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Tonga Government

    Country name:
    conventional long form: Kingdom of Tonga
    conventional short form: Tonga
    former: Friendly Islands

    Data code: TN

    Government type: hereditary constitutional monarchy

    Capital: Nuku'alofa

    Administrative divisions: three island groups; Ha'apai, Tongatapu, Vava'u

    Independence: 4 June 1970 (emancipation from UK protectorate)

    National holiday: Emancipation 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)
    head of government: Prime Minister Baron VAEA (since 22 August 1991) and Deputy Prime Minister S. Langi KAVALIKU (since 22 August 1991)
    cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the monarch
    note: there is also a Privy Council that consists of the monarch and the Cabinet
    elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; prime minister and deputy prime minister appointed for life by the monarch

    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 24-25 January 1996 (next to be held NA March 1999)
    election results: percent of vote—NA; seats—7 proreform, 2 traditionalist

    Judicial branch: Supreme Court, judges are appointed by the monarch; Privy Council with the addition of the chief justice of the Supreme Court sits as the Court of Appeal

    Political parties and leaders: Tonga People's Party [Viliami FUKOFUKA]

    International organization participation: ACP, AsDB, C, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, IMF, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), Interpol, IOC, ITU, Sparteca, SPC, SPF, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WMO, WTrO (applicant)

    Diplomatic representation in the US: Tonga does not have an embassy in the US; Ambassador Akosita FINEANGANOFO, resides in London; address: Embassy of the Kingdom of Tonga, c/o Tonga High Commission, 36 Molyneux Street, London W1H 6AB, telephone [44] (171) 724-5828, FAX [44] (171) 723-9074
    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

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)