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Montserrat Government
Capital:
Plymouth (abandoned in 1997 due to volcanic activity; interim government buildings have been built at Brades Estate, in the Carr's Bay/Little Bay vicinity at the northwest end of Montserrat)
Country name:
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Montserrat
Dependency status:
overseas territory of the UK
Government type:
NA
Administrative divisions:
3 parishes; Saint Anthony, Saint Georges, Saint Peter
Independence:
none (overseas territory of the UK)
National holiday:
Birthday of Queen ELIZABETH II, second Saturday in June (1926)
Constitution:
present constitution came into force 19 December 1989
Legal system:
English common law and statutory law
Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Acting Governor Sir Howard A. FERGUS (since 2 April 2004)
elections: the monarch is hereditary; governor appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party usually becomes chief minister
head of government: Chief Minister John OSBORNE (since 5 April 2001)
cabinet: Executive Council consists of the governor, the chief minister, three other ministers, the attorney general, and the finance secretary
Legislative branch:
unicameral Legislative Council (11 seats, 9 popularly elected; members serve five-year terms)
note: expanded in 2001 from 7 to 9 elected members with attorney general and financial secretary sitting as ex-officio members
elections: last held April 2001 (next to be held by November 2006)
note: in 2001, the Elections Commission instituted a single constituency/voter-at-large system whereby all eligible voters cast ballots for all nine seats of the Legislative Council
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NPLM 7, NPP 2
Judicial branch:
Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (based in Saint Lucia, one judge of the Supreme Court is a resident of the islands and presides over the High Court)
Political parties and leaders:
National Progressive Party or NPP [Reuben T. MEADE]; New People's Liberation Movement or NPLM [John A. OSBORNE]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
NA
International organization participation:
Caricom, CDB, ICFTU, Interpol (subbureau), OECS
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 montserratian coat of arms centered in the outer half of the flag; the coat of arms features a woman standing beside a yellow harp with her arm around a black cross
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