. He hails from Belize’s northern Orange Walk district and is an investor in telecom, cable television and fuel distribution.
Contrasted with the previous United Democratic Party (centre-right), that had ruled Belize for the past twelve years, the Peoples United Party is considered to be centre-left and has promised strict anti-corruption laws, a more citizen-oriented agenda, more equitable land distribution, housing development for the poor and middle class, and more focus on agri-business and technology innovation.