A republic is a form of government in which citizens elect representatives to govern and make decisions. The head of state comes from this country and usually has the title of president.
There are several types of republics:
- A parliamentary republic is a republic in which the country is governed by a parliament. This can take the form of a unicameral system (one legislative chamber) or a bicameral system (two legislative chambers).
- Barbados becomes a parliamentary republic on November 30th, 2021 when it moves from a constitutional monarchy. A two-chamber system is retained.
- Examples of parliamentary republics are Dominica, Ethiopia, Fiji, Greece, and India.
- There may also be the classification of a unitary republic, a single body known as the central government, or a single legislative body responsible for governance as in France and Ireland.
- Federal Republic consists of states or provinces that have a certain autonomy from the central government, but can enact local laws. These include Germany, Mexico, the United States of America, and Nigeria.
- An Islamic republic is a sovereign nation governed under Islamic law. Currently, Pakistan, Mauritania, and Iran are the only Islamic republics, but Iran is the only theocracy, which means it is ruled by religious leaders.
- A presidential republic is a republic in which the president is the head of state, but this can take the form of a unitary republic or a federal republic.
In the Caribbean, Dominica, Trinidad and Tobago, and Guyana are republics.
All remain members of the Commonwealth, which has its roots in the British Empire. Of the 54 nation grouping, 33 are republics, with Barbados slated to be the newest addition. Under the current rules, any nation is now eligible to join the Commonwealth.