Though an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom, the Falkland Islands enjoys a large measure of internal self government. Negotiations with Her Majesty’s Government have resulted in a new Constitution that will further strengthen this position.
There is a Legislative Assembly which is Chaired by the Speaker and includes two ex-officio members: the Chief Executive and the Financial Secretary. The Attorney General and Commander British Forces South Atlantic Islands (CBFSAI) are also entitled to attend Legislative Assembly meetings.
Each year the elected Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) elect three of their number to the policy making body of the Government, Executive Council. Executive Council is chaired by HE the Governor. Membership includes the same ex-officio members who sit on the Legislative Assembly. In addition, the Attorney General and CBFSAI may attend and speak on any matter.
The Legislative Assembly is empowered to pass legislation for the peace, order and good government of the Falkland Islands, subject to the approval of Her Majesty the Queen, acting through her Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. Legislative Assembly meetings are held in public, usually bi-monthly.
Executive Council normally meets monthly, but more often if required. It is responsible for the formulation of strategy and policy, and for high level management decisions. Under the Falkland Islands Constitution the Governor retains responsibility for various issues, particularly external affairs and defence. The Governor nevertheless consults regularly with MLAs on these issues.
All members are elected as independents, as there are no political parties. There is no formal opposition. Each MLA takes responsibility for a particular portfolio and works closely with the relevant departments, but does not have the role of a Minister; instead, questions of policy are considered by the Executive Council.