Overview and context
Visualise data on the map
Nationally Determined Contribution (UNFCCC website)
Belize became an independent commonwealth realm in 1981. Queen Elizabeth II remains Head of State in a parliamentary representative democratic monarchy based upon the Westminster model. The Queen is represented by a Governor-General, and day-to-day executive power is exercised by a Prime Minister and Cabinet. The 1981 constitution is the supreme law of the land.
The National Assembly serves as the parliament and is bi-cameral with an elected House of Representatives of 31 members elected for a maximum five-year term of office via first-past-the-post constituency elections. The Senate consists of 12 appointed Senators and a President elected by the senators. Senators are appointed by the Governor-General, 6 on the advice of the Prime Minister, 3 on the advice of the Leader of the Opposition, one on the advice of the Belize Council of Churches and the Evangelical Association of Churches, one on the advice of the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Belize Business Bureau and one on the advice of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize and the Civil Society Steering Committee. The last general election was held in November 2015, the next is expected to be held in November 2020.
Bills can be introduced by members of either House (except those involving budgets, which are the sole purview of the House of Representatives) and must pass both Houses of Parliament with a simple majority of present members and receive the assent of the Governor-General, who acts on the advice of Cabinet. The Senate normally passes measures adopted by the House of Representatives. If a bill is rejected twice by the Senate, but is approved by the House of Representatives, it can be passed to the Governor-General for assent.