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Aruba: Government#

Country nameconventional long form: none
conventional short form: Aruba
etymology: the origin of the island's name is unclear; according to tradition, the name comes from the Spanish phrase "oro huba" (there was gold), but in fact no gold was ever found on the island; another possibility is the native word "oruba," which means "well situated"
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
Government typeparliamentary democracy (Legislature); part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
CapitalOranjestad Oranjestad
geographic coordinates: 12 31 N, 70 02 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisionsnone (part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
note: Aruba is one of four constituent parts (countries) of the Kingdom of the Netherlands; the other three parts are the Netherlands, Curacao, and Sint Maarten
Independencenone (part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
National holidayFlag Day, 18 March (1976)
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 (2016)
Legal systemcivil law system based on the Dutch civil code
Citizenshipsee the Netherlands
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
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 Legislature (Staten)
elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch for a 6-year term; prime minister and deputy prime minister indirectly elected by the Staten for 4-year tern; election last held on 25 September 2009 (next to be held by September 2013)
election results: Michiel "Mike" Godfried EMAN (AVP) elected prime minister; percent of legislative vote - NA
Legislative branchdescription: unicameral Legislature or Staten (21 seats; members directly elected in a single nationwide constituency by proportional representation vote; members serve 4-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
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" (sits as a 3-judge panel); final appeals heard by the Supreme Court, in The Hague, Netherlands
judge selection and term of office: Joint Court judges appointed by the monarch for life
subordinate courts: Courts in First Instance
Political parties and leadersAruban People's Party or AVP (Michiel "Mike" EMAN)
People's Electoral Movement Party or MEP (Evelyn WEVER-CROES)
Real Democracy or PDR (Andin BIKKER)
Political pressure groups and leadersother: environmental groups
International organization participationCaricom (observer), FATF, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, ITUC (NGOs), UNESCO (associate), UNWTO (associate), UPU
Diplomatic representation in the USnone (represented by the Kingdom of the Netherlands); note - there is a Minister Plenipotentiary for Aruba at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
Diplomatic representation from the USthe US does not have an embassy in Aruba; the Consul General to Curacao is accredited to Aruba
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
National symbol(s)Hooiberg (Haystack) Hill; national colors: blue, yellow, red, white
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)