The politics of Antigua & Barbuda takes place in a framework of a federal parliamentary representative democratic monarchy, where Queen Elizabeth II is the head of state, appointing a governor-general to act as vice-regal representative in the nation. A prime minister is appointed by the governor-general as the head of government, and of a multi-party system; the prime minister advises the governor-general on the appointment of a Council of Ministers. Executive power is exercised by the government.
Legislative power is vested in both the government and the two chambers of the Parliament. Antigua & Barbuda elects on national level a legislature. Parliament has two chambers. The House of Representatives has 19 members, 17 members elected for a five-year term in single-seat constituencies, one ex-officio member and one Speaker. The Senate has 17 appointed members. The prime minister is the leader of the majority party in the House and conducts affairs of state with the cabinet. The prime minister and the cabinet are responsible to the Parliament. Elections must be held at least every five years but may be called by the prime minister at any time.
There are special legislative provisions to account for Barbuda's low population relative to that of Antigua. Barbuda is guaranteed one member of the House of Representatives and two members of the Senate. In addition, there is a Barbuda Council to govern the internal affairs of the island.
Constitutional safeguards include freedom of speech, press, worship, movement and association. Antigua & Barbuda 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.
Country name :
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Antigua and Barbuda
Government type :
constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of government and a Commonwealth realm
name: Saint John's
geographic coordinates: 17 07 N, 61 51 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions :
6 parishes and 2 dependencies*; Barbuda*, Redonda*, Saint George, Saint John, Saint Mary, Saint Paul, Saint Peter, Saint Philip
1 November 1981 (from the UK)
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