Freedom in the World
Trinidad and Tobago
Freedom Rating (1 = best, 7 = worst)
Civil Liberties (1 = best, 7 = worst)
Political Rights (1 = best, 7 = worst)
Facing a no-confidence vote, Prime Minister Patrick Manning called an early election for May 2010. The Peoples Partnership coalition defeated the People’s National Movement, which was removed from power for the first time in nearly 40 years.
Trinidad and Tobago, a member of the Commonwealth, achieved independence from Britain in 1962 and became a republic in 1976.
Trinidad and Tobago is an electoral democracy. The 2010 legislative elections were generally considered to be free and fair by observers. Tobago is a ward of Trinidad. The president is elected to a five-year term by a majority of the combined houses of Parliament, though executive authority rests with the prime minister. Parliament consists of the 41-member House of Representatives, elected to five-year terms, and the 31-member Senate, also serving five-year terms. The president appoints 16 senators on the advice of the prime minister, 6 on the advice of the opposition, and 9 at his or her own discretion.