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St. Vincent and the Grenadines Country Profile
St Vincent and the Grenadines is a constitutional monarchy and representative democracy within the Commonwealth.  The multi-island country is situated between the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, north of Trinidad and Tobago.  The island of St. Vincent has an area of 344 square kilometres (133 square miles).  Its 32 dependent islands and cays in the Grenadine island chain have a total area of 45 square kilometres (17 square miles).  The main inhabited islands of the Grenadines are Bequia, Mustique, Union Island, and Canouan.
GEOGRAPHY
Full Name St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Geographic Coordinates 13 15 N, 61 12 W
Capital and Largest City Kingstown (pop 20,000)
Area 389 sq km (150 sq miles) Grenadines include 32 islands, the largest of which are Bequia, Mustique, Canouan, and Union. Some of the smaller islands are privately owned.
Terrain Volcanic and mountainous, with the highest peak, Soufriere, rising to 1,219 meters (4,000 ft.).
Climate Tropical; rainy season (May to November)
Internet domain .vc
International dialling code +1 784
MAP
PEOPLE & SOCIETY
Nationality Vincentian
Population 102,627 (2015 est.)
Annual Growth Rate -0.28% (2015 est.)
Ethnic Groups African descent (66%), mixed (19%), West Indian (6%), Carib Indian (2%), other (7%)
Major Languages English (official); some French Patois spoken.
Major Religions Anglican (47%), Methodist (28%), Roman Catholic (13%), other Protestant denominations, Seventh-day Adventist, and Hindu.
Adult Literacy 88.1%.
Infant Mortality Rate 17/1,000
Life expectancy 75.09 years (total) 73.11 years (male), 77.13 years (female) (UN)
GOVERNMENT
Type Parliamentary democracy; independent sovereign state within the Commonwealth
Independence 27 October 1979 (from the United Kingdom)
Constitution 27 October 1979
Executive Branch Governor-General (representing Queen Elizabeth II, head of state), Prime Minister (head of government), Cabinet.
Head of State Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Sir Fredrick Nathaniel BALLANTYNE (since 2 September 2002)
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
Legislative Branch Unicameral Parliament.
Judicial Branch The legal system is based on English common law.  The Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC) is the itinerant superior court of record for the 9-member Organization of Eastern Caribbean States to include St. Vincent and the Grenadines; the ECSC - with its headquarters on Saint Lucia - is headed by the chief justice and is comprised of the Court of Appeal with 3 justices and the High Court with 16 judges; sittings of the Court of Appeal and High Court rotate among the member states; 2 High Court judges reside on St. Vincent and the Grenadines; note - St. Vincent and the Grenadines is a member of the Caribbean Court of Justice.
ELECTORAL SYSTEM
Legislature Parliament of St Vincent and the Grenadines
Parliament Name House of Assembly of St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Structure of Parliament Unicameral
Members of Parliament 23 members comprising 15 members elected at least every five years by universal adult suffrage (plus Speaker and Attorney-General) and six senators appointed by the Governor-General (four on the advice of the Prime Minister and two on that of the Leader of the Opposition)
Electoral Law Representation of the People Act
Constituencies 15 single-member constituencies.
Voting System In the House of Assembly, 15 members are elected by simple majority vote in single-member constituencies and 6 members are appointed .
Term of Office 5 years
Voter Requirements
  • Age: 18 years
  • British Commonwealth citizenship
  • Ordinary domicile or residence in the country during the preceding 12 months
  • Disqualifications: insanity, undischarged bankruptcy, death sentence or imprisonment exceeding 12 months, allegiance to a foreign State
Suffrage Universal at 18 years of age
Candidate Eligibility and Requirements
  • Age: 21 years
  • British Commonwealth citizenship
  • Ability to speak and read the English language
  • Support of six electors of the constituency
  • Deposit of XCD 500, reimbursed if candidate obtains at least 1/8 of the votes cast
Electoral Authority Supervisor of Elections
Last Parliamentary Election 9 December 2015: Unity Labour Party – 8; New Democratic Party – 7
Next Parliamentary Election December 2020
Number of Register Electors 89,527 (2015)
PARTIES IN ELECTION 2015
Party Code Political Leader Candidates in 2015 Election Seats in 2010 Parliament
2015 2010
ULP Unity Labour Party ULP GONSALVES, Ralph 15 8 8
NDP New Democratic Party NDP EUSTACE, Arnhim 15 7 7
NRP Democratic Republican Party DRP BAPTISTE, Anesia 6 0 0
SVGP St. Vincent and the Grenadines Labour Party SVGP ONEAL, Ivan 7 0 0
ECONOMY
GDP (purchasing power parity) USD 1.184 billion (2014 est.)
GDP Growth Rate 1.1% (2014 est.)
GDP Per Capita USD 10,800 (2014 est.)
GNI Per Capita USD 6,300 (World Bank, 2012)
Inflation Rate 0.2% (2014 est.)
Unemployment 18.8% (2008)
Natural Resources Timber
Agriculture Mostly bananas; also coconuts, sweet potatoes, spices, small numbers of cattle, sheep, pigs, goats, fish.
Industry Plastic products, food processing, cement, furniture, clothing, starch, and detergents
Main Exports Bananas, arrowroot (starch), nutmeg, mace, coconuts
Monetary Unit 1 East Caribbean dollar(XCD)  = 100 cents
Official Exchange Rate XCD 2.70 = USD 1.00
Key
DRP= Democratic Republican Party; NDP = New Democratic Party; SVGP = St. Vincent and the Grenadines Green Party; ULP = Unity Labour Party; IND = Independent; * Incumbent; ** Political Leader
Sources
http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/travel-advice-by-country/country-profile/north-central-america/st-vincent-grenadines?profile=all
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/country_profiles/1210689.stm
http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2345.htm
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