You are here -allRefer - Reference - Country Study & Country Guide - Caribbean Islands >

allRefer Reference and Encyclopedia Resource

allRefer    
allRefer
   


-- Country Study & Guide --     

 

Caribbean Islands

 
Country Guide
Afghanistan
Albania
Algeria
Angola
Armenia
Austria
Azerbaijan
Bahrain
Bangladesh
Belarus
Belize
Bhutan
Bolivia
Brazil
Bulgaria
Cambodia
Chad
Chile
China
Colombia
Caribbean Islands
Comoros
Cyprus
Czechoslovakia
Dominican Republic
Ecuador
Egypt
El Salvador
Estonia
Ethiopia
Finland
Georgia
Germany
Germany (East)
Ghana
Guyana
Haiti
Honduras
Hungary
India
Indonesia
Iran
Iraq
Israel
Cote d'Ivoire
Japan
Jordan
Kazakhstan
Kuwait
Kyrgyzstan
Latvia
Laos
Lebanon
Libya
Lithuania
Macau
Madagascar
Maldives
Mauritania
Mauritius
Mexico
Moldova
Mongolia
Nepal
Nicaragua
Nigeria
North Korea
Oman
Pakistan
Panama
Paraguay
Peru
Philippines
Poland
Portugal
Qatar
Romania
Russia
Saudi Arabia
Seychelles
Singapore
Somalia
South Africa
South Korea
Soviet Union [USSR]
Spain
Sri Lanka
Sudan
Syria
Tajikistan
Thailand
Turkmenistan
Turkey
Uganda
United Arab Emirates
Uruguay
Uzbekistan
Venezuela
Vietnam
Yugoslavia
Zaire

Caribbean Islands

Government and Politics

The Governmental System

Antigua and Barbuda is a constitutional monarchy with a British-style parliamentary system of government. The reigning British monarch is represented in Antigua by an appointed governor general as the head of state. The government has three branches: legislative, executive, and judicial.

The bicameral Parliament consists of the seventeen-member House of Representatives, responsible for introducing legislation, and the seventeen-member Senate, which reviews and gives assent to proposed legislation. Representatives are elected by popular vote in general elections that are constitutionally mandated every five years but may be called earlier. Senators are appointed by the governor general. The major figures in Parliament and the government come from the House of Representatives. The prime minister is the leader of the party that holds the majority of seats in the House; the opposition leader is the representative, appointed by the governor general, who appears to have the greatest support of those members opposed to the majority government. The prime minister creates an executive government and advises the governor general on the appointments to thirteen of the seventeen seats in the Senate. The leader of the opposition, recognized constitutionally, is responsible for advising the governor general on the appointment of the remaining four senators to represent the opposition in the Senate. The opposition leader also consults with the governor general, in conjunction with the prime minister, on the composition of other appointed bodies and commissions. In this way, the opposition is ensured a voice in government.

The executive branch is derived from the legislative branch. As leader of the majority party of the House of Representatives, the prime minister appoints other members of Parliament to be his cabinet ministers. In late 1987, the cabinet included thirteen ministries: Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Fisheries, and Housing; Ministry of Defense; Ministry of Economic Development, Tourism, and Energy; Ministry of Education, Culture, and Youth Affairs; Ministry of External Affairs; Ministry of Finance; Ministry of Health; Ministry of Home Affairs; Ministry of Information; Ministry of Labour; Ministry of Legal Affairs; Ministry of Public Utilities and Aviation; and Ministry of Public Works and Communications.

The judicial branch is relatively independent of the other two branches, although the magistrates are appointed by the Office of the Attorney General in the executive branch. The judiciary consists of the Magistrate's Court for minor offenses and the High Court for major offenses. To proceed beyond the High Court, a case must pass to the Eastern Caribbean States Supreme Court, whose members are appointed by the OECS. All appointments or dismissals of magistrates of the Supreme Court must meet with the unanimous approval of the heads of government in the OECS system; the prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda acts on the recommendation of the attorney general in making decisions concerning this judicial body.

The Constitution of 1981 was promulgated simultaneously with the country's formal independence from Britain. The Constitution provides a basis for possible territorial acquisitions, expands upon fundamental human rights, recognizes and guarantees the rights of opposition parties in government, and provides Barbuda with a large measure of internal self-government.

In defining the territory of Antigua and Barbuda, the Constitution includes not only the territory as recognized upon independence but also other areas that may in the future be declared by an act of Parliament to form part of the territory. This cryptic provision may have been designed to lay the basis for possible extensions of territorial waters.

The Constitution sets forth the rights of citizens, ascribing fundamental rights to each person regardless of race, place of origin, political opinions or affiliations, color, creed, or sex. It further extends these rights to persons born out of wedlock, an important provision in that legitimate and illegitimate persons did not have equal legal status under colonial rule. The Constitution includes provisions to secure life, liberty, and the protection of person, property, and privacy, as well as freedom of speech, association, and worship.

In order to quell secessionist sentiment in Barbuda, the writers of the Constitution included provisions for Barbudan internal self-government, constitutionally protecting the Barbuda Local Government Act of 1976. The elected Council for Barbuda is the organ of self-government. Acting as the local government, the council has the authority to draft resolutions covering community issues or domestic affairs; in the areas of defense and foreign affairs, however, Barbuda remains under the aegis of the national government. The council consists of nine elected members, the elected Barbudan representatives to the national Parliament, and a government-appointed councillor. To maintain a rotation of membership, council elections are held every two years.

Data as of November 1987

Caribbean Islands - TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA


  • Go Up - Top of Page

    Make allRefer Reference your HomepageAdd allRefer Reference to your FavoritesGo to Top of PagePrint this PageSend this Page to a Friend


    Information Courtesy: The Library of Congress - Country Studies


    Content on this web site is provided for informational purposes only. We accept no responsibility for any loss, injury or inconvenience sustained by any person resulting from information published on this site. We encourage you to verify any critical information with the relevant authorities.

     

     

     
     


    About Us | Contact Us | Terms of Use | Privacy | Links Directory
    Link to allRefer | Add allRefer Search to your site

    allRefer
    All Rights reserved. Site best viewed in 800 x 600 resolution.