People’s United Party
Published 7th February, 2012
The People’s United Party was founded in 1950 and was supported by the General Workers’ Union and the Roman Catholic Church. It describes itself as centre to centre left and believes in Christian democracy and social democracy.
In the first election in British Honduras in 1954 the party won eight of the nine seats in the House of Representatives, having campaigned on a platform of independence. In 1957 they took all nine seats and in 1961 they took all 18 seats.
The PUP went on to win the 1965, 1969, 1974 and 1979 elections with ease. In 1981 their leader, George Cadle Price became the first prime minister of the independent Belize. It was only in 1984 that they had their first electoral setback, thirty-four years after being founded.
In 1984 the PUP lost to the United Democratic Party (UDP) and were reduced to just seven of the 28 seats in the newly enlarged House of Representatives. During the 1980s the PUP went through internal strife and lost their way. Their Chairman, Said Musa, started bringing in new faces and the fortunes of the party improved towards the end of the decade.
In 1989 they won a narrow victory over the UDP, taking 15 of the 28 seats and in 1993 they lost once more to the UDP (in an alliance with the National Alliance for Belizean Rights), taking 13 of the 29 seats in parliament.
In 1998 they were back in strength and won 26 of the 29 seats and again in 2003 took 23 of the 31 seats in the House of Representatives.
By 2008 there were accusations of corruption hitting the party and government and as a result the PUP lost the election that year, falling to just six of 31 seats in the House of Representatives.
Their current leader is Francis Fonseca.