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Aruba: Government#

Country nameconventional long form: none
conventional short form: Aruba
CapitalOranjestad Oranjestad
geographic coordinates: 12 31 N, 70 02 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Dependency statusconstituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands; full autonomy in internal affairs obtained in 1986 upon separation from the Netherlands Antilles; Dutch Government responsible for defense and foreign affairs
Administrative divisionsnone (part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
Constitutionprevious 1947, 1955; latest drafted and approved August 1985, enacted 1 January 1986 (regulates governance of Aruba, but is subordinate to the Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands); note - in October 2010, following dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles, Aruba became a constituent country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands (2013)
Executive branchchief of state: King WILLEM-ALEXANDER of the Netherlands (since 30 April 2013); represented by Governor General Fredis REFUNJOL (since 11 May 2004)
head of government: Prime Minister Michiel "Mike" Godfried EMAN (since 30 October 2009)
cabinet: Council of Ministers elected by the Staten
elections: the monarchy is hereditary; governor general appointed for a six-year term by the monarch; prime minister and deputy prime minister elected by the Staten for four-year terms; election last held on 25 September 2009 (next to be held by September 2013)
election results: Michiel "Mike" Godfried EMAN elected prime minister; percent of legislative vote - NA
Flag descriptionblue, with two narrow, horizontal, yellow stripes across the lower portion and a red, four-pointed star outlined in white in the upper hoist-side corner; the star represents Aruba and its red soil and white beaches, its four points the four major languages (Papiamento, Dutch, Spanish, English) as well as the four points of a compass, to indicate that its inhabitants come from all over the world; the blue symbolizes Caribbean waters and skies; the stripes represent the island's two main "industries": the flow of tourists to the sun-drenched beaches and the flow of minerals from the earth
Independencenone (part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Joint Court of Justice of Aruba, Curacao, Sint Maarten, and of Bonaire, Sint Eustatitus and Saba or "Joint Court of Justice" (consists of the presiding judge, NA members, and NA substitutes); final appeals heard by the Supreme Court, in The Hague, Netherlands
note - prior to 2010, the Joint Court of Justice was the Common Court of Justice of the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba
judge selection and term of office: Joint Court judges appointed by the monarch for life
subordinate courts: Courts in First Instance
Legal systemcivil law system based on the Dutch civil code
Legislative branchunicameral Legislature or Staten (21 seats; members elected by direct popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held on 27 September 2013 (next to be held in 2017)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - AVP 13, MEP 8
International organization participationCaricom (observer), FATF, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, ITUC (NGOs), UNESCO (associate), UNWTO (associate), UPU
National holidayFlag Day, 18 March (1976)
Political pressure groups and leadersother: environmental groups
Political parties and leadersAliansa/Aruban Social Movement or MSA (Robert WEVER)
Aruban Liberal Organization or OLA (Glenbert CROES)
Aruban Patriotic Movement or MPA (Monica ARENDS-KOCK)
Aruban Patriotic Party or PPA (Benny NISBET)
Aruban People's Party or AVP (Michiel "Mike" EMAN)
People's Electoral Movement Party or MEP (Nelson O. ODUBER)
Real Democracy or PDR (Andin BIKKER)
RED (Rudy LAMPE)
Workers Political Platform or PTT (Gregorio WOLFF)
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Government typeparliamentary democracy
Diplomatic representation in the USnone (represented by the Kingdom of the Netherlands); note - Mr. Henry BAARH, Minister Plenipotentiary for Aruba at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
National anthemname: "Aruba Deshi Tera" (Aruba Precious Country)
lyrics/music: Juan Chabaya 'Padu' LAMPE/Rufo Inocencio WEVER
note: local anthem adopted 1986; as part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, "Het Wilhelmus" is official (see Netherlands)
Diplomatic representation from the USthe US does not have an embassy in Aruba; the Consul General to Curacao, currently Consul General Valerie BELON, is accredited to Aruba