Dominica gained independence from Great Britain in 1978 and remains a part of the Commonwealth Nations. Since it gained independence Dominica has been self governed. Dominica has a Parliament democracy style of government. This is a type of government where the people through elections choose or elect its representatives. General elections are contested by the different political parties and the party with the most representatives forms the government of Dominica. The country is divided into twenty one (21) constituencies. The parties who are not successful in the elections form the Dominica Government opposition. In Dominica there are a number of political parties: The Dominica Labor Party (DLP) which forms the present government, The United Workers Party (UWP), The Dominica Progressive Party (DPP), People Democratic Movement (PDM) and the recently formed Real Labour Party. Individuals who have gained the right endorsements can also contest general elections as Independent candidates. General elections are held every five (5) years. The last general election was held in 2005.
From the time Dominica gained independence it has seen a succession of governments, Presidents and Prime ministers. The island’s first Prime Minister was Honorable Patrick John. And the first President was the late Excellency Sir Louis Cools- Latigue. The country was once lead by a female Prime Minister, the late Honorable Dame Eugenia Charles, the first female Prime Minister in Dominica and the Caribbean. At Present Prime Minister is Honorable Roosevelt Skerrit, he was appointed Prime Minister after the death of late Prime Minister Honorable Pierre Charles in 2004 and was reelected Prime Minister after the general elections of 2005. The President is His Excellency Dr. Nicholas Liverpool.
The head state of the Country is the President who has Executive power. He presides over the country. Legislative powers of the country lie in the hands of the cabinet, which is presided over by the Prime Minister. Parliament is made up of thirty (30) members of whom twenty one (21) persons are elected members, five (5) senators appointed by the Dominica Government and four (4) senators appointed by the opposition and a speaker of the house.
The government of Dominica is made up of thirteen (13) ministries. Each Ministry has a Minister and a Parliamentary Secretary. The Prime Minister apart from being responsible for the upkeep of the government is also the Minister for Finance, Planning, Overseas Nationals and national security. He represents the Vielle Case constituency and serves his second term as the representative of that constituency.
Honorable Julius Timothy is the Minister of Economic Planning and Urban Renewal in the Dominica Government. He crossed political sides since his party lost the 2005 general elections. He formerly contested elections with the United Workers Party and was the Minister of Finance when the United Workers Party formed Dominica government in 1995. He represents the Roseau North Constituency and has been in the political arena from the early nineties (90) and has been elected as representative of the Roseau North 3 times.
The position of Minister of Foreign Affairs, Immigration and Labour in the Dominica Government is presently held by Honorable Vince Henderson. Mr. Henderson is the representative of the St Joseph Constituency. This ministry has the responsibilities of putting together and implementing the nation’s foreign policies.
The Government of Dominica encourages women to take part in the governing and politics of the country. The Honorable Loreen Bannis Roberts is the Minister for Community Development, Culture, Gender Affairs and Information. She represents the constituency of Castle Bruce and has been elected twice. Her main responsibilities are to facilitate social programmes especially in areas which have deficits in order to reduce social inequities and to promote and foster the growth of the nation’s culture. The other women in the Dominica government is Attorney General, Honorable Francine Baron Royer and Senator Sonia Williams
Honorable Mathew Walters represents the Paix Bouche constituency and has been elected twice. At present he is the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. This ministry in the government of Dominica is responsible for the agricultural sector and developing environmental policies which are geared at the protection of natural resources in Dominica.
The position of Minister of Education, Human Resource Developments, Youth Affairs and Sports is held by Sonia Williams who is not an elected member o the Government of Dominica. She was a senator appointed by the Dominica Labour Party. Her main responsibilities are for the growth and development of the nation’s people through education and to ensure that all citizens gain equal opportunities through education.
The Minister of Health and the environment in the government of Dominica is Honorable John Fabien. He represents the Grand Bay Constituency. This ministry is responsible for providing quality health care services to the population thus promoting a healthy population through prevention, promotion and cure.
Honorable Reginald Austrie represents the Cottage Constituency and has been elected twice. He holds the position of Minister for Housing, lands and Telecommunication in the Dominica Government. His principal responsibilities are to maintenance of road works, communications and the proper planning of land use which aims to improve infrastructure which will in turn foster economic development of the country.
Honorable Rayburn Blackmore representative of the Mahaut Constituency and is the Minister of Public Works and Infrastructural Development in the government of Dominica. The objective of this ministry is to maintain roads and irrigation.
Honorable Ian Douglas represents the Portsmouth Constituency. He is the minister responsible for Tourism and Legal Affairs in the Dominica government. This ministry is responsible for the promotion of Dominica as a prime eco tourist destination and to ensure that the legal system is efficient and effective.
Honorable Charles Savarin is the senator in the government of Dominica; he is the Minster for Public Utilities, Energy and Ports. This ministry is responsible for maintaining the postal system, and the main sewage system on the island. He was not successful in the last general election but was nominated as a senator in the present government.
Honorable Dr. John Collin Macintyre is the Minister for Trade, Industry, Commerce, Consumer and Diaspora Affairs. This ministry is responsible for the protection of consumers, encouraging and developing trade with other countries and liaising with Dominicans living abroad. Honorable McIntyre was not successful at the last general elections but was appointed as a Senator. He contested the elections a candidate for the Roseau Valley constituency.
Dominica has a very stable political environment and together the people and government of Dominica work together to continuously build this country and foster togetherness among the population.