The island is divided into three counties: Cornwall,
Middlesex and Surrey. These counties (whose designations are used
infrequently) are then divided into 14 parishes (whose designations
you will often hear). The parishes of Jamaica are Kingston, St.
Andrew, St. Thomas, Portland, St. Mary, St. Ann, Trelawny, St. James,
Hanover, Westmoreland, St. Elizabeth, Manchester, Clarendon and
St. Catherine. Each of these parishes has a capital city to handle
local governmental matters.
Since 1962, Jamaica is an independent nation in the British Commonwealth.
Jamaica’s government is a parliamentary democracy based on that
of Great Britain, with a Governor-General appointed by the Crown.
An appointed Privy Council advises the Governor-General on matters
pertaining to the Crown, while much of the real power of the government
resides in the office of the Prime Minister.
The complete story
Adventure Guide - This travel guide walks with the adventurous
traveler to the heart of Jamaica, to the miles of sand beaches,
to the rugged Blue Mountains, to the country villages that provide
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The Prime Minister
is appointed by the Governor-General, as are the various Ministers
of the Cabinet who are recommended for appointment by the Prime
The Jamaican legislature is composed of two houses, the House of
Representatives and the Senate. The House is composed of 60 members
elected to five-year terms, while the Senate consists of 21 members
appointed by the Governor-General on advice of the Prime Minister
and the leader of the opposition.
Jamaica’s high court is the Supreme Court, with justices appointed
by the Governor-General upon recommendation of the Prime Minister.
Its legal system is based on English Common Law.
At present there are three main political parties: The People’s
National Party (PNP), the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and the National
Democratic Movement (NDM). Voting age is 18 years.
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