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System of Government

Trinidad and Tobago follows the Westminster model of government and upholds the traditions of parliamentary democracy it inherited from Britain.  The country gained independence in 1962 and became a republic in 1976.  It is a member of the British Commonwealth.

General elections are held at least every 5 years; the democratic transfer of power is peaceful and routine.

Legislative power lies with the House of Representatives with 41 elected members, and the Senate with 31 members appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition; nine of these members are independents.

Executive power lies with the Prime Minister and his Cabinet which is appointed from Members of Parliament.

Tobago has its own elected House of Assembly responsible for the administration of the island, and for the implementation of policies that are referred by Parliament.

The President of Trinidad and Tobago is elected for a 5-year renewable term by an Electoral College consisting of members of the House of Representatives and the Senate.

The Judiciary is independent of the Government. This is guaranteed by the Constitution which provides for the entrenched protection of fundamental human rights and freedoms. These rights are guaranteed to foreign investors, just as they are to Trinidad and Tobago nationals.

See Also

Visit the Trinidad and Tobago Parliament website.
  Do you know who your MP is? Find out here

Did You Know

Before the arrival of the Spanish, the Carib people called Trinidad "The Land of the Hummingbird".

Kid Zone

Learn about Trinidad and Tobago while having fun, especially for children. Visit Kids zone >