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Trinidad and Tobago: Government#

Country nameconventional long form: Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
conventional short form: Trinidad and Tobago
CapitalPort of Spain Port of Spain
geographic coordinates: 10 39 N, 61 31 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions9 regions, 3 boroughs, 2 cities, 1 ward
regions: Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo, Diego Martin, Mayaro/Rio Claro, Penal/Debe, Princes Town, Sangre Grande, San Juan/Laventille, Siparia, Tunapuna/Piarco
borough: Arima, Chaguanas, Point Fortin
cities: Port of Spain, San Fernando
ward: Tobago
Constitutionprevious 1962; latest 1976; amended many times, last in 2007 (2012)
Executive branchchief of state: President Anthony CARMONA (since 18 March 2013)
head of government: Prime Minister Kamla PERSAD-BISSESSAR (since 26 May 2010)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed from among the members of Parliament
elections: president elected by an electoral college, which consists of members of the Senate and House of Representatives, for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 15 February 2013 (next to be held by February 2018); the president usually appoints the leader of the majority party in the House of Representatives as prime minister
election results: Anthony CARMONA elected president unopposed by the electoral college; sworn in on 18 March 2013; percent of electoral college vote - 100%
Flag descriptionred with a white-edged black diagonal band from the upper hoist side to the lower fly side; the colors represent the elements of earth, water, and fire; black stands for the wealth of the land and the dedication of the people; white symbolizes the sea surrounding the islands, the purity of the country's aspirations, and equality; red symbolizes the warmth and energy of the sun, the vitality of the land, and the courage and friendliness of its people
Independence31 August 1962 (from the UK)
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Supreme Court of the Judicature (consists of a chief justice for both the Court of Appeal with 12 judges and the High Court with 24 judges)
note - Trinidad and Tobago can file appeals beyond its Supreme Court to the Caribbean Court of Justice, with final appeal to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (in London)
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court chief justice appointed by the president after consultation with the prime minister and the parliamentary leader of the opposition; other judges appointed by the Judicial Legal Services Commission, headed by the chief justice and 5 members with judicial experience; all judges appointed for life with mandatory retirement normally at age 65
subordinate courts: Courts of Summary Criminal Jurisdiction; Petty Civil Courts; Family Court
Legal systemEnglish common law; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court
Legislative branchbicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (31 seats; 16 members appointed by the ruling party, 9 by the president, 6 by the opposition party to serve a maximum term of five years) and the House of Representatives (41 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: House of Representatives - last held on 24 May 2010 (next to be held in 2015)
election results: House of Representatives - percent of vote - NA; seats by party - UNC 21, PNM 12, COP 6, TOP 2
note: Tobago has a unicameral House of Assembly with 12 members serving four-year terms; last election held in January 2013; seats by party - PNM 12
International organization participationACP, AOSIS, C, Caricom, CDB, CELAC, EITI (candidate country), FAO, G-24, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAES, MIGA, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, Paris Club (associate), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
National holidayIndependence Day, 31 August (1962)
Political pressure groups and leadersJamaat-al Muslimeen (Yasin ABU BAKR)
Political parties and leadersCongress of the People or COP (Prakash RAMADHAR)
Democratic Action Congress or DAC (Hochoy CHARLES) (only active in Tobago)
Democratic National Alliance or DNA (Charles CARSON) (coalition of NAR, DDPT, MND)
Movement for National Development or MND (Garvin NICHOLAS)
National Alliance for Reconstruction or NAR (Lennox SANKERSINGH)
People's National Movement or PNM (Keith ROWLEY)
Tobago Organization of the People or TOP (Ashworth JACK)
United National Congress or UNC (Kamla PERSAD-BISSESSAR)
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Government typeparliamentary democracy
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Neil N. PARSAN (since 14 February 2011)
chancery: 1708 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036
telephone: (1) (202) 467-6490
FAX: (1) (202) 785-3130
consulate(s) general: Miami, New York
National anthemname: "Forged From the Love of Liberty"
lyrics/music: Patrick Stanislaus CASTAGNE
note: adopted 1962; the song was originally created to serve as an anthem for the West Indies Federation; it was adopted by Trinidad and Tobago following the Federation's dissolution in 1962
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
National symbol(s)scarlet ibis (bird of Trinidad); cocrico (bird of Tobago)
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Margaret B. DIOP
embassy: 15 Queen's Park West, Port of Spain
mailing address: P. O. Box 752, Port of Spain
telephone: (1) (868) 622-6371 through 6376
FAX: (1) (868) 822-5905