Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha Government 2014

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Page last updated on January 7, 2014

Country name:
conventional long form: Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha
conventional short form: none

Dependency status:
overseas territory of the UK

Government type:

name: Jamestown
geographic coordinates: 15 56 S, 5 43 W
time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions:
3 administrative areas; Ascension, Saint Helena, Tristan da Cunha

none (overseas territory of the UK)

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

several previous; latest effective 1 September 2009 (The St. Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Constitution Order 2009) (2013)

Legal system:
English common law and local statutes

18 years of age
[see also: Suffrage country ranks ]

Executive branch:
chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952)
head of government: Governor Mark CAPES (since 29 October 2011)
note: the constitution order provides for an administrator for Ascension and Tristan da Cunha appointed by the governor
Administrator Ascension Island: Colin WELLS (since 27 October 2011)
Administrator Tristan da Cunha: Alex MITHAM (since 23 September 2013)
cabinet: Executive Council consists of the governor, 3 ex-officio officers, and 5 elected members of the Legislative Council
elections: none; the monarchy is hereditary; governor appointed by the monarch

Legislative branch:
unicameral Legislative Council (17 seats, including a speaker and deputy speaker, 12 elected, and three ex-officio members; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
note: the Constitution Order provides for separate Island Councils for both Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
elections: last held on 4 November 2009 (next to be held in November 2013)
election results: percent of vote - NA; seats - independents 12

Judicial branch:
highest court(s): Court of Appeal (consists of the court president and 2 justices); Supreme Court (consists of the chief justice - a non-resident - and NA judges)

note - appeals beyond the Court of Appeal are heard by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (in London)
judge selection and term of office: court judges' appointments and tenures NA
subordinate courts: Magistrate's Court; Small Claims Court; Juvenile Court

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 upper third of the shield depicts a white plover (wire bird) on a yellow field; the remainder of the shield depicts a rocky coastline on the left, offshore is a three-masted sailing ship with sails furled but flying an English flag

National symbol(s):
Saint Helena plover (bird)

National anthem:
note: as a territory of the UK, "God Save the Queen" is official (see United Kingdom)

NOTE: The information regarding Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha on this page is re-published from the 2014 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha Government 2014 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha Government 2014 should be addressed to the CIA.

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This page was last modified 14-Feb-14
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