Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory found in the south of Spain. The territory has a democratically elected government. Being Her Majesty's Government, Queen Elizabeth II is the head of state, and a governor representative of the Monarch. Since Gibraltar has a democratically elected government, the territory has a unicameral parliament of 17 popularly elected members with one speaker appointed by the parliament. The executive arm is headed by the Chief Minister, who is appointed by the governor for being the leader of the majority in parliament. The chief minister then appoints ten members with the governor’s approval to form a cabinet. The judiciary, which is based on English law, is made up of the magistrate court, the Supreme Court and finally the Appellate Court which is at the top of the hierarchy.

All 17 members who sit in the Gibraltar legislature are voted for on a national level. Each voter in the Overseas Territory that forms only one constituency is entitled to vote for a selection of eight candidates to serve a four-year term. For a person to vote, they must be over 18 years and be on the Register of Electors. If one is a British citizen who has lived in Gibraltar continuously for a period of six months and they intend to stay there, then they are qualified to register as a voter. Elections take place after every four years in Gibraltar, for the post of Chief Minister and members of parliament. However, there seems to be no cap on the number of times one can run for an elective post. The governor is the only leader with an unlimited term in office, which is at the discretion of Her Majesty who is the appointing power.

Gibraltar's parliament is situated at the John Mackintosh Square overlooking the Main Street in the center of the city. The parliament house which was previously used as Exchange and Commercial Library before it was changed to host the Legislative Council was built in 1817. The official residence of the Governor of Gibraltar is a Georgian style house situated on the Main Street of the Convent, and the building was completed in 1531. The Convent is owned by the Defense Ministry, and has been hosting the Governors of Gibraltar since 1728.

The major political parties in Gibraltar include the Gibraltar Social Democrats, the Gibraltar Socialist Labour Party, and the Liberal Party of Gibraltar.


This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018