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General Election Results - 5 March 2003
Parliament Building, Belize

General elections were held in Belize on 5 March 2003 for all 29 seats in the House of Representatives using a first-past-the-post system.

Elections were to be held by August 2003, but Prime Minister called them earlier.

Key issues in the election campaign included the country's deteriorating school system, unemployment, housing shortages, and a murder rate that had doubled largely due to increased drug smuggling. Parties invested heavily in billboards, political rallies, television and radio commercials, and music videos featuring local pop artists and dancers to woo voters. Outgoing Prime Minister Said Musa campaigned on a platform of stability, pointing to the country's 6.7 per cent average economic growth over the last years and a reduction in unemployment levels to 9 per cent from 14 per cent. The opposition party, the United Democratic Party (UDP), campaigned against alleged mismanagement and corruption in the ruling People's United Party (PUP).

Political Parties & Candidates

A total of 73 candidates contested the election.

Results

The ruling People's United Party (PUP) secured a comfortable victory with 22 of the 29 seats in the House of Representatives. This made the PUP the first party ever to win a second successive term in office since the country became independent from the United Kingdom in 1981. However, it suffered a net loss of four seats in comparison with the 1998 landslide, when it took 26 seats. The opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) obtained seven seats, while seventeen independent candidates failed to secure a seat in the elections.

Voter Turnout

Voter turnout was 79.55%.

Post-election

The 13 members of the new Cabinet were sworn in on 7 March 2003.

ELECTORAL SYSTEM
System First-past-the-post
Elected Members 29 single-member constituencies
VOTER TURNOUT
Total Valid Votes 99,570
Invalid Votes 822
Total Votes Cast 100,392
Registered Voters 126,202
Voter Turnout 79.55%
   
CRITICAL DATES
Dissolution of House Fri, 24 Jan 2003
Nomination Day Mon, 17 Feb 2003
Polling Day Wed, 5 Mar 2003
First Meeting of Parliament -  
POLITICAL LEADERS
  Photo Said MUSA
People's United Party (PUP)
  Photo Dean BARROW
United Democratic Party (UDP)
RELATED RESOURCES
Representation of the People Act (2000) Download report
Belize Constitution Act (2003) Download report
BY THE NUMBERS
PUP
29 candidates
22 seats
53,514 votes
(53.5%)
UDP
29 candidates
7 seats
44,996 votes
(45.2%)
OTHERS
Independent Candidates
15 candidates
0 seats
1,260 votes
(1.3%)
SEATS 15 seats for a majority
PUP 22 seats (-4)
7 seats (+4) UDP
SUMMARY RESULTS
  Party Code Votes Candidates Seats
Total % votes Change Number Change
  People's United Party Winner PUP 53,314 53.54% -6.13% 29 22 -4
  United Democratic Party UDP 44,996 45.19% +5.78% 29 7 +4
  Independent Candidates IND 1,260 1.27% +0.82% 15 0 -
  Total   99,570 100% - 73 29 -
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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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