Latin America & Caribbean

Trinidad and Tobago profile

President: Anthony Carmona

President Carmona enjoyed a distinguished legal career before becoming president in March 2013. He served as a member of Trinidad and Tobago's Supreme Court and was a judge at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

He was nominated for the presidency by the government of Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, and duly approved by parliament.

Trinidad and Tobago is a parliamentary republic, and the president's role is largely ceremonial.

Prime minister: Kamla Persad-Bissessar

Image caption Kamla Persad-Bissessar, the nation's first female prime minister

Kamla Persad-Bissessar became Trinidad and Tobago's first female prime minister when her People's Partnership coalition won a landslide victory in elections in May 2010.

Her coalition's victory sent the People's National movement into opposition after more than four decades of almost unbroken rule.

Former prime minister Patrick Manning had called snap elections midway through his five-year term to thwart an opposition motion of no confidence against him.

Persad-Bissessar, a former attorney general, pledged to bring transparency and accountability to all areas of government, while maintaining critical policies to ensure economic stability in the energy-rich nation.

Observers said one of her challenges would be to hold together her coalition of diverse interests.

In November 2011, Ms Persad-Bissessar said the security forces had foiled a plot to assassinate her and members of her cabinet.

She blamed the alleged plot on criminals seeking revenge for her decision in August to impose a state of emergency in response to a surge in violent crime linked to drugs gangs.