Belizean PM wins unprecedented third term

On Wednesday, Belizeans voted Prime Minister Dean Barrow and the United Democratic Party (UDP) back into office. With 29 out of the 31 seats up for grabs decided, the UDP has secured victory in 19 and the opposition People's United Party (PUP) 10. Barrow has won an unprecedented third term as prime minister. The Belize Progressive Party brought together a number of small political entities to contest yesterday's elections, but it doesn't appear that they were able to win any seats.

Like its neighbors, Prime Minister Barrow and the UDP must continue to address security (drug and human trafficking) and economic (corruption, potential loss of PetroCaribe funds, loss of confidence in the banking and financial system,and climate induced damage to its agricultural exports) challenges during their five-year term.

Barrow will also have to work with Guatemalan President-elect Jimmy Morales to defuse tension at the border and move towards a resolution of their territorial claims (see Nathaniel Janowitz for Vice News). Morales has made several statements about Guatemala's intentions towards Belize that have unnerved Belizeans.

The Organization of American States sent an electoral mission to observe the vote in Belize but I have yet to come across any pronouncements.