Fourteen days ago - elections were held, and now, after the naming of a Cabinet and the assigning of CEO's - the work of the new Government is officially underway.

And an integral part of that government is the opposition. While they may be perpetually at odds with the Administration of the day - the opposition has a crucial role to play.

And today that opposition took its rightful place - as it was sworn in at the first ceremonial sitting of the House and Senate.

7news was in Belmopan and here are the highlights of a day rich in ceremony but also heavy in substance:

Jules Vasquez Reporting

A new president of the senate Mark Pech was sworn in along with _ new Government Senators, Charles Gibson, Lisel Alamilla, for the PUP, Karen Bodden and Collet Montejo, Marconi Sosa, Mark Lizarraga, for business sector; for the churches, Fr. Noel Leslie; for Labour, Ray Davis; two who have been re-appointed, Juliet Thimbriel and Lisa Shoman; and one who has moved from the backbench to the very front - leader of the Government Business in the senate Godwin Hulse

And while that happened inside the national assembly chamber, outside, the Steel Band had struck up, and on the stairs an audience of family and supporters was in place.

And on the green, political supporters form both sides took their positions side by side and the representatives for both sides were taking their seats.

It was a study in contrasts, the government side in their white shirts with red ties - and the opposition all in Guayaberas.

After the ceremonial formalities - and there were a great deal of them today - including the fetching of a new speaker, Attorney Michael Peyrefitte.

And once the speaker got settled into his seat - Belize Rural North Representative Edmund Castro was named as his Deputy

And then all the other members were sworn in:

Ministers
"I do swear that I will bear true faith and allegiance to Belize; and will uphold the constitution and laws; and that I will conscientiously, impartially and to the best of my ability, discharge my duties as the Prime Minister of Belize, and do right to all manner of people without fear or favor, affection or ill will, so help me, God."

Giving way to the Throne Speech by the Head of State - which outlined Government's plan for the next five years - including compensating the former owners of BEL and BTL

Sir Colville Young - Governor General of Belize
"The Government firmly believes that it would be in the interest of all concerned to settle the payment of compensation without further delay in order for us to bring finality to this matter. And my Government will earnestly strive to achieve that goal early in the present term."

And while that is government's business, the political business was handled by Prime Minister Dean Barrow:

Prime Minister Dean Barrow
"Mr. Speaker: these were hard-fought elections, with results that were very close and a testament to just how resilient the Opposition was, and just how robust our democracy is. In the end, though, the majority Party's three-seat margin in the House is enough to do two things: it underlines, not undermines, legitimacy; and it gives sufficient numerical wherewithal for the Government to govern legislatively and administratively in the strong and orderly manner that our system requires. It is also worth recollecting that the new Government won the majority of the popular vote as well as of the seats in the House. Add to this its two thirds share of the nine City and Town Councils, and the mandate is undoubted. Nevertheless, the Opposition's strong general election showing demonstrates that we are a country that is divided almost down the middle. In such circumstances the Government must and will act on the basis that the nation's large minority is to be respected both as to its rights and as to its entitlements. Mr. Speaker, there are some that feel that the last UDP Administration was in a number of instances tone deaf to public opinion. Assuming that this was so, the greatly reduced majority will in and of itself act as a check to any such tendency. But the new Government also actively seeks reconciliation. We have already so demonstrated by reaching out to the social partners and civil society. We have used the opportunity, provided us by the Constitution and the election results, to appoint four Senators as Ministers whose background, qualifications, and integrity are rock-like and known nationwide. They all come from the professional, private, and NGO ranks; and the signal this sends should be lost on no one. We are determined to make this Administration the most talented, effective, inclusive and honest Government in the entire history of our country.

Jules Vasquez
"What will be your strategy going forward as the leader of opposition?"

Hon. Francis Fonseca, Leader of the Opposition
"Well, I think obviously we have election petitions in the court, and whatever we say and do is without prejudice to those petitions. Let me that very clear. But yes, we do have a responsibility to thousands of Belizeans who supported the People's United Party. We have a responsibility to the country of Belize to be as robust an opposition as necessary and as possible. So yes, we take that responsibility very seriously. The 14 members of our parliamentary caucus are all in agreement that we are going stand up and fight for the interests and rights of the Belizean people, and defend those rights and interests. We are going to hold the Prime Minister to what he said today that there will be respect for the members of the Opposition in terms of not only in dealing with us, but ensuring that any funds, projects, and activities which takes place in our constituencies are done through us as the duly elected representatives of the people of those areas. That is absolutely essential if we are going to act in good faith on both sides. That is clear. The interference with our emails, phone calls, and text messages must end immediately. That took place throughout the election campaign. The elections are over; that must end. So, we understand our role, and we are going to do everything we can, as I said, to defending the Belizean people across the country. I think this election demonstrated very clearly that the people are not satisfied with the direction is going. They want a change, and they want all of us to come together to work toward that change. So we understand that; we respect that. We congratulate the the Government on their performance - the UDP on their performance in the elections, and we are prepared to work in good faith with them, but that good faith must be demonstrated on both sides."

Jules Vasquez
"The election petitions - you mentioned it at the top - you know, as an attorney, these have 0% success in the Courts of Belize over the history of Belize - maybe over the past 35 years. Do you feel that the petitions - one is being filed today; two will be filed next week; and I told another is in the offing - do you feel that those have any prospect of success?"

Hon. Francis Fonseca
"Well, I will be guided by the attorneys on that matter. If we felt that they had zero chance of success, we would not file them. Obviously, we have taken our time to put together a comprehensive package to file before the courts, and we have every reason to believe, based on the legal advice that we've gotten, that there is every chance in respect of those election petitions."

And the Prime Minister had his own take on election petitions:

Prime Minister Dean Barrow
"In the same vein, I enter another word of caution. There is a right, which our democracy gives, to mount election petitions no matter how frivolous. But there is, and can be, no right to confuse or conflate the lodging of election petitions with the denial of authority to a duly elected Government. The results of the March 7 general elections are official; the Government is in place; and we will discharge what is now our sworn duty to administer the laws of this country, all the laws of this country."

And so a strong government braced by a strong opposition - it should make for an interesting, evenly-matched term in the House.

Notably, the only Senator absent from today's proceeding was Joy Grant, the Minister of Energy, Science and Technology and Public Utilities. She is in Brussels - where she was formerly posted as Ambassador to the European Union - closing off there. Grant had come to Belize for the election - not expecting that things would turn out as they did, and that she would end up being appointed a Minister.

And, one more note, Leader of The Opposition Francis Fonseca is 45, not 46 as we reported last night.

Channel 7