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Jamaica Government

    Country name:
    conventional long form: none
    conventional short form: Jamaica

    Data code: JM

    Government type: parliamentary democracy

    Capital: Kingston

    Administrative divisions: 14 parishes; Clarendon, Hanover, Kingston, Manchester, Portland, Saint Andrew, Saint Ann, Saint Catherine, Saint Elizabeth, Saint James, Saint Mary, Saint Thomas, Trelawny, Westmoreland

    Independence: 6 August 1962 (from UK)

    National holiday: Independence Day (first Monday in August) (1962)

    Constitution: 6 August 1962

    Legal system: based on English common law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

    Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

    Executive branch:
    chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor General Sir Howard Felix COOKE (since 1 August 1991)
    head of government: Prime Minister Percival James PATTERSON (since 30 March 1992) and Deputy Prime Minister Seymour MULLINGS (since NA 1993)
    cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister
    elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch on the recommendation of the prime minister; prime minister and deputy prime minister appointed by the governor general

    Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (a 21-member body appointed by the governor general on the recommendations of the prime minister and the leader of the opposition; ruling party 13 seats, opposition eight seats) and the House of Representatives (60 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
    elections: last held 18 December 1997 (next to be held by March 2002)
    election results: percent of vote by party—NA; seats by party—PNP 50, JLP 10

    Judicial branch: Supreme Court (judges appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister)

    Political parties and leaders: People's National Party or PNP [P. J. PATTERSON]; Jamaica Labor Party or JLP [Edward SEAGA]; National Democratic Movement or NDM [Bruce GOLDING]

    Political pressure groups and leaders: Rastafarians (black religious/racial cultists, pan-Africanists); New Beginnings Movement or NBM

    International organization participation: ACP, C, Caricom, CCC, CDB, ECLAC, FAO, G-15, G-19, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO (pending member), ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO, ITU, LAES, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

    Diplomatic representation in the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Richard Leighton BERNAL
    chancery: 1520 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036
    telephone: [1] (202) 452-0660
    FAX: [1] (202) 452-0081
    consulate(s) general: Miami and New York

    Diplomatic representation from the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Stanley Louis MCLELLAND
    embassy: Jamaica Mutual Life Center, 2 Oxford Road, 3rd floor, Kingston
    mailing address: use embassy street address
    telephone: [1] (809) 929-4850 through 4859
    FAX: [1] (809) 926-6743

    Flag description: diagonal yellow cross divides the flag into four triangles—green (top and bottom) and black (hoist side and outer side)

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