Seat of government: Kinstan.
Structure: The parliament comprises the House of Representatives, elected in geographical constituencies, which chooses the prime minister, and the Senate, chosen by the governing and opposition parliamentary factions.
Governing party: Jamaica Labour Party.
Head of government: Andrew Holness, prime minister (since 2016).
Chief opposition party: Peoples National Party, led by Portia Simpson-Miller.
Assessment: Stable democratic tradition. The PNP chose Simpson-Miller (2006-7, 2012-6) to replace the long-serving P.J. Patterson (1992-2006) as prime minister. In 2007, the (conservative) JLP won a general election, ending eighteen years of PNP government. Bruce Golding (2007-11) became prime minister; he resigned as JLP leader in 2011 and was replaced by Holness (2011-2, 2016-). An election in late 2011 was won convincingly by the PNP, returning Simpson-Miller to office. But in early 2016, the JLP secured a narrow majority.
FH: 2-3, free. Econ: 7.21 (49), flawed democracy.
Updated: 2016 March 29.