Belize's 6 districts are politically divided into 31 constituencies. Each constituency sends one representative to Belize's House of Representatives for 5-year terms. This election is known as the General Election. Each person (who is eligible to vote) votes for the candidate they would want to represent their constituency in Central Government. Each political party nominates a candidate, or Standard Bearer, for each constituency. The winner becomes the Area Representative of the constituency, while the loser generally remains the Standard Bearer of that constituency for his/her political party.
Belize's constituencies are divided in such a way that their voting population be as equal as possible to each other ensuring, theoretically, that resources are equally shared among the country's citizens, as required by the constitution. Since the last General Elections in 2003 two additional constituencies have been created from territory of existing constituencies in order to further ensure the equality of the voting populations among the constituencies. Coming out of January 2008(January 2008 Estimate), the most populous constituency (Stann Creek West) had a voting poplulation of 7,085 while the least populous constituency (Fort George) had a voting population of 3,195.
In Belize's last General Elections (2003) 29 constituencies voted in their Area Representatives for Belize's House of Representatives. Since then it was noted that the difference in voting populations between the most and least populous constituencies was rather large (Cayo South then had 8,000 voters compared to Pickstock's 1000+). In 2004 a Task Force was appointed by the Elections and Boundaries Commission to study the matter. Their Final Report was submitted in October 2004. It is noted that the Elections and Boundaries Department has the right to occasionally reassess constituencies, usually after the latest census or population estimate.
Among several things that their report suggested, the expansion of the Cayo District's number of constituencies to six (from four) had the most impact. Later the following year (2005) the law was passed to create two additional constituencies within the boundaries of Cayo. The newly created constituencies are Belmopan, containing the capital city of that name, and Cayo North East, centered on Spanish Lookout.
These new constituencies should hold their first-ever election during the next General Election to be held in 2008. The political parties have nominated candidates for these newly-created constituencies in preparation for the 2008 elections.
Below are the Districts and their respective Constituencies:
Below is a list of the voting population by constituency as of October 2007, sorted out by districts for ease of reference.
Note that these populations are for Belizean citizens who are eligible to vote and does not represent actual population. As of July 2007 the voting population of Belize is estimated at 148,026 while the total population is estimated at 301,300.
The Voter Age Population (VAP), i.e. all persons over the age of eighteen, is 161,677, or 53.66% of the total population. Of these, more than 91 percent are actually registered. Males slightly outnumber females in the population, though the gap is noticeable in the larger urban areas such as Belize City, home to 10 constituencies.
|District||Constituency||Total||Nationwide Rank||District Rank|
|Belize Rural Central||4511||21st||4th|
|Belize Rural North||4578||20th||3rd|
|Belize Rural South||5159||13th||1st|
|Cayo North East||4413||22nd||6th|
|Corozal South East||5190||12th||1st|
|Corozal South West||4869||19th||4th|
|Orange Walk||Orange Walk Central||5727||4th||2nd|
|Orange Walk East||5443||9th||4th|
|Orange Walk North||6011||2nd||1st|
|Orange Walk South||5575||6th||3rd|
|Stann Creek West||6470||1st||1st|
|National||31||148,026||Avg. Voters per constituency||4775|
Below is the chronological order for the creation of Belize's current Constituencies.