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Geography

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English and Irish colonists from St. Kitts first settled on Montserrat in 1632; the first African slaves arrived three decades later. The British and French fought for possession of the island for most of the 18th century, but it finally was confirmed as a British possession in 1783. The island's sugar plantation economy was converted to small farm landholdings in the mid 19th century. Much of this island was devastated and two-thirds of the population fled abroad because of the eruption of the Soufriere Hills Volcano that began on 18 July 1995. Montserrat has endured volcanic activity since, with the last eruption occurring in July 2003.


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Government

Country name
Conventional long form None
Conventional short form Montserrat

Dependency status
Overseas territory of the UK

Government type
NA

Capital
Name Plymouth
Geographic coordinates 16 42 N, 62 13 W
Time difference
UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Note
Plymouth was abandoned in 1997 because of volcanic activity; interim government buildings have been built at Brades Estate in the Carr's Bay/Little Bay vicinity at the northwest end of Montserrat

Administrative divisions
3 parishes; Saint Anthony, Saint Georges, Saint Peter

Independence
None (overseas territory of the UK)

National holiday
Birthday of Queen ELIZABETH II, second Saturday in June (1926)

Constitution
Montserrat Constitution Order 2010, effective 1 September 2011

Legal system
English common law

Suffrage
18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state
Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor Adrian DAVIS (since 8 April 2011)
Head of government
Premier Rueben T. MEADE (since 27 September 2011); note - the office of premier came into effect with the new Constitution Order; he replaces the Chief Minister
Cabinet
Executive Council consists of the governor, the premier, 3 other ministers, the attorney general, and the finance secretary
Elections
The monarchy is hereditary; governor appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party usually becomes premier

Legislative branch
Unicameral Legislative Council (11 seats; 9 members popularly elected to serve five-year terms; the attorney general and financial secretary sit as ex-officio members)
Elections
Last held on 8 September 2009 (next to be held by 2014)
Election results
Percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - MCAP 6, independents 3

Judicial branch
Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (based in Saint Lucia, one judge of the Supreme Court is a resident of the islands and presides over the High Court)

Political parties and leaders
Montserrat Democratic Party or MDP [Lowell LEWIS]; Movement for Change and Prosperity or MCAP [Roselyn CASSELL-SEALY]; New People's Liberation Movement or NPLM [John A. OSBORNE]

Political pressure groups and leaders
NA

International organization participation
Caricom, CDB, Interpol (subbureau), OECS, UPU

Diplomatic representation in the us
None (overseas territory of the UK)

Diplomatic representation from the us
None (overseas territory of the UK)

Flag description
Blue, with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant and the Montserratian coat of arms centered in the outer half of the flag; the arms feature a woman in green dress, Erin, the female personification of Ireland, standing beside a yellow harp and embracing a large dark cross with her right arm; Erin and the harp are symbols of Ireland reflecting the territory's Irish ancestry; blue represents awareness, trustworthiness, determination, and righteousness

National anthem
Note
As a territory of the United Kingdom, "God Save the Queen" is official (see United Kingdom)


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  Montserrat [ United Kingdom ] (Overseas Territory):


  GPS points from Montserrat [ United Kingdom ] (Overseas Territory)

Streatham Parish Of Saint Georges

Happy Hill Parish Of Saint Peter

Fox's Bay Parish Of Saint Anthony

Woodlands Parish Of Saint Peter

Wash Ghaut Parish Of Saint Georges

Pea Ghaut Parish Of Saint Georges

Trant's Bay Parish Of Saint Georges

Parish Of Saint Anthony Parish Of Saint Anthony




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