Dominica is a multiparty, parliamentary democracy governed by a prime minister, a cabinet, and a unicameral legislative assembly. A president, nominated by the Prime Minister in consultation with the leader of the opposition party, and elected for a 5-year term by the Parliament, was head of state with largely ceremonial powers. Prime Minister Pierre Charles' Dominica Labour Party (DLP) prevailed in generally free and fair elections in 2000. Following the sudden death of Prime Minister Charles on January 6, Members of Parliament appointed Roosevelt Skerrit as Prime Minister on January 8. The judiciary is independent.
The Office of the Prime Minister oversaw the Dominica Police, the country's only security force. The civilian authorities maintained effective control of the security forces. Some members of the security force committed human rights abuses.