BELMOPAN, Thurs. Nov. 12, 2020– Hon. John Briceño has been officially sworn in as the new Prime Minister of Belize as of today, Thursday, November 12.
Less than twenty four hours after a 26-5-seat thrashing of the United Democratic Party in the general elections, victorious PUP representatives accompanied Briceño to Belize House in Belmopan, where, in an official ceremony, he became the new leader of the country.
After taking his oath, Prime Minister Briceño spoke briefly with the media and announced that he would be naming the members of his Cabinet tomorrow, Friday, November 13.
PM Briceño described the “burden of the office” as humbling, and a feeling that would take a while to sink in. He also asked all UDP appointees on the various statutory boards to kindly follow “protocol and tradition,” and tender their resignations while the professionals within those bodies continue to do their work, as expected.
As a primary order of business, Prime Minister Briceno also ordered the immediate shutdown of the Lands Department after the commotion that occurred there on Thursday, until Monday, November 16, when the new Minister of Natural Resources takes over.
He also shared a message with all public servants, assuring them that the PUP is ready to work and provide all the goods and services to the Belizean people that they deserve.
The Oath of Office for the new Cabinet is also scheduled for Monday, November 16, and will be done in groups of five in order to ensure the observance of the social distancing protocol.
On Monday afternoon a Cabinet briefing will be held, during which items such as finance, COVID-19, the recent flooding due to Hurricane Eta, etc., will be discussed.
During his victory speech on Wednesday night, Hon. Briceño highlighted the long road traveled by himself and the PUP and suggested what this change in Government will mean for Belize:
“My fellow Belizeans, it is with heartfelt gratitude that I address our nation tonight, fully aware that this 2020 election is a clarion call for our young nation to grow up, to face the challenges of our generation and to advance our peaceful, constructive and progressive revolution, but most importantly, to bring our people together as never before, so that as one, we can build a nation where everyone matters, and everyone is once again proud to be a Belizean,” he said.
Hon. Briceño is the 5th person to be sworn in as Prime Minister of Belize, and the first Prime Minister of the country who is not a native of Belize City.