The Turks and Caicos Islands, a British Overseas Territory, is a multi-party democracy, overseen by a British Governor
The Turks and Caicos Islands Constitution Order 2011 provides for an elected Government comprising of a Ministerial Cabinet and an elected House of Assembly. There are currently six Ministries which manage all government services include:
- Ministry of Finance, Investment and Trade
- Ministry of Infrastructure, Housing and Planning
- Minister of Education, Youth, Sports
- Ministry of Tourism, Heritage and Culture
- Ministry of Health, Agriculture and Human Services
- Ministry of Border Control and Employment Services
- Ministry of Home Affairs, Transportation and Communication
The Governor is appointed by the Queen to be her representative and to carry out key duties to support the people of the Islands such as chairing Cabinet and ensuring the good governance of the Territory.
Under the Constitution, the Governor has responsibility for defense, external affairs, the regulation of international financial services, and internal security, including the police force. The Queen also has the power to legislate for the Islands by Order in Council and to instruct the Governor through the British Government’s Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs.
The Premier is the political leader and head of government of the Turks and Caicos Islands. The post of Premier is the equivalent to that of Chief Minister or Prime Minister in other British Overseas Territories.
In 2006, the Turks and Caicos Island Constitution introduced the title Premier as replacement for Chief Minister. It is the highest political level that can be attained within the British colonial system.
There are 19 seats in the Turks and Caicos Islands’ House of the Assembly. Fifteen (15) of these seats are filled directly by candidates whom have been directly elected. There are also four (4) other members – one each nominated by the leaders of the two parties that make up the House – two of whom are appointed by the Governor.