United Democratic Party
Published 7th February, 2012
The United Democratic Party was founded in September 1973 as a merger of the National Independence Party, Liberal Party and People’s Development Movement. The party describes itself as centre-right and believes in Conservatism.
Their first outing as a party was in 1974 when they won six of the 18 seats in the new Belize House of Representatives (before then it had been British Honduras). The party was opposed to independence from Britain and did not do well in the 1979 election, dropping a seat to five seats.
Following independence, the party won the 1984 general election taking 21 of the 28 seats in the House of Representatives. By 1989 they dropped back to 13 seats and into opposition, but with the support of the National Alliance for Belizean Rights they won 16 seats and a narrow majority over the incumbent People’s United Party (PUP) in 1993.
The next two general elections saw their numbers drop to three seats in 1998 and seven seats in 2003. By 2008 the UDPs fortunes had improved once more and they won the general election, taking 25 of the 31 seats in the House of representatives.
In 1999 the party elected Dean Barrow as its leader.
The United Democratic Party is a member of the Caribbean Democrat Union, the regional arm of the International Democrat Union.