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Trinidad and Tobago 

Key facts

POPULATION (Census 2011): 1,328,019
AREA: 5,130 sq km
CAPITAL: Port of Spain
LOCAL GOVERNMENT CONTRIBUTION TO GDP: -
CURRENCY: Trinidad and Tobago dollar (TTD)
HEAD OF STATE: President Anthony Carmona
HEAD OF GOVERNMENT: Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar
FORM OF GOVERNMENT: parliamentary republic
PARLIAMENTARY SYSTEM: bicameral
STATE STRUCTURE: unitary
LANGUAGES: English (official)
NATIONAL ELECTIONS: last: 2010: turnout: 69.5%; next: 2015
LOCAL ELECTIONS:
Trinidad municipal corporations: last: 2010: turnout: 39%; next: -:
Tobago House of Assembly: last: January 2013: turnout: 70%; next: 2017

Summary

Trinidad and Tobago is a unitary republic with two levels of government: central and local. There is no specific constitutional provision for local government; however, the Tobago House of Assembly is enshrined within the constitution. The Municipal Corporations Act 1990 and the Tobago House of Assembly Act 1996 comprise the principal legislation governing local government. The Ministry of Local Government oversees local authorities on Trinidad whilst the Tobago House of Assembly reports directly to the Office of the Prime Minister. The structure of local government in Trinidad comprises the head office and 14 municipal corporations in Trinidad a single authority in Tobago and 14 municipal corporations in Trinidad, comprising two city corporations, three borough corporations and nine regional corporations. All cities and boroughs will regain revenue-raising power when the repeal of the current legislation is finalised. Central government makes significant contributions, especially to the Tobago authority. However, the Tobago House of Assembly governance structure is devolved in its functions except in the case of national secturity revenue generation and international affairs. The local authorities have developed responsibility for a wide range of functions from policing to primary health and education.

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