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Saint Vincent and The Grenadines Government - 2024


GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES  Spanish Simplified Chinese French German Russian Hindi Arabic Portuguese

Country name

conventional 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 type

parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy; a Commonwealth realm


name: Kingstown

geographic coordinates: 13 08 N, 61 13 W

time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

etymology: an earlier French settlement was renamed Kingstown by the British in 1763 when they assumed control of the island; the king referred to in the name is GEORGE III (r. 1760-1820)

Administrative divisions

6 parishes; Charlotte, Grenadines, Saint Andrew, Saint David, Saint George, Saint Patrick


27 October 1979 (from the UK)

National holiday

Independence Day, 27 October (1979)


history: previous 1969, 1975; latest drafted 26 July 1979, effective 27 October 1979 (The Saint Vincent Constitution Order 1979)

amendments: proposed by the House of Assembly; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote of the Assembly membership and assent of the governor general; passage of amendments to constitutional sections on fundamental rights and freedoms, citizen protections, various government functions and authorities, and constitutional amendment procedures requires approval by the Assembly membership, approval in a referendum of at least two thirds of the votes cast, and assent of the governor general

Legal system

English common law

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


citizenship by birth: yes

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

dual citizenship recognized: yes

residency requirement for naturalization: 7 years


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: King CHARLES III (since 8 September 2022); represented by Governor General Susan DOUGAN (since 1 August 2019)

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 branch

description: unicameral House of Assembly (23 seats; 15 representatives directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote, 6 senators appointed by the governor general, and 2 ex officio members - the speaker of the house and the attorney general; members serve 5-year terms)

elections: last held on 5 November 2020 (next to be held in 2025)

election results: percent of vote by party - ULP 49.58%, NDP 50.34%, other 0.8%; seats by party - ULP 9, NDP 6

Judicial branch

highest court(s): the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC) is the superior court of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States; the ECSC - headquartered on St. Lucia - consists of the Court of Appeal - headed by the chief justice and 4 judges - and the High Court with 18 judges; the Court of Appeal is itinerant, traveling to member states on a schedule to hear appeals from the High Court and subordinate courts; High Court judges reside in the member states, with 2 assigned to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; note - Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is also a member of the Caribbean Court of Justice

judge selection and term of office: chief justice of Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court appointed by 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 leaders

New Democratic Party or NDP [Dr. Godwin L. FRIDAY]
SVG Green Party or SVGP [Ivan O'NEAL]
Unity Labor Party or ULP [Dr. Ralph GONSALVES] (formed in 1994 by the coalition of Saint Vincent Labor Party or SVLP and the Movement for National Unity or MNU)

International organization participation


Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Lou-Anne Gaylene GILCHRIST (since 18 January 2017)

chancery: 1627 K Street, NW, Suite 704, Washington, DC 20006

telephone: [1] (202) 364-6730

FAX: [1] (202) 364-6736

email address and website:

consulate(s) general: New York

Diplomatic representation from the US

embassy: the 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 description

three 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 anthem

name: "St. Vincent! Land So Beautiful!"

lyrics/music: Phyllis Joyce MCCLEAN PUNNETT/Joel Bertram MIGUEL

note: adopted 1967

NOTE: The information regarding Saint Vincent and The Grenadines on this page is re-published from the 2024 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Saint Vincent and The Grenadines 2024 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Saint Vincent and The Grenadines 2024 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 04 May 24, Copyright © 2024 ITA all rights reserved.