Belize elects opposition leader as new PM

Jose Sanchez
·1-min read

Belize voters have elected opposition leader Johnny Briceno to replace longtime Prime Minister Dean Barrow in a general election after the ruling party conceded defeat in the small Central American country.

"While there were winners and losers, the democracy that we have continued to enjoy throughout the life of this great young nation, is by far the greatest winner today," Patrick Faber, leader of Barrow's conservative United Democratic Party (UDP), said in a concession speech posted on Facebook.

Barrow, who is stepping down, ran Belize for more than a dozen years.

Briceno, a former deputy prime minister, is the leader of the People's United Party (PUP).

The election came at a time of widespread discontent over the state of Belize's economy, which was in the doldrums long before measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus decimated tourism, the main driver of prosperity.