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Brunei: Government#

Country nameconventional long form: Brunei Darussalam
conventional short form: Brunei
local long form: Negara Brunei Darussalam
local short form: Brunei
CapitalBandar Seri Begawan Bandar Seri Begawan
geographic coordinates: 4 53 N, 114 56 E
time difference: UTC+8 (13 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions4 districts (daerah-daerah, singular - daerah); Belait, Brunei-Muara, Temburong, Tutong
Constitutiondrafted 1954 to 1959, signed 29 September 1959; amended 1984, 2004, 2011; note - some constitutional provisions suspended since 1962 under a State of Emergency, others since independence in 1984 (2011)
Executive branchchief of state: Sultan and Prime Minister Sir HASSANAL Bolkiah (since 5 October 1967); note - the monarch is both chief of state (Yang Di-Pertuan Agong) and head of government
head of government: Sultan and Prime Minister Sir HASSANAL Bolkiah (since 5 October 1967)
cabinet: Council of Cabinet Ministers appointed and presided over by the monarch; deals with executive matters; note - there is also a Religious Council (members appointed by the monarch) that advises on religious matters, a Privy Council (members appointed by the monarch) that deals with constitutional matters, and the Council of Succession (members appointed by the monarch) that determines the succession to the throne if the need arises
elections: none; the monarchy is hereditary
Flag descriptionyellow with two diagonal bands of white (top, almost double width) and black starting from the upper hoist side; the national emblem in red is superimposed at the center; yellow is the color of royalty and symbolizes the sultanate; the white and black bands denote Brunei's chief ministers; the emblem includes five main components: a swallow-tailed flag, the royal umbrella representing the monarchy, the wings of four feathers symbolizing justice, tranquility, prosperity, and peace, the two upraised hands signifying the government's pledge to preserve and promote the welfare of the people, and the crescent moon denoting Islam, the state religion; the state motto "Always render service with God's guidance" appears in yellow Arabic script on the crescent; a ribbon below the crescent reads "Brunei, the Abode of Peace"
Independence1 January 1984 (from the UK)
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of Court of Appeal and High Court, each with a chief justice and 2 judges); Sharia Court of Appeal (consists of judges appointed by the monarch)
note - Brunei has a dual judicial system of secular and sharia (religious) courts; the Judicial Committee of Privy Council in London serves as the final appellate court for civil cases only
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges appointed by the monarch to serve until age 65, and older if approved by the monarch; Sharia Court of Appeal judges appointed by the monarch; judge tenure NA
subordinate courts: Intermediate Court; Magistrate's Courts; Juvenile Court; small claims courts; lower sharia courts (2006)
Legal systemmixed legal system based on English common law and Islamic law; note - in May 2014, the first sharia-based penal codes were instituted and apply to Muslims and non-Muslims
Legislative branchthe Sultan appointed a Legislative Council with 29 members in September 2005; he increased the size of the council to 33 members in June 2011; the council meets annually in March
elections: last held in March 1962 (date of next election NA)
note: the Legislative Council met on 25 September 2004 for first time in 20 years with 21 members appointed by the Sultan; it passed constitutional amendments calling for a 45-seat council with 15 elected members; no timeframe for an election was announced
International organization participationADB, APEC, ARF, ASEAN, C, CP, EAS, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, NAM, OIC, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIFIL, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
National holidayNational Day, 23 February (1984); note - 1 January 1984 was the date of independence from the UK, 23 February 1984 was the date of independence from British protection
Political pressure groups and leadersNA
Political parties and leadersNational Development Party or NDP (YASSIN Affendi)
note: Brunei National Solidarity Party or PPKB (Abdul LATIF bin Chuchu) and People's Awareness Party or PAKAR (Awang Haji MAIDIN bin Haji Ahmad) were deregistered in 2007; parties are small and have limited activity
Suffrage18 years of age for village elections; universal
Government typeconstitutional sultanate (locally known as Malay Islamic Monarchy)
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Dato Yusoff Abd HAMID (since 2 October 2009)
chancery: 3520 International Court NW #300, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: (1) (202) 237-1838
FAX: (1) (202) 885-0560
National anthemname: "Allah Peliharakan Sultan" (God Bless His Majesty)
lyrics/music: Pengiran Haji Mohamed YUSUF bin Pengiran Abdul Rahim/Awang Haji BESAR bin Sagap
note: adopted 1951
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador Daniel L. SHIELDS III (since 28 March 2011)
embassy: Simpang 336-52-16-9, Jalan Datu, Bandar Seri Begawan, BC4115
mailing address: Unit 4280, Box 40, FPO AP 96507; P.O. Box 2991, Bandar Seri Begawan BS8675, Negara Brunei Darussalam
telephone: (673) 238-4616
FAX: (673) 238-4604