Flag of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Government Profile 2017

Home > Factbook > Countries > Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Country nameconventional long form: none
conventional short form: Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
etymology: Saint Vincent was named by explorer Christopher COLUMBUS after Saint VINCENT of Saragossa because the 22 January 1498 day of discovery was the saint's feast day
Government typeparliamentary democracy (House of Assembly) under a constitutional monarchy; a Commonwealth realm
Capitalname: Kingstown
geographic coordinates: 13 08 N, 61 13 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions6 parishes; Charlotte, Grenadines, Saint Andrew, Saint David, Saint George, Saint Patrick
Independence27 October 1979 (from the UK)
National holidayIndependence Day, 27 October (1979)
Constitutionseveral previous; latest passed by the House of Assembly 3 September 2009 (The Saint Vincent and The Grenadines Constitution Act, 2009) (2016)
Legal systemEnglish common law
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: yes
citizenship by descent: at least one parent must be a citizen of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: 7 years
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Sir Fredrick Nathaniel BALLANTYNE (since 2 September 2002)
head of government: Prime Minister Ralph E. GONSALVES (since 29 March 2001)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister
elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party usually appointed prime minister by the governor general; deputy prime minister appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister
Legislative branchdescription: unicameral House of Assembly (21 seats; 15 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and 6 appointed by the governor general; members serve 5-year terms)
elections: last held on 9 December 2015 (next to be held in 2020)
election results: percent of vote by party - ULP 52.3%, NDP 47.4%, other 0.3%; seats by party - ULP 8, NDP 7
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 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; the ECSC - with its headquarters on Saint 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 member states; 2 High Court judges reside on Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; note - Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is 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, an 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: magistrates' courts
Political parties and leadersDemocratic Republican Party or DRP [Anesia BAPTISTE]
New Democratic Party or NDP [Arnhim EUSTACE]
Unity Labor Party or ULP [Ralph GONSALVES] (formed by the coalition of Saint Vincent Labor Party or SVLP and the Movement for National Unity or MNU)
SVG Green Party or SVGP [Ivan O'NEAL]
Political pressure groups and leadersNA
International organization participationACP, AOSIS, C, Caricom, CDB, CELAC, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (subscriber), ITU, MIGA, NAM, OAS, OECS, OPANAL, OPCW, Petrocaribe, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Ad interim Omari WILLIAMS
chancery: 3216 New Mexico Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016
telephone: [1] (202) 364-6730
FAX: [1] (202) 364-6736
consulate(s) general: New York
Diplomatic representation from the USthe US does not have an embassy in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; the US Ambassador to Barbados is accredited to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Flag descriptionthree vertical bands of blue (hoist side), gold (double width), and green; the gold band bears three green diamonds arranged in a V pattern, which stands for Vincent; the diamonds recall the islands as "the Gems of the Antilles" and are set slightly lowered in the gold band to reflect the nation's position in the Antilles; blue conveys the colors of a tropical sky and crystal waters, yellow signifies the golden Grenadine sands, and green represents lush vegetation
National symbol(s)Saint Vincent parrot; national colors: blue, gold, green
National anthemname: "St. Vincent! Land So Beautiful!"
lyrics/music: Phyllis Joyce MCCLEAN PUNNETT/Joel Bertram MIGUEL
note: adopted 1967

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on July 9, 2017