Saint Helena Government Profile 2009

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Country name

conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Saint Helena

Dependency status

overseas territory of the UK

Government type



name: Jamestown
geographic coordinates: 15 56 S, 5 44 W
time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions

1 administrative area and 2 dependencies*; Ascension*, Saint Helena, Tristan da Cunha*


(overseas territory of the UK)


none (overseas territory of the UK)

National holiday

Birthday of Queen ELIZABETH II, second Saturday in June (1926)


1 January 1989

Legal system

English common law and statutes supplemented by local statutes



Executive branch

chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952)
head of government: Governor and Commander in Chief Andrew GURR (since 11 November 2007)
cabinet: Executive Council consists of the governor, 3 ex-officio officers, and 5 elected members of the Legislative Council
elections: the monarch is hereditary; governor is appointed by the monarch

Legislative branch

unicameral Legislative Council (16 seats, including the speaker, three ex officio and 12 elected members; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 31 August 2005 (next to be held in November 2009)
election results: percent of vote - NA; seats - independents 12

Judicial branch

Magistrate's Court; Supreme Court; Court of Appeal

Political parties and leaders


Political pressure groups and leaders

other: private sector; unions

International organization participation


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 Saint Helenian shield centered on the outer half of the flag; the shield features a rocky coastline and three-masted sailing ship


All, APLAA, Sub-Saharan Africa, Africa

Source: CIA World Factbook
Unless otherwise noted, information in this page is accurate as of December 18, 2008