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Barbados: Government#

Country nameconventional long form: none
conventional short form: Barbados
CapitalBridgetown Bridgetown
geographic coordinates: 13 06 N, 59 37 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions11 parishes and 1 city*; Bridgetown*, Christ Church, Saint Andrew, Saint George, Saint James, Saint John, Saint Joseph, Saint Lucy, Saint Michael, Saint Peter, Saint Philip, Saint Thomas
Constitutionadopted 22 November 1966, effective 30 November 1966; amended several times, last in 2003 (2011)
Executive branchchief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Elliot BELGRAVE (since 1 June 2012)
head of government: Prime Minister Freundel STUART (since 23 October 2010)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister
elections: the monarchy is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the governor general; the prime minister recommends the deputy prime minister
Flag descriptionthree equal vertical bands of blue (hoist side), gold, and blue with the head of a black trident centered on the gold band; the band colors represent the blue of the sea and sky and the gold of the beaches; the trident head represents independence and a break with the past (the colonial coat of arms contained a complete trident)
Independence30 November 1966 (from the UK)
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of the High Court with 8 justices) and the Court of Appeal (consists of the chief Justice and president of the court and 4 justices
note - Barbados, a member of the Caribbean Court of Justice, replaced the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (in London) as the final court of appeal
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court chief justice appointed by the governor-general on the recommendation of the prime minister and opposition leader of Parliament; other justices appointed by the governor-general on the recommendation of the Judicial and Legal Service Commission, a 5-member independent body consisting of the Supreme Court chief justice, the commission head, and governor-general appointees recommended by the prime minister; justices serve until mandatory retirement at age 65
subordinate courts: Magistrates' Courts
Legal systemEnglish common law; no judicial review of legislative acts
Legislative branchbicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (21 seats; members appointed by the governor general - 12 on the advice of the Prime Minister, 2 on the advice of the opposition leader, and 7 at his discretion) and the House of Assembly (30 seats; members are elected by direct popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: House of Assembly - last held on 21 February 2013 (next to be called in 2018)
election results: House of Assembly - percent of vote by party - DLP 51.3%, BLP 48.3%, other 0.4%; seats by party - DLP 16, BLP 14
International organization participationACP, AOSIS, C, Caricom, CDB, CELAC, FAO, G-77, IADB, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAES, MIGA, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
National holidayIndependence Day, 30 November (1966)
Political pressure groups and leadersBarbados Secondary Teachers' Union or BSTU (Mary REDMAN)
Barbados Union of Teachers or BUT (Karen BEST)
Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations of Barbados or CTUSAB, (includes the BWU, NUPW, BUT, and BSTU) (Leroy TROTMAN)
Barbados Workers Union or BWU (Linda BROOKS)
Clement Payne Labor Union (David COMISSIONG)
National Union of Public Workers (Walter MALONEY)
Political parties and leadersBarbados Labor Party or BLP (Owen ARTHUR)
Democratic Labor Party or DLP (Freundel STUART)
People's Empowerment Party or PEP (David COMISSIONG)
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Government typeparliamentary democracy and a Commonwealth realm
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador John E. BEALE (since 29 January 2009)
chancery: 2144 Wyoming Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: (1) (202) 939-9200
FAX: (1) (202) 332-7467
consulate(s) general: Miami, New York
consulate(s): Los Angeles
National anthemname: "The National Anthem of Barbados"
lyrics/music: Irving BURGIE/C. Van Roland EDWARDS
note: adopted 1966; the anthem is also known as "In Plenty and In Time of Need"
International law organization participationaccepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
National symbol(s)Neptune's trident
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador Larry L. PALMER (since 9 May 2012); note - also accredited to Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
embassy: U.S. Embassy, Wildey Business Park, Wildey, St. Michael BB 14006
mailing address: P. O. Box 302, Bridgetown BB 11000; (Department Name) Unit 3120, DPO AA 34055
telephone: (1) (246) 227-4000
FAX: (1) (246) 431-0179