Tonga



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Tonga Government 2008


Country name: conventional long form: Kingdom of Tonga conventional short form: Tonga local long form: Pule'anga Tonga local short form: Tonga former: Friendly Islands
Government type: constitutional monarchy
Capital: name: Nuku'alofa geographic coordinates: 21 08 S, 175 12 W time difference: UTC+13 (18 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions: 3 island groups; Ha'apai, Tongatapu, Vava'u
Independence: 4 June 1970 (from UK protectorate)
National holiday: Emancipation Day, 4 June (1970)
Constitution: 4 November 1875; revised 1 January 1967
Legal system: based on English common law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage: 21 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: King George TUPOU V (since 11 September 2006) head of government: Prime Minister Dr. Feleti SEVELE (since 11 February 2006); Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Viliami TANGI (since 16 May 2006) cabinet: Cabinet consists of 14 members, 10 appointed by the monarch for life; four appointed from among the elected members of the Legislative Assembly, including two each from the nobles' and peoples' representatives serving three-year terms note: there is also a Privy Council that consists of the monarch, the cabinet, and two governors elections: the monarch is hereditary; prime minister and deputy prime minister appointed by the monarch
Legislative branch: unicameral Legislative Assembly or Fale Alea (32 seats - 14 reserved for cabinet ministers sitting ex officio, nine for nobles selected by the country's 33 nobles, and nine elected by popular vote; members serve three-year terms) elections: last held on 23-24 April 2008 (next to be held in 2011) election results: Peoples Representatives: percent of vote - independents 54%, THRDM 28%, PDP 14%; seats - THRDM 4, independents 3, PDP 2
Judicial branch: Supreme Court (judges are appointed by the monarch); Court of Appeal (Chief Justice and high court justices from overseas chosen and approved by Privy Council)
Political parties and leaders: Tonga Human Rights and Democracy Movement or THRDM [Uliti UATA]; People's Democratic Party or PDP [Tesina FUKO]
Political pressure groups and leaders: Human Rights and Democracy Movement Tonga or HRDMT [Rev. Simote VEA, chairman]; Public Servant's Association [Finau TUTONE]
International organization participation: ACP, ADB, C, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, ITU, ITUC, OPCW, PIF, Sparteca, SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Fekitamoeloa 'UTOIKAMANU chancery: 250 East 51st Street, New York, NY 10022 telephone: [1] (917) 369-1025 FAX: [1] (917) 369-1024 consulate(s) general: San Francisco
Diplomatic representation from the US: the US does not have an embassy in Tonga; the ambassador to Fiji is accredited to Tonga
Flag description: red with a bold red cross on a white rectangle in the upper hoist-side corner

NOTE: The government information regarding Tonga on this page is re-published from the 2008 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Tonga Government 2008 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Tonga Government 2008 should be addressed to the CIA.