Together with Bonaire, St.Maarten, St.Eustatius and Saba, Curaçao constitutes the
Netherlands Antilles. They are, like Aruba, an autonomous part of the Kingdom of the
Netherlands, which means that the Dutch Government takes care of their defence and foreign
affairs, but that all other affairs are in the hands of the Netherlands Antilles themselves.
Every four years the population chooses its parliament (the 'Staten') in free democratic
elections. The government is headed by the governor who is in turn appointed by the Queen
of the Netherlands. In addition to the government for the whole of the Antilles each island
has an Island Council.