Curaçao: Country and Foreign Investment
This page was last updated on 20 August 2019.
On 10 October 2010, the former polity of the Netherlands Antilles legally ceased to exist. The Caribbean islands of Saba, Bonaire and St. Eustatius were brought under the direct control of the Dutch government, while each of the other islands, Aruba, St. Maarten and Curaçao became a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, along with the Netherlands itself in Europe. Curaçao’s constitution regulates the governance of the country, though it is subordinate to the constitution of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Curaçao is a politically stable parliamentary democracy that has considerable autonomy in its internal affairs. The Dutch government is responsible for defence and foreign affairs only. The legal system is based on Dutch civil law, though there is some influence from English common law. Appeals from the Curaçao courts are to the Netherlands Supreme Court in The Hague.
The Dutch monarch, King Willem-Alexander, is head of state. He is represented in Curaçao by a governor (currently Lucille George-Wout). The monarch is responsible for appointing a new governor every six years.
The head of government is the prime minister, currently Eugene Rhuggenaath. In under nine years, Curaçao has had no less than eight prime ministers, though it remains a stable democracy. The main executive body is the Council of Ministers, the national cabinet, which is led by the prime minister and appointed by the governor.
The legislature is unicameral, consisting of a parliament known as the Estates (Dutch: De Staten). There are 21 members, who serve four-year terms and are elected by means of proportional representation. The leader of the party with the most seats is generally chosen to be prime minister.
The most recent general election was held on 28 April 2017. The leading party was the Real Alternative Party (PAR) with 6 seats; the two next most successful were Partido MAN and the Movement for the Future of Curaçao, with 5 seats each. The leader of PAR, Eugene Rhuggenaath, was sworn in as prime minster on 29 May 2017.