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When will Belize’s general elections be called?

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015. Aaron Humes Reporting: While he was speaking about Guatemala’s general elections, Prime Minister Dean Barrow will soon face elections of his own.PM Barrow new

In summary according to our friends at Wikipedia, the last general election, actually a double with the municipals, was held on March 7, 2012. Following a 17-14 victory for the United Democratic Party (UDP), the current National Assembly opened on March 21, two weeks later.

Section 84 of the Constitution says the National Assembly must be dissolved five years from the date when the two Houses of the former National Assembly first met, unless sooner dissolved by the Governor General on the advice of the Prime Minister, that date being March 21, 2017.

General elections must be called within three months of a dissolution, so the latest date would be June 21, 2017.

But Prime Minister Barrow has said it will more likely be much sooner than that. He has ruled out a snap election in 2015 despite successive victories in two by-elections and a municipal election, but persistent rumors indicate elections will be called for November 3, two months from today, assuming the National Assembly is dissolved by September 21, Independence Day.

Prime Minister Barrow says he has not even begun to calculate a possible date, so November 3 appears to be out for now. But without giving anything away, he suggests that he has come around to a 4-year term as suggested by the People’s United Party (PUP), and that fourth anniversary comes next March 7. He expects to call elections, then, no later than the end of March, 2016.

If this is the plan it would be the second successive early election called by the UDP, a full year ahead of schedule, and the fourth in five election cycles dating back to 1993; only Sir Manuel Esquivel’s second term went the full five years and then some.

As the Prime Minister indicated it would be his last term in that post, and quite possibly in Queen’s Square as well, but all of that is speculation at this juncture.

We will continue to watch developments.

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