The Jamaican government is a parliamentary democracy with a monarchy that is bound by the country’s constitution. The current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II of Britain. She can only exercise her authority within the confines of the country’s laws. She chooses a governor general who then acts as her local representative. The governor general, who is not a member of any political party appoints the prime minister and his deputy as well as civil servants. Jamaica has three arms of government: the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary. The prime minister as head of government is an appointee of the governor general and is appointed when the position falls vacant.

The current prime minister is Andrew Holness who was sworn in on March 3, 2016 as the 9th prime minister of Jamaica. This is the second term of Holness in office with his first term running briefly from October 2011 to January 2012. He has also been the member of parliament for the West Central St. Andrew Constituency since 1997. The current governor general is Sir Patrick Linton Allen. He has served in this position since February 26, 2009.

Jamaica has a bicameral legislature which has been meeting in George William Gordon House on Duke Street in Kingston since 1960. The official residence of the prime minister is Vale Royal which is on Montrose Road in Kingston while that of the governor general is called King’s House or Government house. It was built in 1872 but had to be restored in 1907 when the previous structure was destroyed by an earthquake. It is located on Hope Road in Kingston.

Jamaica adopted its current two chamber representative government in 1944 when it adopted a new constitution and replaced the colonial government. The House of Representatives and the Senate are the two chambers. The representatives are elected for a term of five years while members of the senate are appointed by the governor general. 13 are appointed on the advice given by the prime minister and 8 as advised by the leader of the opposition. There is currently no term limit of service for politicians. A bill is currently being worked that will determine a fixed term limit as well as a fixed election date

This page was last modified on November 22nd, 2017