Curaçao, as per 10 October 2010, is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Locals have Dutch nationality and carry European Union passports. The form of government is a parliamentary democracy, based on underlying premises such as freedom of association, the right to form political parties, freedom of the press, and freedom of speech.
Curacao has two levels of government-a central (federal) and an insular (territorial) level. The Central Government's jurisdiction covers mostly state affairs (legislation) and includes police, communications, taxation, public health, education, economic control, the establishment of enterprises, labor legislation, money and banking, and foreign currency. The Island Government is responsible for the island territory affairs; it manages its own territorial affairs and has the power to enact laws. The island government is responsible for the infrastructure, harbors, etc.
Legislative power is shared by the government and the legislature. The legislature or Estates of Curaçao (Staten van Curaçao) consist of 21 members, each elected for a four year term in a general election. The new parliamentary term always begins on the second Tuesday of September. The first Estates were installed on 10 October 2010, the date of the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles, and consist of the members of the island council elected on 27 August 2010.