Constitution and Government of Belize:
Belize achieved full independence on September 21, 1981. Unlike its neighbors, Belize has never had a military coup and enjoys membership in the British Commonwealth, the United Nations, the Nonaligned Movement, the Organization of American States, and the newly-formed Association of Caribbean States. Diplomatic relations have been established with many countries. Belize is also a member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and related institutions.
The Government of Belize is operated on the principles of Parliamentary Democracy based on the Westminster System. The country is a sovereign, democratic state.
A Prime Minister and Cabinet make up the Executive Branch, while a 29-member elected House of Representatives and a nine-member appointed Senate form a bicameral legislature. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is the constitutional Head of State. She is represented in Belize by a Governor-General, who must be a Belizean.
The Cabinet consists of a Prime Minister, other Ministers, and Ministers of State who are appointed by the Governor-general on the advice of the Prime Minister, the person commanding the support of the majority party in the House of Representatives. Five Senators are appointed by the Governor-general on the advice of the Prime Minister, two on the advice of the Leader of the Opposition, and one on the advice of the Belize Advisory Council.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate are elected either from among the members of these Houses (providing they are not ministers) or from among persons who are not members of either House.
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