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Trinidad and Tobago Government Profile 2017

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Country nameconventional long form: Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
conventional short form: Trinidad and Tobago
etymology: explorer Christopher COLUMBUS named the larger island "La Isla de la Trinidad" (The Island of the Trinity) on 31 July 1498 on his third voyage; the tobacco grown and smoked by the natives of the smaller island or its elongated cigar shape may account for the "tobago" name, which is spelled "tobaco" in Spanish
Government typeparliamentary republic
Capitalname: Port of Spain
geographic coordinates: 10 39 N, 61 31 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions9 regions, 3 boroughs, 2 cities, 1 ward
regions: Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo, Diego Martin, Mayaro/Rio Claro, Penal/Debe, Princes Town, Sangre Grande, San Juan/Laventille, Siparia, Tunapuna/Piarco
borough: Arima, Chaguanas, Point Fortin
cities: Port of Spain, San Fernando
ward: Tobago
Independence31 August 1962 (from the UK)
National holidayIndependence Day, 31 August (1962)
Constitutionprevious 1962; latest 1976; amended many times, last in 2007 (2016)
Legal systemEnglish common law; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: yes
citizenship by descent: yes
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: 8 years
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President Anthony CARMONA (since 18 March 2013)
head of government: Prime Minister Keith ROWLEY (since 9 September 2015)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed from among members of Parliament
elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by an electoral college of selected Senate and House of Representatives members for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 15 February 2013 (next to be held by February 2018); the president usually appoints the leader of the majority party in the House of Representatives as prime minister
election results: Anthony CARMONA (independent) elected president; electoral college vote - 100%
Legislative branchdescription: bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (31 seats; 16 members appointed by the ruling party, 9 by the president, and 6 by the opposition party; members serve 5-year terms;) and the House of Representatives (41 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 5-year terms)
note: Tobago has a unicameral House of Assembly (16 seats; 12 assemblymen directly elected by simple majority vote and 4 appointed councillors - 3 on the advice of the chief secretary and 1 on the advice of the minority leader; members serve 4-year terms)
elections: House of Representatives - last held on 7 September 2015 (next to be held in 2020)
election results: House of Representatives - percent of vote - PNM 51.7%, People's Partnership coalition 46.6% (UNC 39.6%, COP 6.0%, other 1.0%), other 1.7%; seats by party - PNM 23, UNC 17, COP 1
Judicial branchhighest resident court(s): Supreme Court of the Judicature (consists of a chief justice for both the Court of Appeal with 12 judges and the High Court with 24 judges); note - Trinidad and Tobago can file appeals beyond its Supreme Court to the Caribbean Court of Justice, with final appeal to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (in London)
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court chief justice appointed by the president after consultation with the prime minister and the parliamentary leader of the opposition; other judges appointed by the Judicial Legal Services Commission, headed by the chief justice and 5 members with judicial experience; all judges appointed for life with mandatory retirement normally at age 65
subordinate courts: Courts of Summary Criminal Jurisdiction; Petty Civil Courts; Family Court
Political parties and leadersCongress of the People or COP [Anirudh MAHABIR]
People's National Movement or PNM [Keith ROWLEY]
People's Party [Kamla PERSAD-BISSESSAR] (coalition of UNC, COP, TOP, National Joint Action Committee)
Tobago Organization of the People or TOP [Ashworth JACK]
United National Congress or UNC [Kamla PERSAD-BISSESSAR]
Political pressure groups and leadersJamaat-al Muslimeen [Yasin ABU BAKR]
International organization participationACP, AOSIS, C, Caricom, CDB, CELAC, EITI (compliant country), FAO, G-24, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAES, MIGA, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, Pacific Alliance (observer), Paris Club (associate), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Anthony Wayne Jerome PHILLIPS SPENCER (since 27 June 2016)
chancery: 1708 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036
telephone: [1] (202) 467-6490
FAX: [1] (202) 785-3130
consulate(s) general: Miami, New York
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires John W. MCINTYRE (since 20 January 2017)
embassy: 15 Queen's Park West, Port of Spain
mailing address: P. O. Box 752, Port of Spain
telephone: [1] (868) 622-6371 through 6376
FAX: [1] (868) 822-5905
Flag descriptionred with a white-edged black diagonal band from the upper hoist side to the lower fly side; the colors represent the elements of earth, water, and fire; black stands for the wealth of the land and the dedication of the people; white symbolizes the sea surrounding the islands, the purity of the country's aspirations, and equality; red symbolizes the warmth and energy of the sun, the vitality of the land, and the courage and friendliness of its people
National symbol(s)scarlet ibis (bird of Trinidad), cocrico (bird of Tobago), Chaconia flower; national colors: red, white, black
National anthemname: "Forged From the Love of Liberty"
lyrics/music: Patrick Stanislaus CASTAGNE
note: adopted 1962; song originally created to serve as an anthem for the West Indies Federation; adopted by Trinidad and Tobago following the Federation's dissolution in 1962

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on July 9, 2017