10. Johnny Briceño
Juan Antonio Briceño, commonly known as Johnny Briceño (born 17 July 1960), is a Belizean politician who served as leader of the People’s United Party (PUP), as well as the Leader of the Opposition, from 2008 to 2011. Previously, he was Deputy Prime Minister from 1998 to 2007. On February 8, 2016, Briceño again became Leader of the Opposition in Belize.
A native of Orange Walk Town, Briceño was first elected to the Belize House of Representatives from the Orange Walk Central constituency in 1993. He was appointed as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment, Commerce and Industry in 1998 after the PUP returned to power in the 1998 election. In August 2004 he led a group of ministers, known as the G-7 alliance, who made a number of reform demands, including the dismissal of Ralph Fonseca from the Cabinet. When Prime Minister Said Musa failed to meet these demands, the group resigned; however, Musa subsequently agreed to all of the demands except for the dismissal of Fonseca and the G-7 ministers remained in the Cabinet. Briceño was later one of the ministers who opposed Musa’s proposal to settle the country’s Universal Health Services debt; as a result of this, Musa attempted to demote Briceño from his position as Deputy Prime Minister, but Briceño refused to accept the lesser posts in the Cabinet that he was offered and instead resigned from the Cabinet on June 5, 2007.
At a national convention of the PUP in July 2007, Briceño was re-elected as one of the party’s deputy leaders. In the February 2008 general election, in which the PUP was defeated, Briceño was re-elected in his constituency of Orange Walk Central; he was one of only six successful PUP candidates.
On March 30, 2008, Briceño was elected as the leader of the PUP at a party convention in Belmopan, succeeding Musa. He defeated Francis Fonseca, who was considered to be the candidate preferred by the party establishment, receiving 330 votes against 310 for Fonseca.
Citing unspecified health issues, Briceño abruptly resigned as both PUP and opposition leader in October 2011 without leading the party in a general election. He retained his seat in the National Assembly. He was succeeded in both leadership positions by Fonseca.