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Puerto Rico Government Profile 2014

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Country nameconventional long form: Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
conventional short form: Puerto Rico
Dependency statusunincorporated, organized territory of the US with commonwealth status; policy relations between Puerto Rico and the US conducted under the jurisdiction of the Office of the President
Government typecommonwealth
Capitalname: San Juan
geographic coordinates: 18 28 N, 66 07 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisionsnone (territory of the US with commonwealth status); there are no first-order administrative divisions as defined by the US Government, but there are 78 municipalities (municipios, singular - municipio) at the second order; Adjuntas, Aguada, Aguadilla, Aguas Buenas, Aibonito, Anasco, Arecibo, Arroyo, Barceloneta, Barranquitas, Bayamon, Cabo Rojo, Caguas, Camuy, Canovanas, Carolina, Catano, Cayey, Ceiba, Ciales, Cidra, Coamo, Comerio, Corozal, Culebra, Dorado, Fajardo, Florida, Guanica, Guayama, Guayanilla, Guaynabo, Gurabo, Hatillo, Hormigueros, Humacao, Isabela, Jayuya, Juana Diaz, Juncos, Lajas, Lares, Las Marias, Las Piedras, Loiza, Luquillo, Manati, Maricao, Maunabo, Mayaguez, Moca, Morovis, Naguabo, Naranjito, Orocovis, Patillas, Penuelas, Ponce, Quebradillas, Rincon, Rio Grande, Sabana Grande, Salinas, San German, San Juan, San Lorenzo, San Sebastian, Santa Isabel, Toa Alta, Toa Baja, Trujillo Alto, Utuado, Vega Alta, Vega Baja, Vieques, Villalba, Yabucoa, Yauco
Affiliation(territory of the US with commonwealth status)
Independencenone (territory of the US with commonwealth status)
National holidayUS Independence Day, 4 July (1776); Puerto Rico Constitution Day, 25 July (1952)
Constitutionprevious 1900 (Organic Act, or Foraker Act); latest ratified 3 March 1952, approved 3 July 1952, effective 25 July 1952; note - constitutional amendments introduced in 2012 were rejected in a referendum (2013)
Legal systemcivil law system based on the Spanish civil code and within the framework of the US federal system
Suffrage18 years of age; universal; note - island residents are US citizens but do not vote in US presidential elections
Executive branchchief of state: President Barack H. OBAMA (since 20 January 2009); Vice President Joseph R. BIDEN (since 20 January 2009)
head of government: Governor Alejandro GARCIA Padilla (since 2 January 2013)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor with the consent of the legislature
elections: under the US Constitution, residents of unincorporated territories, such as Puerto Rico, do not vote in elections for US president and vice president; however, they may vote in Democratic and Republican party presidential primary elections; governor elected by popular vote for a four-year term (no term limits); election last held on 6 November 2012 (next to be held in November 2016)
election results: Alejandro GARCIA Padilla elected governor with 48.2% of the vote
Legislative branchbicameral Legislative Assembly consists of the Senate (at least 27 seats; members directly elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms) and the House of Representatives (51 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held on 6 November 2012 (next to be held in November 2016); House of Representatives - last held on 6 November 2012 (next to be held in November 2016)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PPD 18, PNP 8, PIP 1; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PPD 28, PNP 23
note: Puerto Rico elects, by popular vote, a resident commissioner to serve a four-year term as a nonvoting representative in the US House of Representatives; aside from not voting on the House floor, he enjoys all the rights of a member of Congress; elections last held 6 November 2012 (next to be held in November 2016); results - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PNP 1
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of the chief justice and 8 associate justices)
judge selection and term of office: justices appointed by the governor and confirmed by majority Senate vote; judges serve until compulsory retirement at age 70
subordinate courts: Court of Appeals; First Instance Court comprised of superior and municipal courts
note: the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico Judiciary Act of 2003 reformed the judicial system
Political parties and leadersNational Democratic Party [Roberto PRATS]
National Republican Party of Puerto Rico [Dr. Tiody FERRE]
New Progressive Party or PNP [Pedro ROSSELLO] (pro-US statehood)
Popular Democratic Party or PPD [Anibal ACEVEDO-VILA] (pro-commonwealth)
Puerto Rican Independence Party or PIP [Ruben BERRIOS Martinez] (pro-independence)
Political pressure groups and leadersBoricua Popular Army or EPB (a revolutionary group also known as Los Macheteros)

note: the following radical groups are considered dormant by Federal law enforcement: Armed Forces for National Liberation or FALN, Armed Forces of Popular Resistance, Volunteers of the Puerto Rican Revolution
International organization participationCaricom (observer), Interpol (subbureau), IOC, UNWTO (associate), UPU
Diplomatic representation in the USnone (territory of the US)
Diplomatic representation from the USnone (territory of the US with commonwealth status)
Flag descriptionfive equal horizontal bands of red (top and bottom) alternating with white; a blue isosceles triangle based on the hoist side bears a large, white, five-pointed star in the center; the white star symbolizes Puerto Rico; the three sides of the triangle signify the executive, legislative and judicial parts of the government; blue stands for the sky and the coastal waters; red symbolizes the blood shed by warriors, while white represents liberty, victory, and peace
note: design initially influenced by the US flag, but similar to the Cuban flag, with the colors of the bands and triangle reversed
National anthemname: "La Borinquena" (The Puerto Rican)
lyrics/music: Manuel Fernandez JUNCOS/Felix Astol ARTES
note: music adopted 1952, lyrics adopted 1977; the local anthem's name is a reference to the indigenous name of the island, Borinquen; the music was originally composed as a dance in 1867 and gained popularity in the early 20th century; there is some evidence that the music was written by Francisco RAMIREZ; as a commonwealth of the United States, "The Star-Spangled Banner" is official (see United States)

Source: CIA World Factbook
Unless otherwise noted, information in this page is accurate as of August 23, 2014