Politics of Grenada

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politics and government of
Grenada
Administrative divisions (parishes)
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Politics of Grenada takes place in a framework of a parliamentary representative democracy, whereby the Prime Minister is the head of government. Grenada is an independent Commonwealth realm. It is governed under a multi-party parliamentary system whose political and legal traditions closely follow those of the United Kingdom; it has a prime minister and a cabinet, and a bicameral Parliament with an elected House of Representatives and an appointed Senate. 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.

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. In elections held on February 19, 2013, Keith Mitchell's NNP swept all fifteen parliamentary seats. This historic victory was a repeat of the 1999 elections in which the NNP also swept all 15 seats. Prime Minister Mitchell has the distinction as being the only Caribbean politician to sweep all seats on two separate occasions. Constitutionally, this development means that there is no official opposition in Parliament. As such, Governor General Carlye Glean, who is the titular head of state, will appoint 5 Senators to the Upper House, who will serve as the de facto opposition.

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.

Executive branch[edit]

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.[dubious ]

Main office holders
Office Name Party Since
Monarch Queen Elizabeth II 6 February 1952
Governor-General Cécile La Grenade 7 May 2013
Prime Minister Keith Mitchell New National Party 20 February 2013

Legislative branch[edit]

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[edit]

For other political parties see List of political parties in Grenada. An overview on elections and election results is included in Elections in Grenada.
e • d Summary of the 19 February 2013 Grenadan House of Representatives election results
Party Votes % Seats +/–
New National Party 32,031 58.82 15 +11
National Democratic Congress 22,160 40.69 0 –11
National United Front 186 0.34 0 New
Movement of Independent Candidates 22 0.04 0 New
Good Old Democratic Party 14 0.03 0 0
Grenada Renaissance Party 13 0.02 0 New
Grenada United Patriotic Movement 13 0.02 0 New
People United Labour Party 11 0.02 0 New
Independents 5 0.01 0 0
Invalid/blank votes 64
Total 54,524 100 15 0
Registered voters/turnout 62,243 87.60
Source: Grenada Broadcast
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 Old Democratic Party 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[dead link]

Judicial branch[edit]

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

Administrative divisions[edit]

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

International organization participation[edit]

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,frat