The Indian Republic is a parliamentary democracy and a federation. The representatives of the central and state governments are chosen through free and fair polls conducted on the principles of universal suffrage. The state of Kerala is unicameral i.e. has a single house of legislature. The Government of Kerala encompasses the 3 functions of legislature, executive and judiciary. The judiciary is free of the legislature and executive and is made up of a hierarchy of lower courts, tribunals and the High Court at Trivandrum.
The highest official belonging to the judiciary of Kerala is the Chief Justice who administers the oath while swearing in the Governor. Besides the Chief Justice, twenty six permanent and two additional justices or pro tempore judges hold their offices in the High Court. The legislative assembly of the Kerala Government is composed of the people’s representatives, i.e. members who have been elected to the post of MLA. These members come from various political parties. Political parties represent the political ideologies and interests of a section of the citizens. The multi party system ensures that all factions have adequate representation in the legislature. Among these MLA s, the chief of the majority party or majority coalition is invited by the Governor, the de jure head of the state to form an executive council. This means that the executive powers of the state are vested in the Governor by the President of the nation. However the de facto head of the state is the Chief Minister, meaning that these executive functions though carried out in the name of the Governor are in fact carried out by the Chief Minister and his Council of Ministers.
Once the Chief Minister is sworn in, he chooses a Council of Ministers and assigns them various ministries to distribute the administrative functions and thus accomplish increased efficiency. The Governor now appoints these Ministers and they are assigned their individual portfolios. The Executive of the state are answerable to the state legislature in matters of carrying out their executive functions. To meet the ideals of local self governance, panchyats and municipal councils exist and the members to these are chosen through regularly held polls.
Present day Kerala politics is dominated by two major political alliances. The United Democratic Front (UDF - led by the Indian National Congress) is currently the ruling alliance and Left Democratic Front (LDF - led by the CPI(M)) is the Opposition. The Chief Minister, Mr. Oommen Chandy belongs to the Indian National Congress. The Malayalis are an extremely politically conscious race and take part actively in the political happenings of the state.