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Parliament of Jamaica
14th Parliament
Type
Type
HousesSenate
House of Representatives
Leadership
Elizabeth II
since 6 August 1962
Patrick L. Allen
since 26 February 2009
Marisa Dalrymple-Philibert, JLP
since 15 September 2020
Thomas Tavares-Finson, JLP
since 10 March 2016
Structure
Seats84
21 Senators
63 Members of Parliament
Senate political groups
HM Government

  Jamaica Labour Party (13)

Official Opposition
  People's National Party (8)
House of Representatives political groups
HM Government

  Jamaica Labour Party (49)

Official Opposition

  People's National Party (14)

  Independents (1)
Elections
Appointed by the Governor-General of Jamaica on advice of the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition
House of Representatives voting system
First-past-the-post
House of Representatives last election
3 September 2020
House of Representatives next election
2025
Meeting place
George William Gordon House, Kingston, Jamaica
Website
japarliament.gov.jm

Coordinates: 17°58′26″N 76°47′26″W / 17.9740°N 76.7906°W / 17.9740; -76.7906

The Parliament of Jamaica is the legislative branch of the government of Jamaica. It consists of three elements: The Crown (represented by the Governor-General), the appointed Senate and the directly elected House of Representatives.

The Senate, the Upper House, is the direct successor of a pre-Independence body known as the "Legislative Council" and comprises 21 senators appointed by the Governor-General: thirteen on the advice of the Prime Minister and eight on the advice of the Leader of the Opposition.

The House of Representatives, the Lower House, is made up of 63 (previously 60) Members of Parliament, elected to five-year terms on a first-past-the-post basis in single-seat constituencies.

Overview

As Jamaica is a parliamentary democracy modelled after the Westminster system, most of the government's ability to make and pass laws is dependent on the Prime Minister's ability to command the confidence of the members of the House of Representatives. Though both Houses of Parliament hold political significance, the House of Representatives, of which the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition are both required to be members of, holds a more powerful and prestigious role since it is the main source of legislation.

Parliament building

The Parliament meets at Gordon House at 81 Duke Street, Kingston.[1] It was built in 1960 and named in memory of Jamaican patriot George William Gordon.[2]

Construction on a new parliament building directly north of Gordon House was expected to start in early 2021.[3] However, the start of construction has been delayed until at least 2022.[4]

House of Representatives

Main article: Constituencies of Jamaica

The House of Representatives is the Lower House. It is the group of elected members of parliament.

Government – Jamaica Labour Party members

Opposition – People's National Party members

Independent - Mr. George Wright

Senate

The Senate is the Upper House. This is the list of senators:

Government senators

  1. Senator the Hon. Thomas Tavares-Finson, CD, QC – President
  2. Senator Charles Sinclair, Jr. – Deputy President
  3. Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson-Smith – Leader of Government Business
  4. Senator the Hon. Aubyn Hill
  5. Senator the Hon. Matthew Samuda
  6. Senator the Hon. Leslie Campbell
  7. Senator Kavan Gayle
  8. Senator Ransford Braham, QC
  9. Senator Don Wehby
  10. Senator Dr. Saphire Longmore
  11. Senator Delroy Williams
  12. Senator Sherene Golding Campbell
  13. Senator Natalie Campbell Rodriques

Opposition senators

  1. Senator Peter Bunting – Leader of Opposition Business
  2. Senator Dr. Floyd Morris
  3. Senator Damion Crawford
  4. Senator Sophia Frazer-Binns
  5. Senator Lambert Brown
  6. Senator Donna Scott-Mottley
  7. Senator Janice Allen
  8. Senator Gabriela Morris

In order to effect changes to the Constitution of Jamaica a two-thirds majority in both Houses is required. Therefore, changes to the Jamaican constitution will require consensus among Government and Opposition Senators.

Last election

Main article: 2020 Jamaican general election

PartyVotes%+/–Seats+/–
Jamaica Labour Party408,37657.07+6.9949+17
People's National Party305,95042.76–6.9514–17
Independents1,1850.17+0.0300
Total715,511100.0063
Valid votes715,51198.78
Invalid/blank votes8,8061.22
Total votes724,317100.00
Registered voters/turnout1,913,41037.85
Source: Electoral Commission of Jamaica

See also

References

  1. ^ "Contact Us". Japarliament.gov.jm. Archived from the original on 7 February 2012. Retrieved 3 January 2016.
  2. ^ "History". Japarliament.gov.jm. Retrieved 3 January 2016.
  3. ^ "Construction of New Parliament Building to Begin 2021". jis.gov.jm. Retrieved 9 March 2021.
  4. ^ Henry, Balford (19 March 2021). "Construction of new Parliament building set to start next year". Jamaica Observer. Retrieved 9 June 2021.
  5. ^ George Wright resigns from JLP, remains independent MP