Constitution of St Kitts and Nevis

Status: Monarchy under Queen Elizabeth II

Legislature: National Assembly of St Kitts and Nevis

Independence: 19 September 1983

St Kitts and Nevis is a constitutional monarchy, recognising Queen Elizabeth II as head of state. She is represented by a governor-general who takes advice from the prime minister and cabinet. The country is a sovereign democratic federal state, with a unicameral National Assembly of 14 members (plus the attorney-general if s/he is not an elected member). 11 Assembly members are elected for a term of no longer than five years by universal adult suffrage in eight constituencies in St Kitts and three in Nevis, and three are nominated ‘senators’, two on the advice of the prime minister and one on the advice of the leader of the opposition. The cabinet comprises the prime minister (who must be able to command the support of the majority of members of the National Assembly), five ministers and the attorney-general.

Nevis has its own legislature, premier and administration. The Nevis legislature, the Nevis Island Assembly, has five members elected by universal adult suffrage and three nominated members. The central government legislates for Nevis in matters concerning overall policy formation. Under the constitution, provision is made for the secession of Nevis at six months’ notice, after a two-thirds majority in favour in the Nevis Assembly and a referendum, also with at least two-thirds in favour.