Country Listing

Caribbean Islands Table of Contents

Caribbean Islands

Government and Politics

The Governmental System

In the late 1980s, both territories were still British crown colonies. Each had a British governor and a ministerial form of government consisting of an Executive Council (cabinet) and a Legislative Assembly (in the Cayman Islands) or a Legislative Council (in the Turks and Caicos Islands).

Under the Caymans' Constitution, the British governor is responsible for defense and internal security, external affairs, and public service. On all other matters, the governor must either accept the recommendations of the Executive Council or receive approval for his veto from the British secretary of state for foreign and Commonwealth affairs. The Executive Council, which is responsible for the daily administration of the affairs in the Caymans, consists of the financial secretary, the attorney general, the administrative secretary (all appointed by the governor), and four other members elected by the Legislative Assembly from their own number. The governor presides as chairman of the Executive Council. The unicameral Legislative Assembly, consisting of twelve elected members and three ex officio members appointed by the governor, is entrusted with making laws.

The governmental system in the Turks and Caicos was similar. Under the August 1976 Constitution, the governor retains responsibility for external affairs, internal security, defense, and certain other matters. The Executive Council consists of three ex officio members appointed by the governor--the financial secretary, the chief secretary, and the attorney general--as well as a chief minister elected by the Legislative Council and three other ministers appointed by the governor from the elected members of the Legislative Council. The governor presides over the Executive Council. The bicameral Legislative Council consists of a speaker, the three ex officio members of the Executive Council, and eleven members elected by residents age eighteen and over.

Data as of November 1987