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Samoa: Government#

Country nameconventional long form: Independent State of Samoa
conventional short form: Samoa
local long form: Malo Sa'oloto Tuto'atasi o Samoa
local short form: Samoa
former: Western Samoa
CapitalApia Apia
geographic coordinates: 13 49 S, 171 46 W
time difference: UTC+13 (18 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
+1hr, begins last Sunday in September; ends first Sunday in April
Administrative divisions11 districts; A'ana, Aiga-i-le-Tai, Atua, Fa'asaleleaga, Gaga'emauga, Gagaifomauga, Palauli, Satupa'itea, Tuamasaga, Va'a-o-Fonoti, Vaisigano
Constitutionseveral previous (preindependence); latest 1 January 1962; amended several times, last in 2013 (2013)
Executive branchchief of state: TUI ATUA Tupua Tamasese Efi (since 20 June 2007)
head of government: Prime Minister TUILA'EPA Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi (since 1998); Deputy Prime Minister FONOTOE Pierre Lauofo (since 2011)
cabinet: Cabinet consists of 12 members appointed by the chief of state on the prime minister's advice
elections: chief of state elected by the Legislative Assembly to serve a five-year term (no term limits); election last held on 20 July 2012 (next to be held in 2017); following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party usually appointed prime minister by the chief of state with the approval of the Legislative Assembly
election results: TUI ATUA Tupua Tamasese Efi unanimously elected by the Legislative Assembly
Flag descriptionred with a blue rectangle in the upper hoist-side quadrant bearing five white five-pointed stars representing the Southern Cross constellation; red stands for courage, blue represents freedom, and white signifies purity
Independence1 January 1962 (from New Zealand-administered UN trusteeship)
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Court of Appeal (consists of the chief justice and 2 Supreme Court judges and meets once or twice a year); Supreme Court (consists of the chief justice and several judges)
judge selection and term of office: chief justice appointed by the head of state upon the advice of the prime minister; other Supreme Court judges appointed by the Judicial Service Commission, a 3-member body chaired by the chief justice and includes the attorney general and an appointee of the Minister of Justice; judges normally appointed until retirement at age 68
subordinate courts: District Court; Magistrates' Courts; Land and Titles Courts; village fono or village chief councils
Legal systemmixed legal system of English common law and customary law; judicial review of legislative acts with respect to fundamental rights of the citizen
Legislative branchunicameral Legislative Assembly or Fono (49 seats, 47 members elected by voters affiliated with traditional village-based electoral districts, 2 elected by independent, mostly non-Samoan or part-Samoan, voters who cannot (or choose not to) establish a village affiliation; only chiefs (matai) may stand for election to the Fono from the 47 village-based electorates; members serve five-year terms)
elections: election last held on 4 March 2011 (next election to be held not later than March 2016)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - HRPP 29, Tautua Samoa 13, independents 7
International organization participationACP, ADB, AOSIS, C, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, OPCW, PIF, Sparteca, SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
National holidayIndependence Day Celebration, 1 June (1962); note - 1 January 1962 is the date of independence from the New Zealand-administered UN trusteeship; it is observed in June
Political pressure groups and leadersNA
Political parties and leadersHuman Rights Protection Party or HRPP (Sailele Malielegaoi TUILA'EPA)
Samoa Christian Party or TCP (Tuala Tiresa MALIETOA)
Samoa Progressive Political Party or SPPP
Tautua Samoa (Palusalue FA'APO II)
Suffrage21 years of age; universal
Government typeparliamentary democracy
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Aliioaiga Feturi ELISAIA (since 4 December 2003)
chancery: 800 Second Avenue, Suite 400J, New York, NY 10017
telephone: (1) (212) 599-6196 through 6197
FAX: (1) (212) 599-0797
consulate(s) general: Pago Pago (American Samoa)
National anthemname: "O le Fu'a o le Sa'olotoga o Samoa" (The Banner of Freedom)
lyrics/music: Sauni Liga KURESA
note: adopted 1962; the anthem is also known as "Samoa Tula'i" (Samoa Arise)
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
National symbol(s)Southern Cross constellation (five, five-pointed stars)
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: the US does not have an embassy in Samoa; the US Ambassador to New Zealand, currently Ambassador David HUEBNER, is accredited to Samoa
embassy: Accident Corporation Building, 5th Floor, Matafele, Apia
mailing address: P. O. Box 3430, Matafele, Apia
telephone: (685) 21436/21631/21452/22696
FAX: (685) 22030