Latin America & Caribbean

Dominica profile - Leaders

President: Charles Savarin

Dominica's parliament, the House of Assembly, appoints the president - the ceremonial head of state. The prime minister and cabinet exercise executive power. President Savarin, a former Labour Party cabinet minister, was elected in September 2013.

Prime minister: Roosevelt Skerrit

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Image caption Roosevelt Skerrit

Roosevelt Skerrit's governing Dominica Labour Party won general elections in May 2005.

Campaigning on pledges to improve infrastructure and attract foreign investment, his government won a third term in December 2014, albeit with a majority reduced from its previous landslide win in 2009.

A former education minister, Mr Skerrit took office as Dominica's youngest prime minister two days after the sudden death of his predecessor, Pierre Charles, in January 2004. He was chosen by his party to succeed the late leader.

In 2004 Mr Skerrit's government cut diplomatic relations with Taiwan in favour of ties with mainland China. The prime minister said Beijing had agreed to give more than $100 million in aid - equivalent to $1,500 for each Dominican.

He has also sought close ties with left-wing President Hugo Chavez's Venezuela. In January 2008, Dominica joined ALBA, a Central and South American trade group, which was proposed by Venezuela and opposes neoliberal economic policies.

Roosevelt Skerrit - who was 31 when he took office - studied English and psychology in the US before becoming a teacher and a lecturer on the island. He entered parliament in 2000.