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U.S. Virgin Islands

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Politics of the United States Virgin Islands takes place in a framework of a presidential representative democratic dependency, whereby the Governor is the head of the local government, and of a multi-party system. The United States Virgin Islands are an unincorporated and organized territory of the United States, administered by the Office of Insular Affairs of the United States Department of the Interior. Executive power is exercised by the government. The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature.

Virgin Islands residents are U.S. citizens but cannot vote in United States presidential election and cannot elect voting members of Congress. However, in the U.S. House of Representatives, they are represented by a Delegate, who can vote in congressional committees but not in the House itself. Virgin Islands residents can vote fully in all elections if they become resident in one of the 50 U.S. states.


Executive branch

Main office holders
Office Name Party Since
President of the United States Barack Obama Democratic 20 January 2009
Governor John de Jongh Democratic 1 January 2007

The governor and the lieutenant governor are elected on the same ticket by popular vote for four-year terms.

Legislative branch

The Virgin Islands's territorial legislature is the 15-member Legislature of the Virgin Islands. The body is unicameral and comprises seven Senators from the district of Saint Croix, seven Senators from the district of Saint Thomas and Saint John, and one Senator at-large (who must be a resident of Saint John) are elected for a two-year term to the territorial legislature.

Political parties and elections

e • d  Summary of the 7 and 21 November 2006 U.S. Virgin Islands gubernatorial election results
Candidates Votes
1st round
% Votes
2nd round
John de Jongh - Democratic Party 15,914 49.33% 16,644 57.30%
Kenneth Mapp - Independent 8,756 27.14% 12,402 42.70%
Adlah Donastorg - Independent 7,580 23.49% - -
Write In 13 0.04% - -
Total 32,263 100.00% 29,046 100.00%
Source: Electoral System of the Virgin Islands [1], [2]
e • d  Summary of the 4 November 2004 U.S. Virgin Islands Senate election results
Votes % Seats
Democratic Party of the Virgin Islands . 10
Independent Citizens Movement . 4
Non-partisans 1
Total (turnout  %)   15
Source: WSTA Lucky 13 Radio

The Virgin Islands elects one non-voting delegate to the United States House of Representatives; election last held 7 November 2006); results: Donna M. Christian-Christensen (Democrat) 62%, Warren B. Mosler (Independent) 37%,

Judicial branch

The U.S. Virgin Islands has a District Court, a Supreme Court and a Superior Court. Judges on the District Court are appointed by the President and Judges on the Supreme Court and Superior Court are appointed by the governor.

Administrative divisions

There are no first-order administrative divisions as defined by the U.S. Government, but there are three islands at the second order; Saint Croix, Saint John, and Saint Thomas

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