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French Guiana General Information
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French Guiana Government

Politics of French Guiana takes place in a framework of a parliamentary representative democratic republic, whereby the President of French Guiana is the head of government, and of a pluriform multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the National Assembly. The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature.

The executive branch is headed by the president, who is elected by a two-thirds majority of the National Assembly or, failing that, by a majority of the People's Assembly for a 5-year term. If at least two-thirds of the National Assembly cannot agree to vote for one presidential candidate, a People's Assembly is formed from all National Assembly delegates and regional and municipal representatives who were elected by popular vote in the most recent national election. A vice president, normally elected at the same time as the president, needs a simple majority in the National Assembly or People's Assembly to be elected for a 5-year term. As head of government, the president appoints a cabinet of ministers. There is no constitutional provision for removal or replacement of the president unless he resigns.

A 15-member State Advisory Council advises the president in the conduct of policy. 11 of the 15 council seats are allotted by proportional representation of all political parties represented in the National Assembly. The president chairs the council, and two seats are allotted to representatives of labour, and two are to employers' organisations.

The legislative branch of government consists of a 51-member unicameral National Assembly, simultaneously and popularly elected for a 5-year term.

The judiciary is headed by the Court of Justice (Supreme Court). This court supervises the magistrate courts. Members are appointed for life by the president in consultation with the National Assembly, the State Advisory Council and the National Order of Private Attorneys.

Administratively, the country is divided into 10 administrative districts, each headed by a district commissioner appointed by the president. The commissioner serves at the president's pleasure. The 10 districts (distrikten, singular - distrikt) are: Brokopondo, Commewijne, Coronie, Marowijne, Nickerie, Para, Cayenne, Saramacca, Sipaliwini, Wanica.


Country name
conventional long form: Republic of French Guiana
conventional short form: French Guiana
local long form: Republiek French Guiana
local short form: French Guiana
former: Netherlands Guiana, Dutch Guiana

Government type
constitutional democracy

name: Cayenne
geographic coordinates: 5 50 N, 55 10 W
time difference: UTC-3 (2 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions
10 districts; Brokopondo, Commewijne, Coronie, Marowijne, Nickerie, Para, Cayenne, Saramacca, Sipaliwini, Wanica

25 November 1975 (from the Netherlands)

National holiday
Independence Day, 25 November (1975)

ratified 30 September 1987; effective 30 October 1987

Legal system
based on Dutch legal system incorporating French penal theory; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations

18 years of age; universal

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