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The seat of the Curacao government (Netherlands Antilles) is in Willemstad. Netherlands Antilles is composed of five islands (Curacao, Bonaire, Saint Martin, Saba and Saint Eustatius). Though each of the islands has control of some internal affairs, the central government is based on Curacao. The Curacao government regulates the telecommunications, aviation, public health, police affairs, post and education.
Curacao has gained a limited self-government on January 1, 1954 but the local population didn't fully participate in the political development until the series of social movements in the late '60s. The political status of the Curacao government was later debated in the year 2000; discussing the relationship between the Netherlands and the islands of Netherlands Antilles. In a referendum held last April 8, 2005 on Curacao, together with the island of Saint Martin the residents voted for an autonomous state within the Kingdom of Netherlands. On April 15 of that same year, the Island Council of the Island Territory of Curacao has formally sanctioned the results of the referendum and pointed out its position as an autonomous country that has the same status of Aruba. Even though the Curacao government is not a member of the U.N. the Dutch government is in charge of its defense and foreign affairs.
The Curacao government is based on a parliamentary democracy. The parliament is composed of council ministers and a prime minister. The governor general is appointed by the Queen of Netherlands. The governor general is also the crown representative of the Netherlands Antilles. The Curacao government's elected legislative officials assemble regularly to preside over the administration of government. Each of the Netherlands Antilles has its internal affairs ran by the island's council and executive council which is composed of elected island council and a queen appointed governor. The newly elected prime minister of the island is Emily Elhage-Jonge.
The Curacao government has extended its infrastructure and modernized. The island has a large desalinization plant for its water and its oil refinery installation is still a major factor in the economy. The Curacao government's revenue is still depending on the remittances from Holland. The oil refinery is more than 90% of its total export earnings. Offshore banking and tourism are also a major factor in their economy. With an annual 200 cruise ships calls and over 240,000 tourists, Curacao's tourism is rapidly growing. Shipping and other activity relating to the harbour of Willemstad also is a major contributor of its economy.