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Grenada

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Politics and government of
Grenada



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Politics of Grenada takes place in a framework of a parliamentary representative democratic monarchy, whereby the Prime Minister is the head of government, and of a multi-party system. Grenada is an independent country and Commonwealth Realm. It is a parliamentary democracy whose political and legal traditions closely follow those of the United Kingdom. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and parliament. Constitutional safeguards include freedom of speech, press, worship, movement, and association. Grenada is a member of the eastern Caribbean court system. The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature. Jurisprudence is based on English common law. 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.

Citizens enjoy a wide range of civil and political rights guaranteed by the constitution. 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.

Grenada has two significant political parties, both moderate: the National Democratic Congress (liberal) and the New National Party (conservative). Minor parties include the left-of-center Maurice Bishop Patriotic Movement (MBPM, organized by the pro-Bishop survivors of the October 1983 anti-Bishop coup) and the populist GULP of former Prime Minister Gairy.

At the July 2008 election the NDC won a comfortable 7 seat majority over the government of former Prime Minister Keith Mitchell. New Prime Minister Tillman Thomas formed a government after narrowly losing by one seat to Mitchell's NNP in the November 2003 election.

Security in Grenada is maintained by the 650 members of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF), which included an 80-member paramilitary special services unit (SSU) and a 30-member coast guard. The U.S. Army and the U.S. Coast Guard provide periodic training and material support for the SSU and the coast guard.

Contents

Executive branch

As head of state, Queen Elizabeth II is represented in Grenada by a governor general who acts on the advice of the prime minister and the cabinet. The leader of the majority party serves as Prime Minister and head of government. The cabinet consists of members, including the Prime Minister and ministers of executive departments. They answer politically to the House of Assembly. The Governor General appoints the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court on the advice of the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition. The Governor General appoints the other justices with the advice of a judicial commission. The Privy Council of the United Kingdom serves as the highest appellate court.

Main office holders
Office Name Party Since
Queen Elizabeth II 6 February 1952
Governor-General Carlyle Glean 27 November 2008
Prime Minister Tillman Thomas NDC 9 July 2008

Legislative branch

The Parliament has two chambers. The House of Representatives has 15 members, elected for a five year term in single-seat constituencies. The Senate has 13 appointed members, 10 appointed by the government and three by the leader of the opposition).

Political parties and elections

e • d  Summary of the 8 July 2008 Grenadan House of Representatives election results
Parties Votes % +/– Seats +/–
National Democratic Congress 29,007 50.97 +5.4 11 +4
New National Party 27,189 47.77 –0.2 4 –4
Labour Platform 478 0.84 –2.4 ±0
Good Ole Democracy 3 0.01
Independents 12 0.02
Invalid votes 222 0.39
Total (turnout 80.3%) 56,911 100.0   15  
Registered voters 70,869
Source: Grenada Broadcast
e • d  House of Representatives of Grenada election results 2003
Parties Votes % +/- Seats +/-
New National Party 22,566 48.0 -14.2 8 -7
National Democratic Congress 21,445 45.6 +20.7 7 +7
Grenada United Labour Party 3.2 -
People's Labour Movement 2.2 -
Total (turnout 57.4%) 47,239     15  
Invalid votes 249
Total votes 47,488
Registered voters 82,270
Source: Adam Carr's Election Archive, IPU Parline and AFP

Judicial branch

West Indies Associate States Supreme Court (an associate judge resides in Grenada)

Administrative divisions

6 parishes and 1 dependency*; Carriacou and Petit Martinique*, Saint Andrew, Saint David, Saint George, Saint John, Saint Mark, Saint Patrick

International organization participation

ACP, C, Caricom, CDB, ECLAC, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ISO (subscriber), ITU, LAES, NAM, OAS, OECS, OPANAL, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WHO, WIPO, WToO, WTrO

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