Political Stability

The island exercises its extensive political and legislative independence through its ancient parliament, Tynwald, which is the oldest legislature in the world in continuous existence. Tynwald has two branches, consisting of the House of Keys (which is elected by universal suffrage) and the Legislative Council (whose members are elected by members of the House of Keys).

The 24 members of the House of Keys are popularly elected every five years and the overwhelming majority are independent of any party affiliation. The Island is noteworthy for its relative absence of party politics; this has contributed to the remarkable stability of the Manx system.

The Island has a ministerial system of government headed by a Chief Minister who selects the Council of Ministers. The Chief Minister is nominated by Tynwald from amongst its members after each general election.

The Isle of Man is an internally self-governing department territory of the British Crown, it is not and has never been part of the United Kingdom but is within the British Isles. Although Queen Elizabeth II is acknowledged as head of state, the Island is politically and constitutionally separate from the UK. The Island is independent in all matters except defence and foreign affairs, in respect of which the Island pays an annual contribution to the UK.

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