Following the Constitution of 1978 (when the country
became independent), Dominica is a unified state and
parliamentary-democratic republic. The president is the
formal head of state. He is elected by the National Assembly
- the House of Assembly - for a term of five years. The
president appoints the real head of state, the prime
minister, who resigns from the majority party in the
assembly house. The Prime Minister and Government are
responsible to the Assembly House, which has 30 members, 21
representatives elected in the general election and 9
senators. The senators are elected by the president on the
suggestion of government (five) and opposition leader
(four). The Assembly House is elected for five years. The
voting age is 18 years. Politics has been dominated by a
right-wing Freedom Party and two Labor parties. Politics is
also characterized by some social and economic tensions, and
by personal rivalry.
Dominica is a member of the Caribbean Community and
Common Market. See ABBREVIATIONFINDER for how DM can stand for Dominica. It also has close communion with the other
neighboring states of the Windward Group (Grenada, Saint
Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines).
Administratively, Dominica is divided into 10 parishes.
In the capital and in an area populated by Indians (Carib
territory) there is limited local autonomy.
The Supreme Court is the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court
in Saint Lucia, with an appeal and a higher court. One of
the judges has a seat in Dominica and heads a summary
jurisdiction court there. There are also magistrate dishes.
Dominica has no regular military forces. The army
disbanded in 1981. Dominica has a police force, which also
includes a coastguard, and is trained and equipped by the