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British Virgin Islands (overseas territory of the UK) Government

    Country name:
    conventional long form: none
    conventional short form: British Virgin Islands
    abbreviation: BVI

    Data code: VI

    Dependency status: overseas territory of the UK

    Government type: NA

    Capital: Road Town

    Administrative divisions: none (overseas territory of the UK)

    Independence: none (overseas territory of the UK)

    National holiday: Territory Day, 1 July

    Constitution: 1 June 1977

    Legal system: English law

    Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

    Executive branch:
    chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor David MACKILLIGIN (since NA June 1995)
    head of government: Chief Minister Ralph T. O'NEAL (since 15 May 1995; appointed after the death of former Chief Minister H. Lavity STOUTT)
    cabinet: Executive Council appointed by the governor from members of the Legislative Council
    elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; governor appointed by the monarch; chief minister appointed by the governor from among the members of the Legislative Council

    Legislative branch: unicameral Legislative Council (13 seats; members are elected by direct popular vote, one member from each of 9 electoral districts, four at-large members; members serve five-year terms)
    elections: last held 20 February 1995 (next to be held NA February 2000)
    election results: percent of vote by party—NA; seats by party—VIP 6, CCM 2, UP 2, independents 3

    Judicial branch: Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, consisting of the High Court of Justice and the Court of Appeal; (one judge of the Supreme Court is a resident of the islands and presides over the High Court); Magistrate's Court; Juvenile Court; Court of Summary Jurisdiction

    Political parties and leaders: United Party or UP [Conrad MADURO]; Virgin Islands Party or VIP [Ralph T. O'NEAL]; Concerned Citizens Movement or CCM [E. Walwyn BREWLEY]; Independent People's Movement or IPM [Omar HODGE and Allen O'NEAL]

    International organization participation: Caricom (associate), CDB, ECLAC (associate), Interpol (subbureau), IOC, OECS (associate), UNESCO (associate)

    Diplomatic representation in the US: none (overseas territory of the UK)

    Diplomatic representation from the US: none (overseas territory of the UK)

    Flag description: blue, with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant and the Virgin Islander coat of arms centered in the outer half of the flag; the coat of arms depicts a woman flanked on either side by a vertical column of six oil lamps above a scroll bearing the Latin word VIGILATE (Be Watchful)

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)