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British Virgin Islands: Government

Government British Virgin Islands
Country name:
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: British Virgin Islands
abbreviation: BVI
Dependency status:
overseas territory of the UK; internal self-governing
Government type:
NA
Capital:
Road Town
Administrative divisions:
none (overseas territory of the UK)
Independence:
none (overseas territory of the UK)
National holiday:
Territory Day, 1 July
Constitution:
1 June 1977
Legal system:
English law
Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor Tom MACAN (since 14 October 2002)
elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; governor appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition is usually appointed chief minister by the governor
head of government: Chief Minister Orlando SMITH (since 17 June 2003)
cabinet: Executive Council appointed by the governor from members of the Legislative Council
Legislative branch:
unicameral Legislative Council (13 seats; members are elected by direct popular vote, one member from each of 9 electoral districts, four at-large members; members serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 16 May 2003 (next to be held NA 2007)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - NDP 8, VIP 5
Judicial branch:
Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, consisting of the High Court of Justice and the Court of Appeal (one judge of the Supreme Court is a resident of the islands and presides over the High Court); Magistrate's Court; Juvenile Court; Court of Summary Jurisdiction
Political parties and leaders:
Concerned Citizens Movement or CCM [Ethlyn SMITH]; National Democratic Party or NDP [Orlando SMITH]; United Party or UP [Gregory MADURO]; Virgin Islands Party or VIP [Ralph T. O'NEAL]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
NA
International organization participation:
Caricom (associate), CDB, ECLAC (associate), Interpol (subbureau), IOC, OECS (associate), UNESCO (associate)
Diplomatic representation in the US:
none (overseas territory of the UK)
Diplomatic representation from the US:
none (overseas territory of the UK)
Flag description:
blue, with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant and the Virgin Islander coat of arms centered in the outer half of the flag; the coat of arms depicts a woman flanked on either side by a vertical column of six oil lamps above a scroll bearing the Latin word VIGILATE (Be Watchful)

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Source: The CIA World Fact Book 2003

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