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Saint Kitts and Nevis: Government#

Country nameconventional long form: Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis
conventional short form: Saint Kitts and Nevis
former: Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis
etymology: Saint Kitts was, and still is, referred to as Saint Christopher and this name was well established by the 17th century (although who first applied the name is unclear); in the 17th century a common nickname for Christopher was Kit or Kitt, so the island began to be referred to as "Saint Kitt's Island" or just "Saint Kitts"; Nevis is derived from the original Spanish name "Nuestra Senora de las Nieves" (Our Lady of the Snows) and refers to the white halo of clouds that generally wreathes Nevis Peak
Government typefederal parliamentary democracy (National Assembly) under a constitutional monarchy; a Commonwealth realm
CapitalBasseterre Basseterre
geographic coordinates: 17 18 N, 62 43 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions14 parishes; Christ Church Nichola Town, Saint Anne Sandy Point, Saint George Basseterre, Saint George Gingerland, Saint James Windward, Saint John Capesterre, Saint John Figtree, Saint Mary Cayon, Saint Paul Capesterre, Saint Paul Charlestown, Saint Peter Basseterre, Saint Thomas Lowland, Saint Thomas Middle Island, Trinity Palmetto Point
Independence19 September 1983 (from the UK)
National holidayIndependence Day, 19 September (1983)
Constitutionseveral previous (preindependence); latest presented 22 June 1983, effective 23 June 1983 (2016)
Legal systemEnglish common law
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: yes
citizenship by descent: yes
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: 14 years
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Samuel W.T. SEATON (since 2 September 2015); note - SEATON was acting Governor General from 20 May to 2 September 2015
head of government: Prime Minister Timothy HARRIS (since 18 February 2015); Deputy Prime Minister Shawn RICHARDS (since 22 February 2015)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by governor general in consultation with prime minister
elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition usually appointed prime minister by governor general; deputy prime minister appointed by governor general
Legislative branchdescription: unicameral National Assembly (14 seats; 11 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and 3 appointed by the governor general; members serve 5-year terms)
elections: last held on 16 February 2015 (next to be held by 2020)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PAM 4, SKNLP 3, CCM 2, PLP 1, NRP 1
Judicial branchhighest court(s): the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC) is the itinerant superior court of record for the 9-member Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, which includes Saint Kitts and Nevis; the ECSC - with its headquarters on St. Lucia - is headed by the chief justice and comprised of the Court of Appeal with 3 justices and the High Court with 16 judges; sittings of the Court of Appeal and High Court rotate among the member states; 2 High Court judges reside on Saint Kitts and Nevis; note - the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court in 2003 replaced the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (in London) as the final court of appeal on Saint Kitts and Nevis; Saint Kitts and Nevis is also a member of the Caribbean Court of Justice
judge selection and term of office: chief justice of Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court appointed by the Her Majesty, Queen ELIZABETH II; other justices and judges appointed by the Judicial and Legal Services Commission, an independent body of judicial officials; Court of Appeal justices appointed for life with mandatory retirement at age 65; High Court judges appointed for life with mandatory retirement at age 62
subordinate courts: magistrates' courts
Political parties and leadersConcerned Citizens Movement or CCM (Vance AMORY)
Nevis Reformation Party or NRP (Joseph PARRY)
People's Action Movement or PAM (Shawn RICHARDS)
People's Labour Party or PLP (Timothy HARRIS)
Saint Kitts and Nevis Labor Party or SKNLP (Dr. Denzil DOUGLAS)
Political pressure groups and leadersNA
International organization participationACP, AOSIS, C, Caricom, CDB, CELAC, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ITU, MIGA, OAS, OECS, OPANAL, OPCW, Petrocaribe, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Thelma Patricia PHILLIP-BROWNE (since 28 January 2016)
chancery: 3216 New Mexico Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016
telephone: (1) (202) 686-2636
FAX: (1) (202) 686-5740
consulate(s) general: Los Angeles, New York
Diplomatic representation from the USthe US does not have an embassy in Saint Kitts and Nevis; the US Ambassador to Barbados is accredited to Saint Kitts and Nevis
Flag descriptiondivided diagonally from the lower hoist side by a broad black band bearing two white, five-pointed stars; the black band is edged in yellow; the upper triangle is green, the lower triangle is red; green signifies the island's fertility, red symbolizes the struggles of the people from slavery, yellow denotes year-round sunshine, and black represents the African heritage of the people; the white stars stand for the islands of Saint Kitts and Nevis, but can also express hope and liberty, or independence and optimism
National symbol(s)brown pelican, Royal Poinciana (Flamboyant) tree; national colors: green, yellow, red, black, white
National anthemname: "Oh Land of Beauty!"
lyrics/music: Kenrick Anderson GEORGES

note: adopted 1983