EyeReport, Jamaica - Soho, St. Thomas
Jamaica is a parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy, with Queen Elizabeth II serving as the Jamaican monarch.
However, as Elizabeth II is shared as head of state of fifteen other countries and resides mostly in the United Kingdom, she is thus often represented as Queen of Jamaica in Jamaica and abroad by the Governor-General of Jamaica.The governor-general is nominated by the Prime Minister of Jamaica and the entire Cabinet and appointed by the monarch. All the members of the Cabinet are appointed by the governor-general on the advice of the prime minister. The monarch and the governor-general serve largely ceremonial roles, apart from their potent reserve power to dismiss the prime minister or parliament. Jamaica's current constitution was drafted in 1962 by a bipartisan joint committee of the Jamaican legislature. It came into force with the Jamaica Independence Act, 1962 of the United Kingdom parliament, which gave Jamaica independence. The Parliament of Jamaica is bicameral, consisting of the House of Representatives (Lower House) and the Senate (Upper House). Members of the House (known as Members of Parliament or MPs) are directly elected, and the member of the House of Representatives who, in the governor-general's best judgement, is best able to command the confidence of a majority of the members of that House, is appointed by the governor-general to be the prime minister. Senators are nominated jointly by the prime minister and the parliamentary Leader of the Opposition and are then appointed by the governor-general. The current Prime Minister of Jamaica is Portia Simpson-Miller having been inaugurated on January 5, 2012. Prime Minister Simpson-Miller acts as the Head of Government of Jamaica, and while she is not the Head of State (Who is the Governor General representing the Queen) she has the most legislative authority as the post of the Governor General and the Monarchy is largely ceremonial. Jamaica has traditionally had a two-party system, with power often alternating between the People's National Party and Jamaica Labour Party (JLP). The party with current administrative and legislative power is the People's National Party with a two thirds Parliamentary majority as of 2012.