Government type:
parliamentary democracy (National Assembly) under a constitutional monarchy; a Commonwealth realm
Capital:
name: Belmopan

Administrative divisions:
6 districts; Belize, Cayo, Corozal, Orange Walk, Stann Creek, Toledo
Independence:
21 September 1981 (from the UK)
National holiday:
Battle of St. George's Caye Day (National Day), 10 September (1798); Independence Day, 21 September (1981)
Constitution:
previous 1954, 1963 (preindependence); latest signed and entered into force 21 September 1981; amended several times, last in 2012 (2016)
Legal system:
English common law
International law organization participation:
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Citizenship:
citizenship by birth: yes
citizenship by descent: yes
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years
Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Sir Colville Norbert YOUNG, Sr. (since 17 November 1993)
head of government: Prime Minister Dean Oliver BARROW (since 8 February 2008); Deputy Prime Minister Patrick FABER (since 7 June 2016)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister from among members of the National Assembly
elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition usually appointed prime minister by the governor general; prime minister recommends the deputy prime minister
Legislative branch:
description: bicameral National Assembly consists of:
elections: Senate (12 seats; members appointed by the governor general - 6 on the advice of the prime minister, 3 on the advice of the leader of the opposition, and 1 each on the advice of the Belize Council of Churches and Evangelical Association of Churches, the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Belize Better Business Bureau, and the National Trade Union Congress
House of Representatives (31 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 5-year terms)
note: House of Representatives - last held on 4 November 2015 (next to be held in November 2020)
election results: percent of vote by party - UDP 50%, PUP 47.3%, other 2.7%; seats by party - UDP 19, PUP 12
Judicial branch:
highest court(s): Supreme Court of Judicature (consists of the Court of Appeal with the court president and 3 justices, and the Supreme Court with the chief justice and 2 judges); note - in 2010, Belize ceased final appeals in civil and criminal cases to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (in London) and acceded to the Caribbean Court of Justice
judge selection and term of office: Court of Appeal president and justices appointed by the governor general upon advice of the prime minister after consultation with the National Assembly opposition leader; justices' tenures vary by terms of appointment; Supreme Court chief justice appointed by the governor-general upon the advice of the prime minister and the National Assembly opposition leader; other judges appointed by the governor-general upon the advice of the Judicial and Legal Services Section of the Public Services Commission and with the concurrence of the prime minister after consultation with the National Assembly opposition leader; judges can be appointed beyond age 65 but must retire by age 75; in 2013, the Supreme Court chief justice overturned a constitutional amendment that had restricted Court of Appeal judge appointments to as short as 1 year
subordinate courts: Magistrate Courts; Family Court
Political parties and leaders:
Belize Progressive Party or BPP [Patrick ROGERS] (formed in 2015 from a merger of the People's National Party, elements of the Vision Inspired by the People, and other smaller political groups)
People's United Party or PUP [Johnny BRICENO]
United Democratic Party or UDP [Dean Oliver BARROW]