About the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago is a republic with a two-party system and bicameral parliamentary system. The head of state of Trinidad and Tobago is the President, elected by an Electoral College consisting of the full membership of both houses of Parliament. The current President of the Republic is former Judge of the International Criminal Court, Anthony Carmona, who took office in March, 2013.
Legislative power is represented by a bicameral parliament consisting of the House of Representatives (41 members) and the Senate (31 member). Members of the House of Representatives are elected by the people for a maximum term of five years (the next election on September, 2015). Sixteen Government Senators are appointed on the advice of the Prime Minister, six Opposition Senators are appointed on the advice of the Leader of the Opposition, and nine Independent Senators are appointed by the President to represent other sectors of civil society.
Executive power is exercised by the government, which is led by the Prime Minister. The Head of Government is appointed by the President. The Prime Minister as well as the members of the Cabinet are chosen from the members of parliament. The Prime Minister is accountable to the House of Representatives.
Kamla Persad-Bissessar has served as the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago since March 24, 2010, and the leader of the United National Congress and the first woman - Prime Minister of the country.
The country has a multi-party political system, but is dominated by the two parties - the United National Congress and the People's National Movement. After recent general elections, the new governing coalition led by Kamla Persad-Bissessar, won 59,81% of the vote and 29 seats in the House of Representatives, while the People's National Movement won 39,5 % of the vote and 12 seats, and became the only parliamentary opposition party.
The key factors that determine the foreign policy of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago are the relatively low population, limited natural resources, availability of oil reserves, openness of the economy, vulnerability to external economic factors and natural disasters.
The Foreign Policy of Trinidad and Tobago is based on the principles of respect for sovereignty and equality of the states, non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries, common responsibility of the international community to take collective action in the event of significant human rights violations or genocide, respect for international law and principles of the UN Charter.
The priorities of the foreign policy of Trinidad and Tobago are maintaining and developing relations with strategic partners in bilateral, regional and multilateral formats, as well as taking part in international activities (within the UN and its specialized agencies, NAM, "Group of 77", the British Commonwealth, OAS, The African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP), the WTO, and CARICOM).
The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago maintains active political dialogue with neighboring Caribbean countries in North and Latin America, develops economic relations with European partners. 30 diplomatic missions of foreign states are operating in the country. The Republic is known as a reliable defender of international security and is characterized by experts as a consistent and predictable partner.