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General Election Results - 4 September 1989
Parliament Building, Belize

General elections were held in Belize on 4 September 1989 for all 28 seats in the House of Representatives using a first-past-the-post system.

The ruling United Democratic Party was finishing its first term and sought re-election on the basis of improved economic indicators and standard of living. The People's United Party painted them as lusting after foreign aid and recognition, particularly from the United States and Taiwan.

Another issue was national security; the PUP attacked a CIA-like operation known as the Secret Intelligence Service as being a spy network for the UDP and promised freedom of the press and other fundamental freedoms enshrined in the constitution.

Political Parties & Candidates

A total of 57 candidates contested the election. As in the past, primary contenders in the 1989 elections were the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP), led by incumbent Prime Minister Manuel Esquivel, and the People’s United Party (PUP), headed by former Prime Minister George Price.

During the electoral campaign, the labour-oriented PUP criticized conservative UDP’s free-market economic policies and the growing involvement of foreign interests in Belize’s economy. It also advocated a more liberal broadcasting policy.

Results

Polling results gave the PUP a surprising victory (15 House seats to UDP’s 13), thus returning it to power after five years in opposition. 

Voter Turnout

Voter turnout was 72.62%.

Post-election

Price once again became head of the Government and promised a mixed (State planning and liberalism) economic system. His 14-member Cabinet was sworn in on 8 September.

On 8 September 1989, one UDP member joined the PUP instead, increasing its parliamentary representation to 16 seats.

ELECTORAL SYSTEM
System First-past-the-post
Elected Members 28 single-member constituencies
VOTER TURNOUT
Total Valid Votes 58,951
Invalid Votes 1,003
Total Votes Cast 59,954
Registered Voters 82,556
Voter Turnout 72.62%
   
CRITICAL DATES
Dissolution of House -
Nomination Day -
Polling Day Mon, 4 Sep 1989
First Meeting of Parliament -  
POLITICAL LEADERS
  Photo George Cadle PRICE
People's United Party (PUP)
  Photo Manuel ESQUIVEL
United Democratic Party (UDP)
BY THE NUMBERS
PUP
28 candidates
15 seats
29,986 votes
(50.9%)
UDP
28 candidates
13 seats
28,900 votes
(49.0%)
OTHERS
Independent Candidates
1 candidate
0 seats
65 votes
(0.1%)
SEATS 15 seats for a majority
PUP 15 seats (+8)
13 seats (-8) UDP
SUMMARY RESULTS
  Party Code Votes Candidates Seats
Total % votes Change Number Change
  People's United Party Winner PUP 29,986 50.87% +6.84% 28 15 +8
  United Democratic Party UDP 28,900 49.02% -5.01% 28 13 -8
  Independent Candidates IND 65 0.11% -0.34% 1 0 -
  Total   58,951 100% - 57 28 -
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Key
PUP = People's United Party; UDP=United Democratic Party; IND = Inpendent candidate; * Incumbent; ** Political Leader
Sources
Elections & Boundaries Department, Government of Belize
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