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Timor-Leste: Government#

Country nameconventional long form: Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste
conventional short form: Timor-Leste
note: pronounced TEE-mor LESS-tay
local long form: Republika Demokratika Timor Lorosa'e (Tetum); Republica Democratica de Timor-Leste (Portuguese)
local short form: Timor Lorosa'e (Tetum); Timor-Leste (Portuguese)
former: East Timor, Portuguese Timor
CapitalDili Dili
geographic coordinates: 8 35 S, 125 36 E
time difference: UTC+9 (14 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions13 administrative districts; Aileu, Ainaro, Baucau, Bobonaro (Maliana), Cova-Lima (Suai), Dili, Ermera (Gleno), Lautem (Los Palos), Liquica, Manatuto, Manufahi (Same), Oecussi (Ambeno), Viqueque
note: administrative divisions have the same names as their administrative centers (exceptions have the administrative center name following in parentheses)
Constitutiondrafted 2001, approved 22 March 2002, entered into force 20 May 2002 (2013)
Executive branchchief of state: President Taur Matan RUAK (Jose Maria de VASCONCELOS) (since 20 May 2012); note - the president plays a largely symbolic role but is the commander in chief of the military and is able to veto legislation, dissolve parliament, and call national elections
head of government: Prime Minister Kay Rala Xanana GUSMAO (since 8 August 2007); note - he formerly used the name Jose Alexandre GUSMAO; Vice Prime Minister Fernando "Lasama" de ARAUJO (since 8 August 2012)
cabinet: Council of Ministers
elections: the president is elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); last election was held on 17 March 2012 with a run-off on 16 April 2012; following parliamentary elections, the president appoints the leader of the majority party or majority coalition as the prime minister
election results: Taur Matan RUAK elected president; percent of second-round vote - Taur Matan RUAK 61.2%, Francisco GUTTERES 38.8%
Flag descriptionred, with a black isosceles triangle (based on the hoist side) superimposed on a slightly longer yellow arrowhead that extends to the center of the flag; a white star - pointing to the upper hoist-side corner of the flag - is in the center of the black triangle; yellow denotes the colonialism in Timor-Leste's past; black represents the obscurantism that needs to be overcome; red stands for the national liberation struggle; the white star symbolizes peace and serves as a guiding light
Independence28 November 1975 (independence proclaimed from Portugal); note - 20 May 2002 is the official date of international recognition of Timor-Leste's independence
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Supreme Court of Justice (consists of the court president and NA judges)
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court president appointed by the president of the republic from among the other court judges to serve a 4-year term; other Supreme Court judges appointed - 1 by the Parliament, and the others by the Supreme Council for the Judiciary, a body presided by the Supreme Court president and includes mostly presidential and parliamentary appointees; other Supreme Court judge tenure NA
subordinate courts: Court of Appeal; district courts; magistrates' courts
note - the UN Justice System Programme, launched in 2003 and in 2008, is helping strengthen the country's justice system
Legal systemcivil law system based on the Portuguese model; note - penal and civil law codes to replace the Indonesian codes were passed by Parliament and promulgated in 2009 and 2011, respectively
Legislative branchunicameral National Parliament (the number of seats can vary from 52 to 65; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms in a modified proportional representation system)
elections: elections were held on 7 July 2012 (next to be held in July 2017)
election results: percent of vote by party - CNRT 36%, FRETILIN 30%, PD 10%, Frenti-Mudanca 3%, others 21%; seats by party - CNRT 30, FRETILIN 25, PD 8, Frenti-Mudanca 2
International organization participationACP, ADB, AOSIS, ARF, ASEAN (observer), CPLP, EITI (compliant country), FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ITU, MIGA, NAM, OPCW, PIF (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNMISS, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WMO
National holidayProclamation of Independence Day, 28 November (1975)
Political pressure groups and leadersNA
Political parties and leadersDemocratic Party or PD (Fernando "Lasama" de ARAUJO)
Frenti-Mudanca (Jose Luis GUTERRES)
National Congress for Timorese Reconstruction or CNRT (Kay Rala Xanana GUSMAO)
Revolutionary Front of Independent Timor-Leste or FRETILIN (Mari ALKATIRI)
(only parties in Parliament are listed)
Suffrage17 years of age; universal
Government typerepublic
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Domingos Sarmento ALVES (since 21 May 2014)
chancery: 4201 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 504,Washington, DC 20008
telephone: (1) (202) 966-3202
FAX: (1) (202) 966-3205
National anthemname: "Patria" (Fatherland)
lyrics/music: Fransisco Borja DA COSTA/Afonso DE ARAUJO
note: adopted 2002; the song was first used as an anthem when Timor-Leste declared its independence from Portugal in 1975; the lyricist, Fransisco Borja DA COSTA, was killed in the Indonesian invasion just days after independence was declared
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Scott TICKNOR
embassy: Avenida de Portugal, Praia dos Coqueiros, Dili
mailing address: US Department of State, 8250 Dili Place, Washington, DC 20521-8250
telephone: (670) 332-4684
FAX: (670) 331-3206