Sint Maarten Government - 2023


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Country name

conventional long form: Country of Sint Maarten

conventional short form: Sint Maarten

local long form: Land Sint Maarten (Dutch)/ Country of Sint Maarten (English)

local short form: Sint Maarten (Dutch and English)

former: Netherlands Antilles; Curacao and Dependencies

etymology: explorer Christopher COLUMBUS named the island after Saint MARTIN of Tours because the 11 November 1493 day of discovery was the saint's feast day

Government type

parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy

Dependency status

constituent country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands; full autonomy in internal affairs granted in 2010; Dutch Government responsible for defense and foreign affairs


name: Philipsburg

geographic coordinates: 18 1 N, 63 2 W

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

etymology: founded and named in 1763 by John PHILIPS, a Scottish captain in the Dutch navy

Administrative divisions

none (part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)

note: Sint Maarten is one of four constituent countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands; the other three are the Netherlands, Aruba, and Curacao


none (part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)

National holiday

King's Day (birthday of King WILLEM-ALEXANDER), 27 April (1967); note - King's or Queen's Day are observed on the ruling monarch's birthday; celebrated on 26 April if 27 April is a Sunday; local holiday Sint Maarten's Day, 11 November (1985), commemorates the discovery of the island by COLUMBUS on Saint Martin's Day, 11 November 1493; celebrated on both halves of the island


history: previous 1947, 1955; latest adopted 21 July 2010, entered into force 10 October 2010 (regulates governance of Sint Maarten but is subordinate to the Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands)

amendments: proposals initiated by the Government or by Parliament; passage requires at least a two-thirds majority of the Parliament membership; passage of amendments relating to fundamental rights, authorities of the governor and of Parliament must include the "views" of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Government prior to ratification by Parliament

Legal system

based on Dutch civil law system with some English common law influence


see the Netherlands


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: King WILLEM-ALEXANDER of the Netherlands (since 30 April 2013); represented by Governor General Eugene HOLIDAY (since 10 October 2010)

head of government: Prime Minister Silveria JACOBS (since 28 March 2020)

cabinet: Cabinet nominated by the prime minister and appointed by the governor-general

elections/appointments: the monarch is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch for a 6-year term; following parliamentary elections, the leader of the majority party usually elected prime minister by Parliament

election results: last held 9 January 2020 (next to be held in 2024)

note - on 16 January 2020, Governor Eugene HOLIDAY appoints Silveria JACOBS as formateur of a new government

Legislative branch

description: unicameral Parliament of Sint Maarten (15 seats; members directly elected by proportional representation vote to serve 4-year terms)

elections: last held 9 January 2020 (next to be held in 2024)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA 35.2%, UP 24.2%, US Party 13.2%, PFP 10.6%, UD 8.7%, other 8.1%; seats by party - NA 6, UP 4, PFP 2, US Party 2, UD 1

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Joint Court of Justice of Aruba, Curacao, Sint Maarten, and of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba or "Joint Court of Justice" (consists of the presiding judge, other members, and their substitutes); final appeals heard by the Supreme Court (in The Hague, Netherlands); note - prior to 2010, the Joint Court of Justice was the Common Court of Justice of the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba

judge selection and term of office: Joint Court judges appointed by the monarch serve for life

subordinate courts: Courts in First Instance

Political parties and leaders

National Alliance or NA [Silveria JACOBS]
Party for Progress or PFP [Melissa GUMBS]
Sint Maarten Christian Party or SMCP [Garcia ARRINDELL]
United Democrats Party or UD [Sarah WESCOT-WILLIAMS]
United People's Party or UP [Theodore HEYLIGER]
United Sint Maarten Party or US Party [Frans RICHARDSON]

International organization participation

Caricom (observer), ILO, Interpol, UNESCO (associate), UPU, WMO

Diplomatic representation in the US

none (represented by the Kingdom of the Netherlands)

Diplomatic representation from the US

embassy: the US does not have an embassy in Sint Maarten; the Consul General to Curacao is accredited to Sint Maarten

Flag description

two equal horizontal bands of red (top) and blue with a white isosceles triangle based on the hoist side; the center of the triangle displays the Sint Maarten coat of arms; the arms consist of an orange-bordered  blue shield prominently displaying the white court house in Philipsburg, as well as a bouquet of yellow sage (the national flower) in the upper left, and the silhouette of a Dutch-French friendship monument in the upper right; the shield is surmounted by a yellow rising sun in front of which is a brown pelican in flight; a yellow scroll below the shield bears the motto: SEMPER PROGREDIENS (Always Progressing); the three main colors are identical to those on the Dutch flag

note: the flag somewhat resembles that of the Philippines but with the main red and blue bands reversed; the banner more closely evokes the wartime Philippine flag

National symbol(s)

brown pelican, yellow sage (flower); national colors: red, white, blue

National anthem

name: O Sweet Saint Martin's Land

lyrics/music: Gerard KEMPS

note: the song, written in 1958, is used as an unofficial anthem for the entire island (both French and Dutch sides); as a collectivity of France, in addition to the local anthem, "La Marseillaise" is official on the French side (see France); as a constituent part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, in addition to the local anthem, "Het Wilhelmus" is official on the Dutch side (see Netherlands)

NOTE: The information regarding Sint Maarten on this page is re-published from the 2023 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Sint Maarten 2023 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Sint Maarten 2023 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 06 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.