John Briceño sworn in as Belize’s new Prime Minister

The leader of the People’s United Party (PUP), John Briceño, has been sworn in as the fifth Prime Minister of Belize and has promised to name his Cabinet later on Friday.

John Briceño has been sworn in as Belize’s fifth Prime Minister. (Photo: Belize Times)

Briceño led his PUP to a landslide victory in Wednesday’s general election, defeating the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) that had been seeking an unprecedented fourth consecutive term in office.

“I want to assure everyone that we are going to be an open, accountable, and accessible government.”

— Briceño

The UDP had contested the election under the leadership of its new leader, Patrick Faber. He had replaced outgoing prime minister Dean Barrow, who had earlier announced his retirement from active politics.

Before family, friends and supporters, Briceño took the oath of office as the new head of government, promising to usher in a new era and transform government, making it more accessible and accountable.

Government of the people

Briceño, who became the first Prime Minister representing an electoral division outside of the capital,  later told reporters: “I am lost of words as to how I can really and truly express my feelings at this moment, feelings of gratitude first to our creator, our God and also to my family, to our colleagues and standard bearers and to the people of Belize.

“The Governor-General said it best that God speaks through his people and the Belize people have spoken,” he said.

The PUP won 26 of the 31 seats in the Parliament with the UDP being victorious mainly in the Belize City constituencies.

“And as such we will respect the decision of the Belizean people. As of today, we are no longer PUP standard-bearers, but we are representatives of the people. We are a government of the people of Belize. And I want to assure everyone that we are going to be an open, accountable, and accessible government for the people of Belize,” Briceño said.