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)[edit]

# Incumbent Portrait Tenure Political affiliation
Took office Left office
1 Theodore Aranda No image.png September 1981 November 1982   United Democratic Party
2 Curl Thompson No image.png January 1983 December 1984   United Democratic Party
3 Florencio Marin No image.png December 1984 September 1989   People's United Party
4 Manuel Esquivel Manuel Esquivel.jpg September 1989 June 1993   United Democratic Party
5 George Cadle Price George C. Price Cropped.jpg June 1993 October 1996   People's United Party
6 Said Musa
(1st time)
Said Musa.jpg November 1996 August 1998   People's United Party
7 Dean Barrow Belizean Prime Minister, Dean Barrow in London, 27 June 2013 (cropped).jpg August 1998 February 2008   United Democratic Party
(6) Said Musa
(2nd time)
Said Musa.jpg February 2008 30 March 2008   People's United Party
8 Johnny Briceño No image.png April 2008 18 October 2011   People's United Party
9 Francis Fonseca No image.png 3 November 2011 Incumbent   People's United Party


  • Theodore Aranda was removed as UDP leader in Dangriga Town on 21 November 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 21 November 1979. Aranda resigned from the UDP shortly thereafter. Curl Thompson was subsequently elevated to deputy party leader and Leader of the Opposition. Meanwhile, Manuel Esquivel defeated Phillip Goldson in elections for party leader in January 1983. Since Esquivel was a member of the Belize Senate at the time, Thompson remained as Leader of the Opposition in the House until the December 1984 election.
  • Florencio Marin became Leader of the Opposition after PUP leader George Cadle Price lost his seat in the 1984 election, which the PUP lost by 21 seats to seven. Price retained his position as PUP leader.
  • Price resigned as leader of the PUP on 17 August 1996, during his only term as Leader of the Opposition. He was succeeded as party leader and Leader of the Opposition by Said Musa on 10 November 1996.
  • Dean Barrow was named Leader of the Opposition after Esquivel lost his seat in the 27 August 1998 election, in which the UDP retained just three seats, of which Barrow's was one. On 30 August, Esquivel retired to make way for Barrow as the new party leader. Barrow retained the office after the UDP lost elections again on 5 March 2003.
  • Musa was appointed Leader of the Opposition on 11 February 2008. However effective 30 March 2008, he stepped down as PUP leader and Leader of the Opposition. He was succeeded by Johnny Briceño of Orange Walk.
  • Briceño resigned as PUP leader on 7 October 2011 and as Leader of the Opposition on 18 October 2011, citing health issues. The PUP elected Francis Fonseca as his successor on 3 November 2011.

See also[edit]