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Jamaica Government
Capital:
Kingston
Country name:
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Jamaica
Government type:
constitutional parliamentary democracy
Administrative divisions:
14 parishes; Clarendon, Hanover, Kingston, Manchester, Portland, Saint Andrew, Saint Ann, Saint Catherine, Saint Elizabeth, Saint James, Saint Mary, Saint Thomas, Trelawny, Westmoreland
note: for local government purposes, Kingston and Saint Andrew were amalgamated in 1923 into the present single corporate body known as the Kingston and Saint Andrew Corporation
Independence:
6 August 1962 (from UK)
National holiday:
Independence Day, first Monday in August (1962)
Constitution:
6 August 1962
Legal system:
based on English common law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor General Sir Howard Felix COOKE (since 1 August 1991)
head of government: Prime Minister Percival James PATTERSON (since 30 March 1992)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister
elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch on the recommendation of the prime minister; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition in the House of Representatives is appointed prime minister by the governor general; the deputy prime minister is recommended by the prime minister
Legislative branch:
bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (a 21-member body appointed by the governor general on the recommendations of the prime minister and the leader of the opposition; ruling party is allocated 13 seats, and the opposition is allocated eight seats) and the House of Representatives (60 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 16 October 2002 (next to be held in October 2007)
election results: percent of vote by party - PNP 52%, JLP 47.3%; seats by party - PNP 34, JLP 26
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court (judges appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister); Court of Appeal
Political pressure groups and leaders:
New Beginnings Movement or NBM; Rastafarians (black religious/racial cultists, pan-Africanists)
International organization participation:
ACP, C, Caricom, CDB, FAO, G-15, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt (signatory), ICFTU, ICRM, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO, ITU, LAES, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Gordon SHIRLEY
consulate(s) general: Miami and New York
FAX: [1] (202) 452-0081
telephone: [1] (202) 452-0660
chancery: 1520 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Sue McCourt COBB
embassy: Jamaica Mutual Life Center, 2 Oxford Road, 3rd floor, Kingston 5
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: [1] (876) 929-4850 through 4859
FAX: [1] (876) 935-6001
Flag description:
diagonal yellow cross divides the flag into four triangles - green (top and bottom) and black (hoist side and outer side)
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