Grenada is a constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II as head of state. She is represented by a Governor-General. A parliamentary democracy, Grenada has a bicameral legislature. The House of Representatives has 15 members elected by universal suffrage for a five-year term, and the Senate 13 members appointed for a five-year term by the Governor-General in consultation with the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition. The Prime Minister appoints the cabinet.
In the general election in January 1999 – called early after a defection left the New National Party (NNP) government without a parliamentary majority – the NNP won a landslide victory, receiving 62 per cent of the votes and Dr Keith Mitchell continued as Prime Minister. It was not only the first time a party had taken all 15 seats, but also the first time for any party to have won two successive elections.
In another early election in November 2003 Mitchell and NNP were returned for a third term. NNP won eight seats, with 48 per cent of the votes, and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) seven, with 46 per cent, following a recount in two constituencies where the margin was very small.
In the July 2008 election, Mitchell failed in a bid to secure an unprecedented fourth consecutive term. In a relatively peaceful election, monitored by a strong contingent from the Organization of American States, where the main issues were concerned with management of the economy, NDC took 11 of the 15 House of Representatives seats and 51 per cent of votes; NNP won four seats and 48 per cent of votes. Tillman Thomas – NDC leader since 2000 – became Prime Minister.
In the general election in February 2013 Keith Mitchell and the NNP won a landslide victory, taking all 15 seats in the House of Representatives, a result which Mitchell had previously achieved in January 1999. Turnout was 88 per cent; the NNP secured 59 per cent of votes and the NDC 41 per cent. The election was observed by a Commonwealth election assessment team led by Irfan Abdool Rahman, the electoral commissioner of Mauritius.