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British Virgin Islands:
Government

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British Virgin Islands Page


Other pages in this profile of the British Virgin Islands:
Geography, People, Economy, Communications & Transportation, Military & Transnational Issues.
Country name
Definition
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: British Virgin Islands
abbreviation: BVI
Dependency status
Definition
overseas territory of the UK; internal self-governing
Government type
Definition
NA
Capital
Definition
name: Road Town
geographic coordinates: 18 27 N, 64 37 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions
Definition
none (overseas territory of the UK)
Independence
Definition
none (overseas territory of the UK)
National holiday
Definition
Territory Day, 1 July (1956)
Constitution
Definition
13 June 2007
Legal system
Definition
English law
Suffrage
Definition
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch
Definition
chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor David PEAREY (since 18 April 2006)
head of government: Premier Ralph T. O'NEAL (since 23 August 2007)
cabinet: Executive Council appointed by the governor from members of the House of Assembly
elections: 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 premier by the governor
Legislative branch
Definition
unicameral House of Assembly (13 elected seats and 1 non-voting ex officio member in the attorney general; members are elected by direct popular vote, 1 member from each of nine electoral districts, 4 at-large members; members serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 20 August 2007 (next to be held in 2011)
election results: percent of vote by party - VIP 45.2%, NDP 39.6%, independent 15.2%; seats by party - VIP 10, NDP 2, independent 1
Judicial branch
Definition
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
Definition
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
Definition
The Family Support Network; The Women's Desk
other: environmentalists
International organization participation
Definition
Caricom (associate), CDB, Interpol (subbureau), IOC, OECS, UNESCO (associate), UPU
Diplomatic representation in the US
Definition
none (overseas territory of the UK)
Diplomatic representation from the US
Definition
none (overseas territory of the UK)
Flag description
Definition
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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