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By Beachcomber, retrieved from Wikipedia
Nov 2, 2003, 19:03
The Commonwealth of Dominica is a borderless country in the Caribbean, a parliamentary democracy within the Commonwealth. Unlike other former British colonies in the region, Dominica was never a Commonwealth realm with the British monarch as head of state, as it instead became a republic on independence.
The name is pronounced "Dom-in-EEK-a," with the accent on the third syllable. It should not to be confused with the Dominican Republic, another Caribbean nation, (with stress on the "a").
The island was the last of the Caribbean islands to be colonized by Europeans, due chiefly to the fierce resistance of the native Caribs. France ceded possession to Great Britain in 1763, which made the island a colony in 1805. In 1980, two years after independence, Dominica's fortunes improved when a corrupt and tyrannical administration was replaced by that of Mary Eugenia Charles, the first female prime minister in the Caribbean, who remained in office for 15 years.
The President is head of state, while executive power rests with the Cabinet, headed by the Prime Minister. The unicameral parliament consists of the 30-member House of Assembly, which consists of twenty-one directly elected members and nine Senators, who may either be appointed by the President or elected by the other members of the House.
Commonly referred to as "The Nature Island", Dominica is largely covered by lush rainforest, and is home to the world's second-largest boiling lake.
The capital is Roseau.
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