State and politics
Dominica became an independent republic within the
British Commonwealth in 1978. Also see AbbreviationFinder for abbreviation of DM and its meanings of Dominica. Its president is elected by
Parliament for a term of five years and can be re-elected
once. A presidential candidate is jointly nominated by the
Prime Minister and the leader of the opposition. Such a
person must be a Dominican citizen, at least 40 years of age
and have lived in Dominica at least five years before the
nomination. All heads of state since independence have been
men. President since 2013 is Charles Savarin (born 1943). In
practice, the executive power is held by the government,
which is led by the prime minister.
Parliament has a House, consisting of 21 elected
representatives and nine senators, elected or appointed by
the President. In addition, the President and the Chancellor
of Justice are members of Parliament.
The 1995 parliamentary elections set the stage for
Dominica Freedom Party's (DFP) 15-year reign. Party
leader Eugenia Charles had been prime minister since 1980.
The party lost four of its eleven seats to the Dominica
United Workers' Party (UWP) and two to the left-wing
Dominica Labor Party (DLP), and UWP's Edison James
(born 1943) became new Government.
UWP lost government power in 2000 to DLP, which has since
retained it. In the 2005 election, DFP became without a
mandate in Parliament and Dominica has since then
practically had a two-party system. Prime Minister since
2004 is Roosevelt Skerrit (born 1972). After the 2014
elections, three of the 21 elected members (14 percent) were
women; together with the President and three appointed
members, the total number of female members was seven out of
32 (22 percent).
The legal system is based almost entirely on the
reception of English law. Dominica has its own courts, which
are sentenced in the first instance, while the Court of
Appeal is shared with several other Caribbean islands. The
death penalty can be punished for some serious crimes.
Heads of State
||Vernon Lord Shaw