Constitution of Belize

Status: Monarchy under Queen Elizabeth II

Legislature: National Assembly of Belize

Independence: 21 September 1981

Belize is a parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy which recognises Queen Elizabeth II as head of state, represented by a governor-general. The governor-general, appointed on the advice of the prime minister, must be of Belizean nationality. The legislature, the National Assembly, is bicameral, composed of the Senate and House of Representatives.

The Senate has 12 members (plus the president of the senate): six are appointed on the advice of the prime minister, three on the advice of the leader of the opposition, and one each by the churches, business community and trade unions.

The House of Representatives comprises 31 members, directly elected at intervals of no longer than five years on the basis of universal adult suffrage (plus the speaker). The prime minister and cabinet have executive power.

There are six administrative districts. With the exception of Belize City, they are administered by a locally elected town board of seven members. The island resort of San Pedro on Ambergris Caye was granted township status in 1984. Belize City is administered by a city council of nine elected members. There are also village councils.