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Government & Legal

Government and Political System

T&T is a stable democratic nation with general elections held at least every five years. All changes of Government have occurred through free and fair election and orderly and peaceful transitions of power are routine.

The country gained political independence from Britain in 1962 and became a Republic in 1976, while remaining a member of the British Commonwealth. T&T follows the Westminster model of government, with a bicameral parliamentary system. The Parliament, which exercises legislative power, consists of the House of Representatives with 41 elected members and the Senate, which is the Upper House, with 31 members appointed by the President: 16 on the advice of the Prime Minister, six on the advice of the Leader of the Opposition, and nine Independents. Executive power lies with the Prime Minister and the Cabinet which is appointed from among members of Parliament. Tobago has an elected House of Assembly which controls some of that island’s internal affairs. The Judiciary is independent of the other organs of government.