Virgin Islands Government 2020


Virgin Islands Government 2020

Page last updated on January 27, 2020

Country name:
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Virgin Islands
former: Danish West Indies
abbreviation: VI
etymology: the myriad islets, cays, and rocks surrounding the major islands reminded Christopher COLUMBUS in 1493 of Saint Ursula and her 11,000 virgin followers (Santa Ursula y las Once Mil Virgenes), which over time shortened to the Virgins (las Virgenes)

Dependency status:
unincorporated organized territory of the US with policy relations between the Virgin Islands and the federal government under the jurisdiction of the Office of Insular Affairs, US Department of the Interior

Government type:
republican form of government with separate executive, legislative, and judicial branches; unincorporated organized territory of the US with local self-government

name: Charlotte Amalie
geographic coordinates: 18 21 N, 64 56 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
etymology: originally called Taphus in Danish - meaning "tap house" or "beer house" because of its many beer halls - the town received a more dignified name in 1691 when it was named Charlotte Amalie in honor of Danish King Christian V’s wife, Charlotte Amalie of Hesse-Kassel (1650–1714)

Administrative divisions:
none (territory of the US); there are no first-order administrative divisions as defined by the US Government, but there are 3 islands at the second order; Saint Croix, Saint John, Saint Thomas

none (territory of the US)

National holiday:
Transfer Day (from Denmark to the US), 31 March (1917)

history: 22 July 1954 - the Revised Organic Act of the Virgin Islands functions as a constitution for this US territory
amendments: revised 1962, 2000 (2018)

Legal system:
US common law

see United States

18 years of age; universal; note - island residents are US citizens but do not vote in US presidential elections
[see also: Suffrage country ranks ]

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Donald J. TRUMP (since 20 January 2017); Vice President Michael R. PENCE (since 20 January 2017)
head of government: Governor Albert BRYAN, Jr. (since 7 January 2019), Lieutenant Governor Tregenza ROACH (since 7 January 2019)
cabinet: Territorial Cabinet appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Senate
elections/appointments: president and vice president indirectly elected on the same ballot by an Electoral College of 'electors' chosen from each state; president and vice president serve a 4-year term (eligible for a second term); under the US Constitution, residents of the Virgin Islands do not vote in elections for US president and vice president; however, they may vote in the Democratic and Republican presidential primary elections; governor and lieutenant governor directly elected on the same ballot by absolute majority vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 4-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 6 November 2018 with a runoff on 20 November 2018 (next to be held in November 2022)
election results:

Albert BRYAN, Jr. elected governor in the second round; percent of vote in first round - Albert BRYAN, Jr. (Democratic Party) 38.1%, Kenneth MAPP (independent) 33.5%, Adlah "Foncie" DONASTORG, Jr. (independent) 16.5%, other 11.9%; percent of vote in second round- Albert BRYAN, Jr. (Democratic Party) 54.5%, Kenneth MAPP (independent) 45.2%, other .3%

Legislative branch:
description: unicameral Legislature of the Virgin Islands (15 seats; senators directly elected in single- and multi-seat constituencies by simple majority popular vote to serve 2-year terms)

the Virgin Islands directly elects 1 delegate to the US House of Representatives by simple majority vote to serve a 2-year term
elections: Legislature of the Virgin Islands last held on 6 November 2018 (next to be held in November 2020)
US House of Representatives last held on 6 November 2018 (next to be held in November 2020)
election results: Legislature of the Virgin Islands - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Democratic Party 13, independents 2; composition - men 11, women 4, percent of women 26.7%

delegate to US House of Representatives - seat by party - Democratic Party 1; composition - 1 woman
note: the Virgin Islands to the US House of Representatives can vote when serving on a committee and when the House meets as the Committee of the Whole House, but not when legislation is submitted for a “full floor” House vote

Judicial branch:
highest courts: Supreme Court of the Virgin Islands (consists of the chief justice and 2 associate justices); note - court established by the US Congress in 2004 and assumed appellate jurisdiction in 2007
judge selection and term of office: justices appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Virgin Islands Senate; justices serve initial 10-year terms and upon reconfirmation, during the extent of good behavior; chief justice elected to position by peers for a 3-year term
subordinate courts: Superior Court (Territorial Court renamed in 2004); US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (has appellate jurisdiction over the District Court of the Virgin Islands; it is a territorial court and is not associated with a US federal judicial district); District Court of the Virgin Islands

Political parties and leaders:
Democratic Party [Donna M. CHRISTENSEN]
Independent Citizens' Movement or ICM [Dale BLYDEN]
Republican Party [John CANEGATA]

International organization participation:
AOSIS (observer), Interpol (subbureau), IOC, UPU, WFTU (NGOs)

Diplomatic representation in the US:
none (territory of the US)

Diplomatic representation from the US:
none (territory of the US)

Flag description:
white field with a modified US coat of arms in the center between the large blue initials V and I; the coat of arms shows a yellow eagle holding an olive branch in its right talon and three arrows in the left with a superimposed shield of seven red and six white vertical stripes below a blue panel; white is a symbol of purity, the letters stand for the Virgin Islands

National anthem:
name: Virgin Islands March
lyrics/music: multiple/Alton Augustus ADAMS, Sr.
note: adopted 1963; serves as a local anthem; as a territory of the US, "The Star-Spangled Banner" is official (see United States)

NOTE: 1) The information regarding Virgin Islands on this page is re-published from the 2020 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Virgin Islands Government 2020 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Virgin Islands Government 2020 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.
2) The rank that you see is the CIA reported rank, which may have the following issues:
  a) They assign increasing rank number, alphabetically for countries with the same value of the ranked item, whereas we assign them the same rank.
  b) The CIA sometimes assigns counterintuitive ranks. For example, it assigns unemployment rates in increasing order, whereas we rank them in decreasing order.

This page was last modified 27-Jan-20
Copyright © 1995- ITA (all rights reserved).

    . Feedback