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Timor-Leste: Government#

Country nameconventional long form: Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste
conventional short form: Timor-Leste
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
etymology: "timor" derives from the Indonesian and Malay word "timur" meaning "east"; "leste" is the Portuguese word for "east", so "Timor-Leste" literally means "Eastern-East"; the local (Tetum) name "Timor Lorosa'e" translates as "East Rising Sun"

note: pronounced TEE-mor LESS-tay
Government typesemi-presidential republic
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)
Independence20 May 2002 (from Indonesia); note - 28 November 1975 was the date independence was proclaimed from Portugal; 20 May 2002 was the date of international recognition of Timor-Leste's independence from Indonesia
National holidayRestoration of Independence Day, 20 May (2002); Proclamation of Independence Day, 28 November (1975)
Constitutiondrafted 2001, approved 22 March 2002, entered into force 20 May 2002 (2016)
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
International law organization participationaccepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Timor-Leste
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 10 years
Suffrage17 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President Taur Matan RUAK, aka 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 - formerly Jose Alexandre GUSMAO (since 8 August 2007); Vice Prime Minister Fernando "Lasama" de ARAUJO (since 8 August 2012)
cabinet: Council of Ministers proposed by the prime minister and appointed by the president
elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 17 March 2012 with a runoff 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 in runoff; percent of vote - Taur Matan RUAK (independent) 61.2%, Francisco GUTTERES (Frenti-Mudanca) 38.8%
Legislative branchdescription: unicameral National Parliament (65 seats; members directly elected in a single nationwide constituency by proportional representation vote to serve 5-year terms)
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
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 judges appointed for life
subordinate courts: Court of Appeal; High Administrative, Tax, and Audit Court; district courts; magistrates' courts; military courts

note: the UN Justice System Programme, launched in 2003 in 4 phases through 2018, is helping strengthen the country's justice system; the Programme is aligned with the country's long-range Justice Sector Strategic Plan, which includes legal reform
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)
Political pressure groups and leadersNA
International organization participationACP, ADB, AOSIS, ARF, ASEAN (observer), CPLP, EITI (compliant country), FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ITU, MIGA, NAM, OPCW, PIF (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WMO
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
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador Karen STANTON (since 16 January 2015)
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
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
National symbol(s)Mount Ramelau; national colors: red, yellow, black, white
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