- Politics of Dominica
Politics of Dominica takes place in a framework of a parliamentary representative democratic
republic, whereby the Prime Minister of Dominicais the head of government, and of a multi-party system. Executive poweris exercised by the government. Legislative poweris vested in both the governmentand the House of Assembly. The Judiciaryis independent of the executive and the legislature.
A president and prime minister make up the executive branch. Nominated by the prime minister in consultation with the leader of the opposition party, the president is elected for a 5-year term by the parliament. The president appoints as prime minister the leader of the majority party in the parliament and also appoints, on the prime minister's recommendation, members of the parliament from the ruling party as cabinet ministers. The prime minister and cabinet are responsible to the parliament and can be removed on a no-confidence vote.
The House of Assembly has 32 members. 21 members are elected for a five year term in single-seat constituencies. 9 members are senators appointed by the President; 5 on the advice of the Prime Minister and 4 on the advice of the leader of the opposition. A Speaker is elected by the elected members after an election. There is also 1 ex-officio member, the clerk of the house. The
head of state- the president-is elected by the House of Assembly. The regional representatives decide whether senators are to be elected or appointed. If appointed, five are chosen by the president with the advice of the prime minister and four with the advice of the opposition leader. If elected, it is by vote of the regional representatives. Elections for representatives and senators must be held at least every 5 years, although the prime minister can call elections any time. Dominica has a two-party system, which means that there are two dominant political parties, with extreme difficulty for anybody to achieve electoral success under the banner of any other party. Dominica was once a three-party system, but in the past few years the Dominica Labour Partyand the greatly diminished Dominica Freedom Partyhave built a coalition.
Political parties and elections
Dominica's legal system is based on English common law. There are three magistrate's courts, with appeals made to the Eastern Caribbean court of appeal and, ultimately, to the Privy Council in
London. The Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court(located in Saint Lucia), one of the six judges must reside in Dominica and preside over the Court of Summary Jurisdiction.
Councils elected by universal suffrage govern most towns. Supported largely by property taxation, the councils are responsible for the regulation of markets and sanitation and the maintenance of secondary roads and other municipal amenities. The island also is divided into 10 parishes, whose governance is unrelated to the town governments: Saint Andrew, Saint David, Saint George, Saint John, Saint Joseph, Saint Luke, Saint Mark, Saint Patrick, Saint Paul, Saint Peter.
International organization participation
ACCT, ACP, ALBA,
Caricom, CDB, ECLAC, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ITU, ITUC, NAM (observer), OAS, OECS, OPANAL, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO
* Matthias Catón: "Dominica" in: "Elections in the Americas. A Data Handbook", vol. 1, ed. by Dieter Nohlen. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2005: pp. 223–237 ISBN 0-19-928357-5
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