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Puerto Rico Government Profile 2016

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Country nameconventional long form: Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
conventional short form: Puerto Rico
etymology: Christopher COLUMBUS named the island San Juan Bautista (Saint John the Baptist) and the capital city and main port Cuidad de Puerto Rico (Rich Port City); over time, however, the names were shortened and transposed and the island came to be called Puerto Rico and its capital San Juan
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 typepresidential democracy; a self-governing commonwealth in political association with the US
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
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 (2016)
Legal systemcivil law system based on the Spanish civil code and within the framework of the US federal system
Citizenshipsee United States
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 governor with the consent of the Legislative Assembly
elections/appointments: president and vice president indirectly elected on the same ballot by an Electoral College of 'electors' chosen from each state; president and vice president serve a 4-year term (eligible for a second term); under the US Constitution, residents of 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 directly elected by simple majority popular vote for a 4-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; percent of vote - Alejandro GARCIA Padilla (Democratic Party) 48.2%, Luis FORTUNO (PNP) 47.1%, other 4.7%
Legislative branchdescription: bicameral Legislative Assembly or Asamblea Legislativa consists of the Senate or Senado (27 seats; 16 members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and 11 at-large members directly elected by simple majority vote to serve 4-year terms); the House of Representatives or Camara de Representantes (51 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 4-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held on 6 November 2012 (next to be held on 8 November 2016); House of Representatives - last held on 6 November 2012 (next to be held on 8 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 directly elects 1 member by simple majority vote to serve a 4-year term as a commissioner to the US House of Representatives; the commissioner can vote when serving on a committee and when the House meets as the Committee of the Whole House, but not when legislation is submitted for a “full floor” House vote; election of commissioner last held on 6 November 2012 (next to be held on 8 November 2016)
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
Political parties and leadersNational Democratic Party [Roberto PRATS]
National Republican Party of Puerto Rico [Carlos MENDEZ]
New Progressive Party or PNP [Pedro PIERLUISI] (pro-US statehood)
Popular Democratic Party or PPD [Alejandro Garcia PADILLA] (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)
International organization participationAOSIS (observer), Caricom (observer), Interpol (subbureau), IOC, UNWTO (associate), UPU, WFTU (NGOs)
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, center, 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 symbol(s)Puerto Rican spindalis (bird), coqui (frog); national colors: red, white, blue
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 US, "The Star-Spangled Banner" is official (see United States)

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on October 8, 2016