Principal Government Officials
Chief of State: Queen Elizabeth II
Head of Government: Prime Minister Keith Mitchell
Grenada is governed under a parliamentary system based on the British model; it has a governor general, a prime minister and a cabinet, and a bicameral parliament with an elected House of Representatives and an appointed Senate.
Grenada's constitution provides citizens with the right to change their government peacefully. Citizens exercise this right through periodic free and fair elections held on the basis of universal suffrage.
The political parties in Grenada are the governing left-of-center National Democratic Congress (NDC), which incorporated former members and associates of the New Jewel Movement (NJM); the moderate New National Party (NNP); the People's Labor Movement (PLM), which is a combination of members of the original NDC and the Maurice Bishop Patriotic Movement (MBPM); and the Grenada United Labor Party (GULP). The National Party (TNP) and MBPM no longer exist. The Good Old Democracy Party (GOD) has only one adherent but contests all elections.
In February 2007, the Privy Council in London handed down its verdict on the appeal of the group that was convicted of murdering Prime Minister Bishop and members of his cabinet in 1983. The "Group of 14" were originally condemned to death, but the sentence was commuted to life in prison. The three triggermen, sentenced to 30 years in prison as they were following orders, were released in December 2006 after serving two-thirds of their original sentence, as per local law. The remainder of the group argued that the original trial was unjust and appealed to the Privy Council to overturn the verdict and sentence. The Privy Council decision, however, only vacated the sentence, on the grounds that the original death sentence was inappropriate. It upheld the convictions of multiple homicides, stripping the group of its political prisoner status. On resentencing, the Grenada Supreme Court overturned the life sentences. Three of the 13 remaining after the resentencing were released from prison in 2007, with the final group of 10 released in the summer of 2009.
The 800 members of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF), which includes an 80-member paramilitary special services unit (SSU) and a 30-member coast guard, maintain security in Grenada. The U.S. provides periodic training and material support for the SSU, the coast guard, and other units of the police as needed. The Departments of State and Treasury provide support to the Financial Investigative Unit (FIU) within the Ministry of National Security.
The United States, China, Cuba, Venezuela, and Brazil have embassies in Grenada. Grenada has been recognized by most members of the United Nations and maintains diplomatic missions in the United States, Canada, China, Cuba, Belgium, the United Kingdom, and Venezuela. Grenada withdrew recognition of Taiwan in 2004 and subsequently established relations with the People's Republic of China.
Grenada is a member of the Caribbean Development Bank, CARICOM, the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), the Commonwealth of Nations, and the World Trade Organization (WTO). It joined the United Nations in 1974, and then the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and Organization of American States (OAS) in 1975. Grenada also is a member of the Eastern Caribbean's Regional Security System (RSS).
Sources:CIA World Factbook (March 2012)
U.S. Dept. of State Country Background Notes ( March 2012)