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Solomon Islands: Government#

Country nameconventional long form: none
conventional short form: Solomon Islands
local long form: none
local short form: Solomon Islands
former: British Solomon Islands
etymology: Spanish explorer Alvaro de MENDANA named the isles in 1568 after the wealthy biblical King SOLOMON in the mistaken belief that the islands contained great riches
Government typeparliamentary democracy (National Parliament) under a constitutional monarchy; a Commonwealth realm
CapitalHoniara Honiara
geographic coordinates: 9 26 S, 159 57 E
time difference: UTC+11 (16 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions9 provinces and 1 city*; Central, Choiseul, Guadalcanal, Honiara*, Isabel, Makira and Ulawa, Malaita, Rennell and Bellona, Temotu, Western
Independence7 July 1978 (from the UK)
National holidayIndependence Day, 7 July (1978)
Constitutionadopted 31 May 1978, effective 7 July 1978; new constitution drafted in 2014 (2016)
Legal systemmixed legal system of English common law and customary law
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of the Solomon Islands
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 7 years
Suffrage21 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Frank KABUI (since 7 July 2009)
head of government: Prime Minister Manasseh SOGAVARE (since 9 December 2014)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister
elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch on the advice of the National Parliament for up to 5 years (eligible for a second term); following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition usually elected prime minister by the National Parliament; deputy prime minister appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister from among members of the National Parliament
election results: Manasseh SOGAVARE (independent) elected prime minister; National Parliament vote - 31 to 19
Legislative branchdescription: unicameral National Parliament (50 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 4-year terms)
elections: last held on 19 November 2014 (next to be held in 2018)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - independents 32, DAP 7, UDP 5, PAP 3, KPSI 1, SIPFP 1, SIPRA 1
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Court of Appeal (consists of the court president, and ex officio members to include the High Court chief justice and its puisne judges); High Court (consists of the chief justice and puisne judges as prescribed by the National Parliament)
judge selection and term of office: Court of Appeal and High Court president, chief justices, and puisne judges appointed by the governor-general upon recommendation of the Judicial and Legal Service Commission, chaired by the chief justice to include 5 members, mostly judicial officials and legal professionals; all judges appointed until retirement at age 60
subordinate courts: Magistrates' Courts; Customary Land Appeal Court; local courts
Political parties and leadersDemocratic Alliance Party or DAP (Steve ABANA)
Kadere Party of Solomon Islands or KPSI (Alfred LEGUA)
People's Alliance Party or PAP (Nathaniel WAENA)
Solomon Islands People First Party or SIPFP (Jimmie RODGERS)
Solomon Islands Party for Rural Advancement or SIPRA (Manasseh MAELANGA)
United Democratic Party (Thomas Ko CHAN)
note: in general, Solomon Islands politics is characterized by fluid coalitions
Political pressure groups and leadersIsatabu Freedom Movement or IFM
Malaita Eagle Force or MEF
note: these rival armed ethnic factions crippled the Solomon Islands in a wave of violence from 1999 to 2003
International organization participationACP, ADB, AOSIS, C, EITI (candidate country), ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IOC, ITU, MIGA, OPCW, PIF, Sparteca, SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Collin David BECK (since 31 March 2004)
chancery: 800 Second Avenue, Suite 400L, New York, NY 10017
telephone: (1) (212) 599-6192, 6193
FAX: (1) (212) 661-8925
Diplomatic representation from the USthe US does not have an embassy in the Solomon Islands; the US Ambassador to Papua New Guinea is accredited to the Solomon Islands
Flag descriptiondivided diagonally by a thin yellow stripe from the lower hoist-side corner; the upper triangle (hoist side) is blue with five white five-pointed stars arranged in an X pattern; the lower triangle is green; blue represents the ocean; green the land; and yellow sunshine; the five stars stand for the five main island groups of the Solomon Islands
National symbol(s)national colors: blue, yellow, green, white
National anthemname: "God Save Our Solomon Islands"
lyrics/music: Panapasa BALEKANA and Matila BALEKANA/Panapasa BALEKANA

note: adopted 1978