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Turks and Caicos Islands Government Structure

Politics of the Turks and Caicos Islands takes place in a framework of a parliamentary representative democratic dependency, whereby the Premier is the head of government, and of a multi-party system.

The Turks and Caicos Islands are a British Overseas Territory. The Turks and Caicos Islands Constitution Order 2011 provides for an elected Government comprising of a Ministerial Cabinet and an elected House of Assembly.  Legislative power is vested in both the Executive Council and the House of Assembly.  The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature.  Military defence is the responsibility of the United Kingdom.

EXECUTIVE BRANCH

The Governor

The Governor is appointed by the Queen to be her representative and to carry out key duties to support the people of the Islands such as chairing Cabinet and ensuring the good governance of the Territory.

Under the Constitution the Governor has responsibility for defense, external affairs, the regulation of international financial services; and internal security, including the police force. The Queen also has the power to legislate for the Islands by Order in Council and to instruct the Governor through the British Government’s Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs.

The Deputy Governor

The Deputy Governor is appointed by the Governor by way of an open application process.  The position may be considered the most senior civil service post as the Deputy Governor heads the Public Service, the line manager for permanent secretaries, and is a non-voting member of Cabinet.

The Deputy Governor also acts as Governor when the latter is away from the territory. Under the Constitution, this position must be held by a native islander.

LEGISLATIVE BRANCH

There are 19 seats in the unicameral Turks and Caicos Islands’ House of the Assembly. Fifteen (15) of these seats are filled directly by candidates whom have been directly elected.  There are also four (4) other members - 1 member nominated by the premier and appointed by the governor, 1 nominated by the opposition party leader and appointed by the governor, and 2 from the Turks and Caicos Islands Civic Society directly appointed by the Governor.

Members serve 4-year terms.

The suffrage is from 18 years.

JUDICIAL BRANCH

The Turks and Caicos Islands legal system is based on English common law in accordance with the Anguilla constitution.  The Supreme Court (consists of the chief justice and such number of other judges as determined by the governor); Court of Appeal (consists of the court president and 2 justices); note - appeals beyond the Supreme Court are referred to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (in London).

Supreme Court and Appeals Court judges are appointed by the Governor in accordance with the Judicial Service Commission, a 3-member body of high level judicial officials; Supreme Court judges appointed until mandatory retirement at age 65, but can be extended to age 70; Appeals Court judge tenure determined by individual terms of appointment

RELATED RESOURCES
download Members of the Cabinet of the Turks and Caicos Islands
download Members of the House of Assembly of the Turks and Caicos Islands
Key
PDM = People's Democratic Movement; PDA = Progressive Democratic Alliance; PNP = Progressive National Party; IND = Independent; * Incumbent; ** Political Leader
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