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St Maarten Government
 
 
 

General

The government of St Maarten, a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, is formed by the monarch, represented by the governor and the ministers. The prime minister presides the council of ministers. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and parliament. The minister plenipotentiary is not part of the government and represents the St Maarten government in the Netherlands. The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature.

The country is a parliamentary representative democratic country with a multi-party system. St Maarten has full autonomy on most matters, with the exceptions summed up in the Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands under the title "Kingdom Affairs". The Constitution of St Maarten was ratified in September 2010, and entered into force on 10 October 2010.

Executive power rests with a governor, and a prime minister heads a Cabinet. The governor of St Maarten is appointed for a six-year term by the monarch, and the prime minister and deputy prime minister are elected by the Staten (legislature) for four-year terms.

Legislative power is shared by the government and the legislature. The Staten is made up of 21 members elected by direct, popular vote to serve four-year terms.

St Maarten's judicial system, which has mainly been derived from the Dutch system, operates independently of the legislature and the executive. Jurisdiction, including appeal, lies with the Common Court of Justice of Aruba, Curaçao, St Maarten, and of Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba and the Supreme Court of Justice in the Netherlands.

Overview

Country name : Dutch long form: Land Sint Maarten
Dutch short form: Sint Maarten
English long form: Country of Sint Maarten
English short form: Sint Maarten
former: Netherlands Antilles; Curaçao and Dependencies
Dependency status : constituent country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands; full autonomy in internal affairs granted in 2010; Dutch Government responsible for defence and foreign affairs
Government type : parliamentary
Capital : name: Philipsburg
geographic coordinates: 18 1 N, 63 2 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions : none (part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
Independence : none (part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
National holiday : Queen's Day (Birthday of Queen-Mother JULIANA and accession to the throne of her oldest daughter BEATRIX), 30 April (1909 and 1980)
Constitution : Staatsregeling, 10 October 2010; revised Kingdom Charter pending
Legal system
: based on Dutch civil law system with some English common law influence
Suffrage : 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch
: chief of state: Queen BEATRIX of the Netherlands (since 30 April 1980); represented by Governor General Eugene HOLIDAY (since 10 October 2010)
head of government: Sarah WESCOTT-WILLIAMS (since 10 October 2010)
cabinet: Cabinet
elections: the monarch is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch for a six-year term; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party is usually elected prime minister by the legislature
Legislative branch

: unicameral parliament or Staten (15 seats; members elected by popular vote for four year term)
elections: last held 17 September 2010 (next to be held in 2014)
election results: percent of vote by party - National Alliance 45.9%, UPP 36.1%, Democratic Party 17.1%; seats by party - National Alliance 7, UPP 6, Democratic Party 2
Judicial branch : Common Court of Justice, Joint High Court of Justice (judges appointed by the monarch)
Political parties and leaders

: Democratic Party or DP [Sarah WESCOTT-WILLIAMS]; National Alliance or NA [William MARLIN]; United People's Party or UPP [Theodore HEYLIGER]; Concordia Political Alliance or CPA [Jeffery RICHARDSON]
Diplomatic representation in the US
: none (represented by the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
Diplomatic representation from the US : the US does not have an embassy in St Maarten; the Consul General to Curaçao is accredited to St Maarten
Flag description : two equal horizontal bands of red (top) and blue with a white isosceles triangle based on the hoist side; the centre of the triangle displays the St Maarten coat of arms; the arms consist of an orange-bordered blue shield prominently displaying the white court house in Philipsburg, as well as a bouquet of yellow sage (the national flower) in the upper left, and the silhouette of a Dutch-French friendship monument in the upper right; the shield is surmounted by a yellow rising sun in front of which is a Brown Pelican in flight; a yellow scroll below the shield bears the motto: SEMPER PROGREDIENS (Always Progressing); the three main colours are identical to those on the Dutch flag
note: the flag somewhat resembles that of the Philippines, but with the main red and blue bands reversed; the banner more closely evokes the wartime Philippine flag
National anthem : name: "O Sweet Saint Martin's Land"
lyrics/music: Gerard KEMPS
note: the song, written in 1958, is used as an unofficial anthem for the entire island (both French and Dutch sides); as a collectivity of France, in addition to the local anthem, "La Marseillaise" is official on the French side; as a constituent part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, in addition to the local anthem, "Het Wilhelmus" is official on the Dutch side
 

 
 

 



 


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