The Jamaican Government

Jamaica is a member-state of the COMMONWEALTH OF NATIONS and is governed by PARLIAMENTARY DEMOCRACY. The official or constitutional Head of State is the GOVERNOR GENERAL, who is appointed by the monarch of Britain based on recommendation from the Prime Minister. The PRIME MINISTER of Jamaica is the leader of the elected majority party in the House of Representatives. There are, at present, three major political parties in Jamaica: the PEOPLE'S NATIONAL PARTY (PNP), the JAMAICA LABOUR PARTY (JLP), and the NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT (NDM). There are also a number of independent candidates who have contested the general elections. JAMAICA GAINED ITS INDEPENDENCE FROM BRITAIN IN 1962.


The Commonwealth of Nations

The Commonwealth of Nations formerly described as the British Commonwealth or British Empire, is the name given collectively to all those territories which give allegiance to the British Crown or acknowledge the British Monarch as the symbol of their free association and as such the head of the Commonwealth.


Parliamentary Democracy

A parliamentary government is majority rule, equal rights for members to participate in the proceedings, protection of the right of the minority to be heard, and the orderly consideration of matters brought before the legislature.

A democracy is a political system institutionalized under the rule of law. There is an independent civil society whose individuals join together voluntarily into groups with self-designated purposes to collaborate with each other through mechanisms of a system of representative government. [The government of the whole people by the whole people, equally represented]


Jamaica’s Governors-General since Independence

  • 1957 – 1962: Sir Kenneth Blackburne (Governor)
  • 1962 (Aug. - Nov.): Sir Kenneth Blackburne
  • Dec 1962 – 1973: The Most Hon. Sir Clifford Campbell
  • Jan 1973 – 1991: The Most Hon. Sir Florizel Glasspole
  • Aug. 1991 -2006: The Most Hon. Sir Howard Cooke
  • Feb. 2006 – 2009: The Most Hon. Professor Kenneth Hall
  • Feb. 2009-Incumbent: His Excellency The Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen

Sir Clifford Campbell was Jamaica's first native Governor-General. In 1973 a special decoration was created - the Order of the Nation to be given to those who serve the nation as its Governor-General. It carries the salutation 'Most Honourable'. The honour was created when the Government decided that the Governor-General should no longer accept personal knighthood or any knighthoods from the Queen of England.

However, in 1981 the subsequent Government reverted to the original 1969 decision that only the Governor-General who represents the Queen should be exempt from the ban on knighthood.


Jamaica’s Prime Ministers since Independence

  • 1962 -1967: The Rt. Excellent. Sir Alexander Bustamante JLP
  • 1967 (February - April): The Most Hon. Donald Sangster JLP
  • 1967 – 1972: The Most Hon. Hugh Shearer JLP
  • 1972 – 1980: The Most Hon. Michael Manley      PNP
  • 1980 – 1989: The Most Hon. Edward Seaga JLP
  • 1989 – 1992: The Most Hon. Michael Manley PNP
  • 1992 - 2006: The Most Hon. Percival James Patterson    PNP
  • 2006 –2007: The Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller PNP
  • 2007 -2011 : The Hon. Bruce Golding JLP
  • 2011 -2012(Oct 23 –Dec 28):  The Hon. Andrew Holness JLP
  • 2012 (Jan 5) Incumbent: The Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller PNP




Ever since the capture of Jamaica by the English from the Spanish in 1655, the need for fortification became immediate because of the...



The Morant Bay Courthouse, which was destroyed by fire on Monday, February 19, 2007, is an important part of St. Thomas's history.



Built in 1885 of masonry and timber, the Simms building exhibits a combination of Gothic and Georgian features; the projecting...