Leader of the Opposition (Belize)
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The Leader of the Opposition of Belize is an elected official who, according to the Constitution, "commands the support of those elected officials that do not support the Government." He or she speaks on behalf of the Opposition Members of Belize's House of Representatives.
Leaders of the Opposition of Belize since Independence (1981-Present)
|Took office||Left office|
|1||Theodore Aranda||September 1981||November 1982||United Democratic Party|
|2||Curl Thompson||January 1983||December 1984||United Democratic Party|
|3||Florencio Marin||December 1984||September 1989||People's United Party|
|4||Manuel Esquivel||September 1989||June 1993||United Democratic Party|
|5||George Cadle Price||June 1993||October 1996||People's United Party|
|November 1996||August 1998||People's United Party|
|7||Dean Barrow||August 1998||February 2008||United Democratic Party|
|February 2008||30 March 2008||People's United Party|
|8||Johnny Briceño||April 2008||18 October 2011||People's United Party|
|9||Francis Fonseca||3 November 2011||Incumbent||People's United Party|
- Aranda was removed as Leader of the UDP in a meeting held in Dangriga Town on November 21, 1982, while still holding the office of Leader of the Opposition, which he had held since the UDP lost general elections exactly three years earlier on November 21, 1979. Aranda shortly resigned from the UDP and Thompson was elevated to Deputy Leader and Leader of the Opposition, while Manuel Esquivel defeated Phillip Goldson in elections for Party Leader in January 1983.
- Marin became Leader of the Opposition after George Price, the leader of the PUP, lost his seat in general elections of December 14, 1984 which the PUP lost by 21 seats to seven.
- George Price resigned as leader of the PUP on October 17, 1996, during his only term as leader of the Opposition. He was replaced as Party Leader by Said Musa on November 10, 1996 and thereafter as Opposition Leader.
- Dean Barrow was named leader of the opposition after Party Leader Manuel Esquivel lost his seat in the August 27, 1998 election, in which the UDP retained just three seats. On August 30, Esquivel retired to make way for Barrow as the new Party Leader. Barrow retained the office after the UDP lost elections again on March 5, 2003.
- Said Musa was appointed leader of the opposition on February 11, 2008. However, effective March 30, 2008, he stepped down as PUP Leader and effectively ended his term as L.O.T.O. on that date. He was officially replaced by Johnny Briceño of Orange Walk.
- Briceno resigned as PUP Leader on October 7, 2011, and as Opposition Leader on October 18, 2011, citing health issues. The PUP were without a leader in the House up to November 3, 2011, when Fonseca was appointed.