Jamaica: Government

Jamaica Flag
Coat of Arms of Jamaica

Key Figures

Chief of State: Queen Elizabeth II represented by Governor General Dr. Patrick L. Allen

Head of Government: Prime Minister Andrew Holness

Overview

Government Name: Jamaica

Constitution: Adopted: 1962; The constitution establishes a parliamentary system based on the United Kingdom, but as politically independent. Outlines the rights of citizens and the structure of the government.

Government Type: Constitutional Parliamentary Democracy and a Commonwealth Realm

Main Powers Election Process Election Cycle Source: ElectionGuide, http://www.electionguide.org/
Executive

The governor-general is largely a ceremonial figure who appoints the prime minister and senate seats through the advice of parliament and the prime minister. The prime minister exercises executive power along with appointing cabinet members.

The governor-general is appointed by the monarch on the recommendation of the prime minister. Following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party, or the leader of the majority coalition, in the house of representatives is appointed prime minister by the governor-general.

Governor-general: Under the discretion of the British monarch; Prime Minister: 5 years

Judicial

Responsible for executing judicial tasks as the highest court of the land.

The chief justice of the supreme court and president of the court of appeal are appointed by the governor-general on the advice of the prime minister. Other judges of both courts are appointed by the governor-general on the advice of the judicial service commission.

Mandatory retirement age of 70

Legislative

Consists of a senate and house of representatives that are responsible for creating legislature and advising the prime minister and governor general on appointments.

The senate has 21 members who are appointed by the governor-general through the recommendation of the prime minister (ruling party is given 13 seats and ministry 8 seats). The house of representatives has 63 members who are elected by plurality vote in single-member constituencies.

5 years

International Relations

Foreign Policy Trends: Jamaica is a member of the United Nations and the Organization of America States. Historically, Jamaica has had close ties with the U.K., but trade, financial, and cultural relations with the United States are now predominant. Jamaica is linked with the other countries of the English-speaking Caribbean through the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), and more broadly through the Association of Caribbean States (ACS). In December 2011 Jamaica joined with 32 other Latin American countries to form the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), a group that excludes the U.S. and Canada.

Regional Trade Blocs: CARICOM

Treaties: No multilateral military treaties


International Organization Participation  Source: CIA World Factbook

ACP AOSIS C Caricom CDB CELAC
FAO G-15 G-77 IADB IAEA IBRD
ICAO ICRM IDA IFAD IFC IFRCS
IHO ILO IMF IMO Interpol IOC
IOM ISO ITSO ITU LAES MIGA
NAM OAS OPANAL OPCW Petrocaribe UN
UNCTAD UNESCO UNIDO UNITAR UNWTO UPU
WCO WFTU WHO WIPO WMO WTO

Note: Click table to see details


Environmental Agreements  Source: CIA World Factbook

Biodiversity Climate Change Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol Desertification Endangered Species Hazardous Wastes
Law of the Sea Marine Dumping Marine Life Conservation Ozone Layer Protection Ship Pollution Wetlands

Note: Click table to see details


Tax Authority: Information not available

Tax Name: Information not available


Sources:

CIA World Factbook and U.S. Bilateral Relations Fact Sheets except where stated otherwise.

Glossary