Montserrat was a member of the Leeward Islands between the periods 1871 to 1956. From 1958 to 1962 the island was part of the Federation of the West Indies.
The Soufriere Hills volcano began to erupt in 1995 and in 1997 a massive volcanic eruption destroyed the capital of Plymouth, the airport and the port, rendering the southern side of the island uninhabitable. Most of the island’s population sought refuge in Britain and neighbouring Caribbean countries. There is a prohibited zone towards the south of the island which goes as far as two kilometers offshore.
Montserrat is a British Overseas territory governed by the British monarch who is represented by the Governor. The Governor has the responsibility of overseeing the island’s defense, internal security, external affairs, the public service and international and financial services.
Montserrat has a unicameral government system and nine elected members comprise the island’s Legislative Arm. The Ministerial party government system is in effect, but volcanic activity has forced the island to be one constituency with an at large voting system. The Legislative arm consists of the Speaker, nine elected members, two officials, the Attorney General and the Financial Secretary. The Executive arm includes the Governor or President, The Chief Minister, three other Ministers, the Attorney General and the Financial Secretary.
The ruling party must have a majority of five elected members. The individual, who successfully commands the support of the five elected members, forms the government.
Seat of Parliament: Brades
Population: 5,000 (2000)
Constitution: British Overseas Territory
CPA Branch Formed: 1953
Political Party Distribution
Movement for Change and Prosperity: 4 Seats
New People’s Liberation Party: 3 Seats
Montserrat Democratic Party: 1 Seat
Independents: 1 Seat
Date of Last Election: May 31, 2006
Officers of the Branch
Hon. Joseph H Meade MLC
CPA Office: Branch President
Parliamentary Office: Speaker of the Legislative Council
Dr Lowell Lewis MLC
CPA Office: Branch Vice-President
Parliamentary Office: Chief Minister
Miss Judith Jeffers
CPA Office: Branch Secretary
Parliamentary Office: Acting Clerk of Councils