Aruba: Country and Foreign Investment
This page was last updated on 19 Feb 2019.
Aruba has been a Dutch possession since 1642. Together with the Netherlands Antilles from which it separated in 1986, Aruba is legally part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and as such is a European Union territory for which the Netherlands is responsible.
In 1990, of its own volition, Aruba surrendered in perpetuity its treaty right to become independent of the Netherlands. The island is politically and economically stable and there is no agitation for independence. The monarch of the Netherlands, King William-Alexander, is head of state and is represented locally by a governor general appointed for a 6 year term.
While the Netherlands remains responsible for all matters relating to defence, judicial appointments, applications for citizenship and foreign affairs, Aruba retains full autonomy in all internal matters. A constitution has been in place since 1986, and the island has its own democratically elected 21-member legislature known as the Estates (Dutch: Staten) which sits in the capital Oranjestad. The executive consists of the governor and the 7-member Council of Ministers chosen and headed by the Prime Minister.
The prime minister and deputy prime minister are elected by the Staten for four-year terms. In the most recent legislative election, held on 22 September 2017, the Aruban People’s Party (AVP) and People’s Electoral Movement (MEP) gained 9 seats each. The new POR party gained two seats and the Network of Electoral Democracy (RED) gained one. The head of government is Prime Minister Evelyn Wever-Croes, the first female to gain the position.
All laws are in Dutch and the highest court is the Dutch Supreme Court in the Hague. Though the legal system is based on Dutch civil law, English common law has had some influence.