Officially: Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.
Seat of government: Port of Spain.
Status: Democratic.
Structure: The parliament comprises the House of Representatives, elected in geographical constituencies, which chooses the prime minister, and the Senate, chosen by the prime minister (a majority), the president, and the parliamentary opposition. The president is chosen by parliament as a whole.
Governing party: People’s National Movement.
Head of government: Keith Rowley, prime minister (since 2015).
Chief opposition party: United National Congress, led by Kamla Persad-Bissessar.
Recent history: The PNM has been in office off and on since 1950, before independence (1962); Patrick Manning of the PNM served as prime minister twice (1991-5, 2001-10). The UNC was founded in 1989 by Basdeo Panday, who served as prime minister from 1995 to 2001. Society remains almost evenly divided; the political parties tend to divide between African and Indian descendants, the former supporting the PNM, the latter supporting the UNC. A 2010 election was won convincingly by the People’s Partnership, a UNC-led coalition (with Congress of the People, Tobago Organization of the People, and National Joint Action Committee), and Persad-Bissessar (2010-5) became prime minister. The PNM returned to power in a 2015 general election. In 2020 elections, the UNC pulled within 2% of the PNM; the PNM secured a narrow majority of seats.
FH: 2-2, free. Econ: 7.21 (48), flawed democracy.
Updated: 2021 June 18.