ST.KITTS & NEVIS
The Federation of St Kitts and Nevis
Belizean dollar ($BZD)
St Kitts and Nevis (also known as St Christopher and Nevis) is an independent state, located in the Caribbean island chain. It is situated in the Leeward Islands, and is a part of the Lesser Antilles. St Kitts and Nevis is a two-island state, separated by 3km stretch of ocean. The larger island, St Kitts, houses the capital city, Basseterre. The islands were originally inhabited by Native Americans, some 5000 years prior to the Europeans arriving. Following the discovery of the islands by Christopher Columbus on behalf of Spain, the French and British then laid claim to parts of the islands, establishing settlements and dividing the islands. Following numerous battles for control between the French, Spanish and English, Spanish power steadily declined, and in 1713, France ceded St Kitts and Nevis to the British. During this period, St Kitts and Nevis were considered 2 separate territories, however in the late 19th century, the British decided to unify them, along with Anguilla. The territory was known as St Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla until 1980, when Anguilla was designated as a separate Crown Colony.
St Kitts and Nevis is a member of CARICOM, the Commonwealth and the OECS. As a member of the OECS and its economic union, the currency of St Kitts and Nevis is EC dollars ($EC). The population of the twin-island is approximately 55,000 (2016), with around 11,000 residing on Nevis, and the remainder on St Kitts. The islands are split into 14 parishes – 9 on St Kitts and 5 on Nevis. Persons from St Kitts are referred to as ‘Kittitians’, while those from Nevis are referred to as ‘Nevisians’. The official language of St Kitts and Nevis is English, however St Kitts creole and Nevisian creole are widely spoken.
St Kitts and Nevis operates as a Parliamentary Democracy and a Constitutional Monarchy. Under the Constitution, Queen Elizabeth II is the current Head of State, and the Prime Minister is the Head of Government. The Queen is represented locally by a Governor General. The National Assembly of St Kitts and Nevis consists of 11 elected Representatives (with 3 required to be from Nevis) and 3 appointed Senators. Senators are appointed by the Governor General, with 2 selected on the advice of the Prime Minister and 1 selected on the advice of the leader of the opposition.