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Turks and Caicos Islands: The Governmental System
Country Study > Chapter 4 > Government and Politics > The Governmental System


In the late 1980s, both territories were still British crown colonies. Each had a British governor and a ministerial form of government consisting of an Executive Council (cabinet) and a Legislative Assembly (in the Cayman Islands) or a Legislative Council (in the Turks and Caicos Islands).

Under the Caymans' Constitution, the British governor is responsible for defense and internal security, external affairs, and public service. On all other matters, the governor must either accept the recommendations of the Executive Council or receive approval for his veto from the British secretary of state for foreign and Commonwealth affairs. The Executive Council, which is responsible for the daily administration of the affairs in the Caymans, consists of the financial secretary, the attorney general, the administrative secretary (all appointed by the governor), and four other members elected by the Legislative Assembly from their own number. The governor presides as chairman of the Executive Council. The unicameral Legislative Assembly, consisting of twelve elected members and three ex officio members appointed by the governor, is entrusted with making laws.

The governmental system in the Turks and Caicos was similar. Under the August 1976 Constitution, the governor retains responsibility for external affairs, internal security, defense, and certain other matters. The Executive Council consists of three ex officio members appointed by the governor -- the financial secretary, the chief secretary, and the attorney general -- as well as a chief minister elected by the Legislative Council and three other ministers appointed by the governor from the elected members of the Legislative Council. The governor presides over the Executive Council. The bicameral Legislative Council consists of a speaker, the three ex officio members of the Executive Council, and eleven members elected by residents age eighteen and over.

Data as of November 1987

Last Updated: November 1987

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Turks and Caicos Islands was first published in 1987. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

Turks and Caicos Islands Main Page Country Studies Main Page

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