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Tonga Government 2003

Country name: conventional long form: Kingdom of Tonga conventional short form: Tonga former: Friendly Islands
Government type: hereditary constitutional monarchy
Capital: Nuku'alofa
Administrative divisions: 3 island groups; Ha'apai, Tongatapu, Vava'u
Independence: 4 June 1970 (from UK protectorate)
National holiday: Independence Day, 4 June (1970)
Constitution: 4 November 1875, revised 1 January 1967
Legal system: based on English law
Suffrage: 21 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: King Taufa'ahau TUPOU IV (since 16 December 1965) note: there is also a Privy Council that consists of the monarch, the Cabinet, and two governors elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; prime minister and deputy prime minister appointed for life by the monarch cabinet: Cabinet, appointed by the monarch, consists of 12 members head of government: Prime Minister Prince Lavaka ata ULUKALALA (since NA February 2000) and Deputy Prime Minister Tevita TOPOU (since NA January 2001)
Legislative branch: unicameral Legislative Assembly or Fale Alea (30 seats - 12 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 7 March 2002 (next to be held NA 2005) election results: percent of vote - pro-democratic 70%; seats - pro-democratic 7, traditionalist 2
Judicial branch: Supreme Court (judges are appointed by the monarch); Court of Appeal (consists of the Privy Council with the addition of the chief justice of the Supreme Court)
Political parties and leaders: there are no political parties
Political pressure groups and leaders: Tonga Human Rights and Democracy Movement or THRDM [Akilisi POHIVA, president]
International organization participation: ACP, AsDB, C, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ITU, Sparteca, SPC, SPF, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO (observer)
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Sonatane T. T. TUPOU chancery: 250 East 51st Street, New York, NY 10022 telephone: [1] (917) 369-1136 consulate(s) general: San Francisco FAX: [1] (917) 369-1024
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 2003 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Tonga Government 2003 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Tonga Government 2003 should be addressed to the CIA.