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Turks & Caicos Island Government


Turks & Caicos Islands is a parliamentary representative democratic dependency, whereby as of 9 August 2006, the premier is the head of government, and of a multi-party system. The islands are an internally self-governing overseas territory of the United Kingdom. The United Nations Committee on Decolonisation includes the Turks & Caicos Islands on the UN list of Non-Self-Governing Territories. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the Legislative Council.

Since the islands are a British territory, Queen Elizabeth II of the UK is the sovereign and head of state; the British Crown is represented by a governor. The head of government is the premier. The cabinet consists of three ex officio members and five appointed by the governor from among the members of the House of Assembly.

No direct elections are held for the executive; the governor is officially appointed by the British monarch. Legally, the premier is appointed to office by the governor - although under ordinary circumstances the premier will be (as are most parliamentary prime ministers) the head of the largest party in the House of Assembly.

The House of Assembly has 19 members – 13 members elected for a four-year term in single-seat constituencies, three members ex officio, three appointed members and a Speaker chosen from outside the council.

The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature.

In August 2009, the UK suspended the Turks & Caicos' self-government after allegations of ministerial corruption. The prerogative of the ministerial government, premier and the Legislative Council are vested in the islands' incumbent governor for a period of up to two years.


Country name : conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Turks and Caicos Islands
abbreviation: TCI
Dependency status : overseas territory of the UK
Government type : NA

: name: Grand Turk (Cockburn Town)
geographic coordinates: 21 28 N, 71 08 W
time difference: UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins second Sunday in March; ends first Sunday in November
Administrative divisions : none (overseas territory of the UK)
Independence : none (overseas territory of the UK)
National holiday : Constitution Day, 30 August (1976)
Constitution : Turks and Caicos Islands Constitution (Interim Amendment) Order 2009, S.I. 2009/701 - effective 14 August 2009 - suspended Ministerial government, the House of Assembly, and the constitutional right to trial by jury, and imposed direct British rule
Legal system
: mixed legal system of English common law and civil law
Suffrage : 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch
: chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor Damian (Ric) TODD (since 12 September 2011)
head of government: Governor Damian (Ric) TODD (since 12 September 2011); note - the office of premier is suspended by the Order in Council, effective 14 August 2009
cabinet: under provisions of the Order in Council, the cabinet is suspended effective 14 August 2009 and replaced by an Advisory Council appointed by the governor
elections: the monarchy is hereditary; governor appointed by the monarch
note: following an investigation into allegations of widespread corruption and misconduct within the Turks and Caicos Government, the UK foreign minister directed the governor to bring into effect on 14 August 2009 an Order in Council suspending Ministerial government and the House of Assembly, and imposing direct rule pending completion of reform milestones
Legislative branch

: under provisions of the Order in Council, the unicameral House of Assembly is dissolved and all seats vacated for a period of up to two years; in the interim, a Consultative Forum, appointed by the governor, will be established
elections: last held on 9 February 2007 (next to be held in 2012)
election results: under provisions of the Order in Council, all seats in the House of Assembly are vacated
Judicial branch : Supreme Court; Court of Appeal
Political parties and leaders : People's Democratic Movement or PDM [Floyd SEYMOUR]; Progressive National Party or PNP [Michael Eugene MISICK]
Political pressure groups and leaders : NA
International organisation participation
: Caricom (associate), CDB, Interpol (sub bureau), UPU
Diplomatic representation in the US
: none (overseas territory of the UK)
Diplomatic representation from the US
: none (overseas territory of the UK)
Flag description : blue, with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant and the colonial shield centred on the outer half of the flag; the shield is yellow and displays a conch shell, a spiny lobster, and Turks Head cactus - three common elements of the islands' biota
National anthem : name: "This Land of Ours"
lyrics/music: Conrad HOWELL
note: serves as a local anthem; as a territory of the United Kingdom, "God Save the Queen" is the official anthem




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