The Commonwealth of Dominica is an island located in the Lesser Antilles of the Caribbean, southwest of Guadeloupe and Northwest of Martinique, and about half way between Puerto Rico and Trinidad and Tobago. The size of the country is 290 square miles. Historically, Dominica was first a French and then British colony. It gained independent from the UK in 1978. Currently, Dominica is a parliamentary democracy. There are three main political parties: Dominica Freedom Party (DFP), Dominica Labor Party (DLP), and Dominica United Workers Party (UWP). Presidential elections are held every five years, and the Prime Minister is appointed by the president.