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Montserrat: Government#

Country nameconventional long form: none
conventional short form: Montserrat
etymology: island named by explorer Christopher COLUMBUS in 1493 after the Benedictine abbey Santa Maria de Montserrat, near Barcelona, Spain
Dependency statusoverseas territory of the UK
Government typeparliamentary democracy (Legislative Council); self-governing overseas territory of the UK
CapitalPlymouth; note - Plymouth was abandoned in 1997 because of volcanic activity; interim government buildings have been built at Brades Estate in the Carr's Bay/Little Bay vicinity at the northwest end of Montserrat Plymouth, note - Plymouth was abandoned in 1997 because of volcanic activity, ...
geographic coordinates: 16 42 N, 62 13 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions3 parishes; Saint Anthony, Saint Georges, Saint Peter
Independencenone (overseas territory of the UK)
National holidaybirthday of Queen ELIZABETH II, second Saturday in June (1926)
Constitutionprevious 1960; latest effective 1 September 2010; amended 2011 (2016)
Legal systemEnglish common law
Citizenshipsee United Kingdom
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor Elizabeth CARRIERE (since 5 August 2015)
head of government: Premier Donaldson ROMERO (since 12 September 2014); note - effective with the new Constitution Order of October 2010, the office of premier replaced the office of chief minister
cabinet: Executive Council consists of the governor, the premier, 3 other ministers, the attorney general, and the finance secretary
elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; governor appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party usually becomes premier
Legislative branchdescription: unicameral Legislative Council (11 seats; 9 members directly elected in a single constituency by absolute majority vote in two rounds to serve 5-year terms and 2 ex-officio members - the attorney general and financial secretary)
elections: last held on 11 September 2014 (next to be held by 2019)
election results: percent of vote by party - PDM 50%, MCAP 35.4%, other 14.6%; seats by party - PDM 7, MCAP 2
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 to include Montserrat; the ECSC - with its headquarters on St. Lucia - is headed by the chief justice and is 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 9 member states; 1 judge of the Supreme Court is a resident of Montserrat and presides over the High Court; note - Montserrat 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, and 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: magistrate's court
Political parties and leadersMovement for Change and Prosperity or MCAP (Reuben MEADE)
People's Democratic Movement or PDM (Shirley OSBORNE)
Political pressure groups and leadersNA
International organization participationCaricom, CDB, Interpol (subbureau), OECS, UPU
Diplomatic representation in the USnone (overseas territory of the UK)
Diplomatic representation from the USnone (overseas territory of the UK)
Flag descriptionblue with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant and the Montserratian coat of arms centered in the outer half of the flag; the arms feature a woman in green dress, Erin, the female personification of Ireland, standing beside a yellow harp and embracing a large dark cross with her right arm; Erin and the harp are symbols of Ireland reflecting the territory's Irish ancestry; blue represents awareness, trustworthiness, determination, and righteousness
National anthem
note: as a territory of the UK, "God Save the Queen" is official (see United Kingdom)