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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

note: the name "Samoa" is composed of two parts, "sa" meaning sacred and "moa" meaning center, so the name can mean Holy Center; alternatively, it can mean "place of the sacred moa bird" of Polynesian mythology
Government typeparliamentary republic
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
Independence1 January 1962 (from New Zealand-administered UN trusteeship)
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
Constitutionseveral previous (preindependence); latest 1 January 1962; amended several times, last in 2015 (2016)
Legal systemmixed legal system of English common law and customary law; judicial review of legislative acts with respect to fundamental rights of the citizen
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Samoa
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years
Suffrage21 years of age; universal
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 appointed by the chief of state on the prime minister's advice
elections/appointments: chief of state indirectly elected by the Legislative Assembly to serve a 5-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, approved by the Legislative Assembly
election results: TUI ATUA Tupua Tamasese Efi unanimously elected by the Legislative Assembly
Legislative branchdescription: unicameral Legislative Assembly or Fono (49 seats; 47 members - traditional family chiefs or matai and 2 members - part-Samoan or non-Samoan - directly elected by simple majority vote; members serve 5-year terms)
elections: election last held on 4 March 2016 (next election to be held no later than March 2021)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - HRPP 44, Tautua Samoa 3, independents 2
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
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 (Toalepaiali'i Toesulusulu S'iueva POSE II)
Tautua Samoa (Leatinu'u Salole LESA)
Political pressure groups and leadersNA
International organization participationACP, ADB, AOSIS, C, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, 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
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)
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: the US does not have an embassy in Samoa; the US Ambassador to New Zealand 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
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
National symbol(s)Southern Cross constellation (five, five-pointed stars); national colors: red, white, blue
National anthemname: "O le Fu'a o le Sa'olotoga o Samoa" (The Banner of Freedom)
lyrics/music: Sauni Liga KURESA

note: adopted 1962; also known as "Samoa Tula'i" (Samoa Arise)