National Assembly Building of Belize
The National Assembly Building of Belize is the home of Belize's two houses of Parliament, House of Representatives and Senate of Belize. Opened on October 9, 1971, the building is within a complex of government buildings at Melhado Parade on Independence Plaza in Belmopan and mimics Pre-Columbian Mayan and Brutalist architectural designs; the Building is flanked by two three storey buildings. Other government buildings on Independence Plaza: Prime Minister Building, Belmopan Belize House National Assembly of Belize
Lee Mark Chang
Lee Mark Chang is a Belizean politician and restaurateur. A member of the United Democratic Party, he was the first ethnic Chinese person to hold the post of President of the Senate of Belize. Lee got his start in life working at the Chon Saan Palace restaurant which his father Armando Chang opened in 1974. From a small family restaurant, under his management he grew it to a chain with three locations and fifty staff, making it "one of the biggest names in restaurants", he became the president of the Chinese Association of Belize. Under his tenure as president, the CAB worked with the Belize Police Department on issues of crime prevention, donated several motorcycles, he served in a variety of public positions, for example sitting on the Belize District Liquor Licensing board and working as an occasional court translator. Chang first announced his intention to join electoral politics in August 2009. In August 2010, PM Dean Barrow appointed Chang to the Senate and made him acting President, to fill in for Andrea Gill, on maternity leave.
Politicians from both sides of the aisle such as the PUP's Lisa Shoman offered congratulations to him on what they described as "the epitome of Belize's cultural diversity" and an "important milestone" for Belize's Chinese community. Lee entered the 2012 "double election" as the UDP's National Assembly candidate for the Freetown constituency. In the run-up to the election, an unknown person released a forged letter claiming to be from Chang, promising to distribute land in Belama to the Belize Chinese Association in exchange for campaign contributions; the Belize Times published a number of racist comments about him. Lee lost the election to PUP party leader Francis Fonseca by 1,558 to 1,408 votes. In early April Chang filed a motion for an election petition in April, alleging that Fonseca's agents engaged in bribery of the electorate. Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin granted. In November 2015, he became the President of the Senate, after the United Democratic Party won their 3rd term. Chang's parents are Chinese immigrants.
He was born at the former Holden Memorial Hospital on the Marine Parade in Belize City
Visa policy of Belize
Visitors to Belize require a visa unless they come from one of the visa-exempt countries. All visitors are required to have sufficient funds, US$75 per day, documents required for their next destination. Holders of passports and refugee travel documents issued by the following 101 jurisdictions do not require a visa to visit Belize. 1 - up to 30 days.2 - up to 90 days.3 - up to 180 days.4 - including all classes of British nationality. Holders of diplomatic or official passports of Cuba and India do not require a visa. In addition to a visa, citizens of the following countries require clearance: Citizens of the following countries must pay a repatriation fee of BZ$1,200 upon arrival: Bangladesh China – BZ$3,000 India Pakistan Sri Lanka Permanent residents and holders of multiple entry visa of the United States may obtain a visa on arrival for a fee of US$50. Passengers with a valid visa issued by a Schengen Member State are visa exempt for a maximum stay of 90 days. Most visitors arriving to Belize were from the following countries of nationality: Visa requirements for Belizean citizens
Belize is a country located on the eastern coast of Central America. Belize is bordered on the northwest by Mexico, on the east by the Caribbean Sea, on the south and west by Guatemala, it has an area of 22,970 square kilometres and a population of 387,879. Its mainland is 68 mi wide, it has the lowest population density in Central America. The country's population growth rate of 1.87% per year is the second highest in the region and one of the highest in the Western Hemisphere. The Mayan civilization spread into the area of Belize between 1500 B. C. and 300 A. D. and flourished until about 1200. European exploration campaigns began in 1502 when Christopher Columbus sailed along the Gulf of Honduras. European settlement was begun by English settlers in 1638; this period was marked by Spain and Britain both laying claim to the land until Britain defeated the Spanish in the Battle of St. George's Caye, it became a British colony in 1840, known as British Honduras, a Crown colony in 1862. Independence was achieved from the United Kingdom on 21 September 1981.
Belize has a diverse society, composed of many cultures and languages that reflect its rich history. English is the official language of Belize. Over half the population is multilingual, with Spanish being the second most common spoken language, it is known for its extensive barrier reef coral reefs and punta music. Belize's abundance of terrestrial and marine species and its diversity of ecosystems give it a key place in the globally significant Mesoamerican Biological Corridor, it is considered a Central American and Caribbean nation with strong ties to both the American and Caribbean regions. It is a member of the Caribbean Community, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, the Central American Integration System, the only country to hold full membership in all three regional organisations. Belize is a Commonwealth realm, with Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state; the earliest known record of the name "Belize" appears in the journal of the Dominican priest Fray José Delgado, dating to 1677.
Delgado recorded the names of three major rivers that he crossed while travelling north along the Caribbean coast: Rio Soyte, Rio Xibum and Rio Balis. The names of these waterways, which correspond to the Sittee River, Sibun River and Belize River, were provided to Delgado by his translator, it is that Delgado's "Balis" was the Mayan word belix, meaning "muddy-watered". Some have suggested that the name derives from a Spanish pronunciation of the name of the Scottish buccaneer Peter Wallace, who established a settlement at the mouth of the Belize River in 1638. There is no proof that Wallace settled in this area and some scholars have characterized this claim as a myth. Writers and historians have suggested several other possible etymologies, including postulated French and African origins; the Maya civilization emerged at least three millennia ago in the lowland area of the Yucatán Peninsula and the highlands to the south, in the area of present-day southeastern Mexico, Belize and western Honduras.
Many aspects of this culture persist in the area despite nearly 500 years of European domination. Prior to about 2500 BC, some hunting and foraging bands settled in small farming villages. A profusion of languages and subcultures developed within the Maya core culture. Between about 2500 BC and 250 AD, the basic institutions of Maya civilization emerged; the peak of this civilization occurred during the classic period, which began about 250 AD. The Maya civilization spread across what is now Belize around 1500 BC, flourished there until about AD 900; the recorded history of the middle and southern regions is dominated by Caracol, an urban political centre that may have supported over 140,000 people. North of the Maya Mountains, the most important political centre was Lamanai. In the late Classic Era of Maya civilisation, as many as one million people may have lived in the area, now Belize; when Spanish explorers arrived in the 16th century, the area, now Belize included three distinct Maya territories: Chetumal province, which encompassed the area around Corozal Bay.
Spanish conquistadors explored the land and declared it a Spanish colony but chose not to settle and develop because of its lack of resources and the hostile Indian tribes of the Yucatán. English and Scottish settlers and pirates known as the Baymen entered the area from the 17th century, with Baymen first settling on the coast of what is now Belize in 1638, seeking a sheltered region from which they could attack Spanish ships; the settlers established a trade colony and port in what became the Belize District, during the 18th century, established a system using black slaves to cut logwood trees. This yielded a valuable fixing agent for clothing dyes, was one of the first ways to achieve a fast black before the advent of artificial dyes; the Spanish granted the British settlers the right to occupy the area and cut logwood in exchange for their help suppressing piracy. The British first appointed a superintendent over the Belize area in 1786. Before the British government had not recognized the settlement as a colony for fear of provoking a Spanish attack.
The delay in governm
Monarchy of Belize
The monarch of Belize is the head of state of Belize. The incumbent Queen of Belize is Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 21 September 1981; the heir apparent is Elizabeth's eldest son, Prince Charles, though the Queen is the only member of the royal family with any constitutional role. She and the rest of the royal family undertake various public ceremonial functions across Belize and on behalf of Belize abroad. Most of the Queen's powers in Belize are exercised by the Governor-General, Sir Colville Young, though the monarch does hold several powers that are hers alone; the Belizean monarch, besides reigning in Belize, separately serves as head of state for each of fifteen other Commonwealth countries. This developed from the former colonial relationship of these countries to Britain, but they are now independent and the monarchy of each is distinct. Throughout the 19th century, colonial settlement increased, Belize was made the Crown colony of British Honduras by Queen Victoria in 1871; the country was granted its independence from the United Kingdom by Queen Elizabeth II in 1981 to form Belize as a kingdom in its own right.
Sixteen states within the 52-member Commonwealth of Nations are known as Commonwealth realms and Belize is one of these. Despite sharing the same person as their respective national monarch, each of the Commonwealth realms is sovereign and independent of the others; the Balfour Declaration of 1926 provided the Dominions the right to be considered equal to Britain, rather than subordinate. The monarchy thus ceased to be an British institution, although it has been called "British" since this time for reasons historical, of convenience; the Royal and Parliamentary Titles Act 1927 was the first indication of this shift in law, further elaborated in the Statute of Westminster 1931. Though constitutional laws governing the line of succession to the Belizean throne lie within the control of the Belizean parliament, via adopting the Statute of Westminster, Belize agreed not to change its rules of succession without the unanimous consent of the other realms, unless explicitly leaving the shared monarchy relationship.
This situation applies symmetrically in all the other realms, including the United Kingdom, a situation, likened to a treaty amongst these countries. On all matters of the Belizean state, the monarch is advised by Belizean Ministers of the Crown. Effective with the Belize Act 1981, no British or other realm government can advise the monarch on any matters pertinent to Belize. In Belize, the Queen's official title is: Elizabeth The Second, by the Grace of God, Queen of Belize and of Her Other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth; this style communicates Belize's status as an independent monarchy, highlighting the sovereign's role as Queen of Belize, as well as the shared aspect of the Crown throughout the realms, by mentioning Belize separately from the other countries. The sovereign is styled "Queen of Belize," and is addressed as such when in Belize, or performing duties on behalf of Belize abroad; the heir apparent is Elizabeth II's eldest son, Prince of Wales. Upon the demise of the Crown, the Executive Council of Belize is expected to proclaim him King of Belize upon his accession to the throne.
Succession to the throne is by male-preference primogeniture, governed by the provisions of the Act of Settlement, 1701, as well as the English Bill of Rights, 1689. The Act of Settlement restricts the succession to the natural, legitimate descendants of Sophia, Electress of Hanover, a granddaughter of James I, lays out the rules that the monarch cannot be a Roman Catholic, nor married to one, must be in communion with the Church of England upon ascending the throne; these documents are part of British constitutional law to which Belize defers for the line of succession. The Belizean government has signalled its acceptance of the British Succession to the Crown Act 2013, which will alter the line of succession by adopting absolute primogeniture and removing the bar on spouses of Catholics, but the act will not come into effect until the necessary legislative procedures are completed in those Commonwealth realms that legislate independently of British law. Upon a "demise in the Crown", his or her heir and automatically succeeds, without any need for confirmation or further ceremony.
It is customary for the accession of the sovereign to be publicly proclaimed by the Governor-General. After an appropriate period of mourning has passed, the sovereign is crowned in Westminster Abbey by the Archbishop of Canterbury. A coronation is not necessary for a sovereign to reign. After an individual ascends the throne, he or she continues to reign until death. Monarchs are not allowed to unilaterally abdicate. Belize's constitution is made up of a variety of statutes and conventions that are either British or Belizean in origin, which gives Belize a similar parliamentary system of government as the other Commonwealth realms. All powers of state are constitutionally reposed in the monarch, represented by the Governor General of Belize – appointed by the monarch upon the advice of the Prime Minister of Belize. Most
Visa requirements for Belizean citizens
Visa requirements for Belizean citizens are administrative entry restrictions by the authorities of other states placed on citizens of Belize. As of 26 March 2019, Belizean citizens had visa-free or visa on arrival access to 100 countries and territories, ranking the Belizean passport 51st overall, last among Central American countries, in terms of travel freedom according to the Henley Passport Index. Visa requirements for Bliziean citizens for visits to various territories, disputed areas and restricted zones: Many countries have entry restrictions on foreigners that go beyond the common requirement of having either a valid visa or a visa exemption; such restrictions may be health related or impose additional documentation requirements on certain classes of people for diplomatic or political purposes. In the absence of specific bilateral agreements, countries requiring passports to be valid for at least 6 more months on arrival include Afghanistan, Anguilla, Bhutan, British Virgin Islands, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Cayman Islands, Central African Republic, Comoros, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Curaçao, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea Bissau, Haiti, Iran, Israel, Kenya, Kuwait, Madagascar, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Vanuatu and Vietnam.
Turkey requires passports to be valid for at least 150 days upon entry. Countries requiring passports valid for at least 4 months on arrival include Zambia. Countries requiring passports with a validity of at least 3 months beyond the date of intended departure include European Union countries. Azerbaijan and Herzegovina, Nauru and New Zealand require 3 months validity beyond the date of the bearer's intended departure. Countries requiring passports valid for at least 3 months validity upon arrival include Albania, North Macedonia and Senegal. Bermuda requires passports to be valid for at least 45 days upon entry. Countries that require a passport validity of at least one month beyond the date of intended departure include Eritrea, Hong Kong, Lebanon and South Africa. Other countries require either a passport valid on arrival or a passport valid throughout the period of the intended stay; some countries have bilateral agreements with other countries to shorten the period of passport validity required for each other's citizens or accept passports that have expired.
Many countries require a minimum number of blank pages in the passport being presented one or two pages. Endorsement pages, which appear after the visa pages, are not counted as being available. Many African countries, including Angola, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Liberia, Mauritania, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone and Zambia, require all incoming passengers to have a current International Certificate of Vaccination; some other countries require vaccination only if the passenger is coming from an infected area or has visited one recently. Kuwait, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Yemen do not allow entry to people with passport stamps from Israel or whose passports have either a used or an unused Israeli visa, or where there is evidence of previous travel to Israel such as entry or exit stamps from neighbouring border posts in transit countries such as Jordan and Egypt. To circumvent this Arab League boycott of Israel, the Israeli immigration services have now ceased to stamp foreign nationals' passports on either entry to or exit from Israel.
Since 15 January 2013, Israel no longer stamps foreign passports at Ben Gurion Airport, giving passengers a card instead that reads: "Since January 2013 a pilot scheme has been introduced whereby visitors are given an entry card instead of an entry stamp on arrival. You should keep this card with your passport; this is evidence of your legal entry into Israel and may be required at any crossing points into the Occupied Palestinian Territories." Passports are still stamped at Erez when travelling out of Gaza. Passports are still stamped at the Jordan Valley/Sheikh Hussein and Yitzhak Rabin/Arava land borders with Jordan. Iran refuses admission to holders of passports containing an Israeli visa or stamp, less than 12 months old. Due to a state of war existing between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the government of Azerbaijan not only bans entry of citizens from Armenia, but all citizens and nationals of any other country who are of Armenian descent, to the Republic of Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan strictly bans any visit by foreign citizens to the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, its surrounding territories, the Azerbaijani exclaves of Karki, Yuxarı Əskipara, Barxudarlı, Sofulu which are de jure part of Azerbaijan but under control of Armenia, without the prior consent of the government of Azerbaijan.
Foreign citizens who enter these territories will be pe
A bicameral legislature divides the legislators into two separate assemblies, chambers, or houses. Bicameralism is distinguished from unicameralism, in which all members deliberate and vote as a single group, from some legislatures that have three or more separate assemblies, chambers, or houses; as of 2015, fewer than half the world's national legislatures. The members of the two chambers are elected or selected by different methods, which vary from country to country; this can lead to the two chambers having different compositions of members. Enactment of primary legislation requires a concurrent majority – the approval of a majority of members in each of the chambers of the legislature; when this is the case, the legislature may be called an example of perfect bicameralism. However, in many Westminster system parliaments, the house to which the executive is responsible can overrule the other house and may be regarded as an example of imperfect bicameralism; some legislatures lie in between these two positions, with one house only able to overrule the other under certain circumstances.
The Founding Fathers of the United States favoured a bicameral legislature. The idea was to have the Senate be wiser. Benjamin Rush saw this though, noted that "this type of dominion is always connected with opulence"; the Senate was created to be a stabilising force, elected not by mass electors, but selected by the State legislators. Senators would be more knowledgeable and more deliberate—a sort of republican nobility—and a counter to what Madison saw as the "fickleness and passion" that could absorb the House, he noted further that "The use of the Senate is to consist in its proceeding with more coolness, with more system and with more wisdom, than the popular branch." Madison's argument led the Framers to grant the Senate prerogatives in foreign policy, an area where steadiness and caution were deemed important. State legislators chose the Senate, senators had to possess significant property to be deemed worthy and sensible enough for the position. In 1913, the 17th Amendment passed, which mandated choosing Senators by popular vote rather than State legislatures.
As part of the Great Compromise, the Founding Fathers invented a new rationale for bicameralism in which the Senate had states represented and the House had them represented by population. The British Parliament is referred to as the Mother of Parliaments because the British Parliament has been the model for most other parliamentary systems, its Acts have created many other parliaments. Many nations with parliaments have to some degree emulated the British "three-tier" model. Most countries in Europe and the Commonwealth have organised parliaments with a ceremonial head of state who formally opens and closes parliament, a large elected lower house, a smaller upper house. A formidable sinister interest may always obtain the complete command of a dominant assembly by some chance and for a moment, it is therefore of great use to have a second chamber of an opposite sort, differently composed, in which that interest in all likelihood will not rule. There have been a number of rationales put forward in favour of bicameralism, federal states have adopted it, the solution remains popular when regional differences or sensitivities require more explicit representation, with the second chamber representing the constituent states.
The older justification for second chambers—providing opportunities for second thoughts about legislation—has survived. Growing awareness of the complexity of the notion of representation and the multifunctional nature of modern legislatures may be affording incipient new rationales for second chambers, though these do remain contested institutions in ways that first chambers are not. An example of political controversy regarding a second chamber has been the debate over the powers of the Senate of Canada or the election of the Senate of France; the relationship between the two chambers varies. The first tends to be those with presidential governments; the latter tends to be the case in unitary states with parliamentary systems. There are two streams of thought: Critics believe bicameralism makes meaningful political reforms more difficult to achieve and increases the risk of gridlock—particularly in cases where both chambers have similar powers—while proponents argue the merits of the "checks and balances" provided by the bicameral model, which they believe help prevent the passage into law of ill-considered legislation.
Formal communication between houses is by various methods, including: Sending messages Formal notices, such as of resolutions or the passing of bills done in writing, via the clerk and speaker of each house Transmission of bills or amendment to bills requiring agreement from the other house Joint session a plenary session of both houses at the same time and place. Joint committees which may be formed by committees of each house agreeing to join, or by joint resolution of each house Conferences Conferences of the Houses of the English Parliament met in the Painted Chamber of the Palace of Westminster. There were a distinction between an "ordinary conference" and a "free conference". A "free conference" meets in private to resolve a dispute; the last fr