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World > North America > Puerto Rico > Government (Facts)

Puerto Rico - Government (Facts)
Country name: conventional long form: Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
conventional short form: Puerto Rico
Government type: commonwealth
Capital: name: San Juan
geographic coordinates: 18 28 N, 66 07 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions: none (territory of the US with commonwealth status); there are no first-order administrative divisions as defined by the US Government, but there are 78 municipalities (municipios, singular - municipio) at the second order; Adjuntas, Aguada, Aguadilla, Aguas Buenas, Aibonito, Anasco, Arecibo, Arroyo, Barceloneta, Barranquitas, Bayamon, Cabo Rojo, Caguas, Camuy, Canovanas, Carolina, Catano, Cayey, Ceiba, Ciales, Cidra, Coamo, Comerio, Corozal, Culebra, Dorado, Fajardo, Florida, Guanica, Guayama, Guayanilla, Guaynabo, Gurabo, Hatillo, Hormigueros, Humacao, Isabela, Jayuya, Juana Diaz, Juncos, Lajas, Lares, Las Marias, Las Piedras, Loiza, Luquillo, Manati, Maricao, Maunabo, Mayaguez, Moca, Morovis, Naguabo, Naranjito, Orocovis, Patillas, Penuelas, Ponce, Quebradillas, Rincon, Rio Grande, Sabana Grande, Salinas, San German, San Juan, San Lorenzo, San Sebastian, Santa Isabel, Toa Alta, Toa Baja, Trujillo Alto, Utuado, Vega Alta, Vega Baja, Vieques, Villalba, Yabucoa, Yauco
Independence: none (territory of the US with commonwealth status)
National holiday: US Independence Day, 4 July (1776); Puerto Rico Constitution Day, 25 July (1952)
Constitution: ratified 3 March 1952; approved by US Congress 3 July 1952; effective 25 July 1952
Legal system: based on Spanish civil code and within the US Federal system of justice
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal; island residents are US citizens but do not vote in US presidential elections
Executive branch: chief of state: President George W. BUSH of the US (since 20 January 2001); Vice President Richard B. CHENEY (since 20 January 2001)
head of government: Governor Anibal ACEVEDO-VILA (since 2 January 2005)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor with the consent of the legislature
elections: under the US Constitution, residents of unincorporated territories, such as Puerto Rico, do not vote in elections for US president and vice president; governor elected by popular vote for a four-year term (no term limits); election last held 2 November 2004 (next to be held in November 2008)
election results: Anibal ACEVEDO-VILA elected governor; percent of vote - 48.4%
Legislative branch: bicameral Legislative Assembly consists of the Senate (at least 27 seats - currently 29; members are directly elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms) and the House of Representatives (51 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held 2 November 2004 (next to be held November 2008); House of Representatives - last held 2 November 2004 (next to be held in November 2008)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - PNP 43.4%, PPD 40.3%, PIP 9.4%; seats by party - PNP 17, PPD 9, PIP 1; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - PNP 46.3%, PPD 43.1%, PIP 9.7%; seats by party - PNP 32, PPD 18, PIP 1
note: Puerto Rico elects, by popular vote, a resident commissioner to serve a four-year term as a nonvoting representative in the US House of Representatives; aside from not voting on the House floor, he enjoys all the rights of a member of Congress; elections last held 2 November 2004 (next to be held in November 2008); results - percent of vote by party - PNP 48.6%, other 51.4%; seats by party - PNP 1
Judicial branch: Supreme Court; Appellate Court; Court of First Instance composed of two sections: a Superior Court and a Municipal Court (justices for all these courts appointed by the governor with the consent of the Senate)
Political parties and leaders: National Democratic Party [Roberto PRATS]; National Republican Party of Puerto Rico [Dr. Tiody FERRE]; New Progressive Party or PNP [Pedro ROSSELLO] (pro-US statehood); Popular Democratic Party or PPD [Anibal ACEVEDO-VILA] (pro-commonwealth); Puerto Rican Independence Party or PIP [Ruben BERRIOS Martinez] (pro-independence)
Political pressure groups and leaders: Boricua Popular Army or EPB (a revolutionary group also known as Los Macheteros); note - the following radical groups are considered dormant by Federal law enforcement: Armed Forces for National Liberation or FALN, Armed Forces of Popular Resistance, Volunteers of the Puerto Rican Revolution
International organization participation: Caricom (observer), Interpol (subbureau), IOC, ITUC, UNWTO (associate), UPU, WCL, WFTU
Diplomatic representation in the US: none (territory of the US with commonwealth status)
Diplomatic representation from the US: none (territory of the US with commonwealth status)
Flag description: five equal horizontal bands of red (top and bottom) alternating with white; a blue isosceles triangle based on the hoist side bears a large, white, five-pointed star in the center; design initially influenced by the US flag, but similar to the Cuban flag, with the colors of the bands and triangle reversed


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