The Netherlands’ St. Maarten Government
The official currency of St. Maarten is the Antillean guilder. And the monetary system of the island is regulated by the Central Bank of the Netherlands Antilles. The Netherlands Antilles – holds the St. Maarten government.
On the macro scale, the Netherlands Antilles is divided into five territories or five administrative divisions – Curacao, Bonaire, Saba, Sint Eustatius, and of course the St. Maarten government. The Netherlands Antilles is a constituent country of the Kingdom of Netherlands, taking a parliamentary representative democratic and pluri-form multi-party system framework. The Netherlands Antilles have full autonomy in most government matters, except defense, foreign-affairs, and the Supreme Court. The Judiciary branch is derived originally from the Dutch system. It is operating completely independent of the Executive and Legislative. The Executive power is exercised by the Governor General (Frits Geodgedrag since July 2001) as head of the local government together with his council of ministers, while the Prime Minister (Emily de Jongh–Elhage since March 2006) heads the eight –member cabinet. The Governore General is appointed by the monarch for a total of 6-years term, while the Prime Minister is elected by the Staten through a direct poular vote for a 4-years term. The Federal legislative power is vested in both the government and parliament. Hence legislation is two–layered. The representatives of the islands are on behalf of the Netherlands Antilles but each of them also forms an individual government in its territory.
St. Maarten government, as with its Queen land, is a Parliamentary Democracy. Yet while a Prime Minister and Governor (nominated by the federal Government and is appointed by the Queen) represents the Queen of the Netherlands Antilles, a Lieutenant Governor who is also the local island Chief Administrator, represents all officials of the Kingdom of Netherlands in its St. Maarten government. The Lieutenant Governor’ executive power in St. Maarten is vested to him in an Executive Council consisting of five commissioners supported by the majority of the eleven-seat Island Council, St. Maarten’s law-making body.
Represented in the Netherlands Antilles, the ruling monarch of the Kingdom of Netherlands (since April 1980) Her Majesty Queen Beatrix is the absolute head of state of the St. Maarten government. Yet in 2004, a commission of the governments of the Netherlands Antilles and the Netherlands advised a revision of the Statute of the Kingdom of Netherlands in order to dissolve the Netherlands Antilles. On November 8, 2005, an agreement was signed between the Dutch government and the governments of each Antilles-islands that would put into effect by July 2007. Bonaire, Saba, and Sint Eustaius would become directly part of the Netherlands as Kingdom Islands. And two new states would be formed, Curacao and St. Maarten.
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