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Tonga: Government#

Country nameconventional long form: Kingdom of Tonga
conventional short form: Tonga
local long form: Pule'anga Tonga
local short form: Tonga
former: Friendly Islands
CapitalNuku'alofa Nuku
geographic coordinates: 21 08 S, 175 12 W
time difference: UTC+13 (18 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions5 island divisions; 'Eua, Ha'apai, Ongo Niua, Tongatapu, Vava'u
Constitutionadopted 4 November 1875; amended many times, last in 2013 (2013)
Executive branchchief of state: King TUPOU VI (since 18 March 2012); note - King George TUPOU V died on 18 March 2012 in Hong Kong; he was succeeded by his brother Crown Prince TUPOUTO'A Lavaka, who took the throne name TUPOU VI
head of government: Prime Minister Lord Siale'ataonga TU'IVAKANO (since 22 December 2010)
cabinet: Cabinet nominated by the prime minister and appointed by the monarch
note: a Privy Councilt advises the monarch
elections: the monarchy is hereditary; prime minister and deputy prime minister elected by and from members of parliament and appointed by the monarch; election last held on 21 December 2010 (next to be held in NA 2014)
election results: Lord Siale'ataonga TU'IVAKANO elected prime minister by parliament; vpte - 14 of 26 votes
Flag descriptionred with a bold red cross on a white rectangle in the upper hoist-side corner; the cross reflects the deep-rooted Christianity in Tonga; red represents the blood of Christ and his sacrifice; white signifies purity
Independence4 June 1970 (from UK protectorate)
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Court of Appeal (consists of the court president and a number of judges determined by the monarch); note - appeals beyond the Court of Appeal are brought before the King in Privy Council, the monarch's advisory organ that has both judicial and legislative powers
judge selection and term of office: judge appointments and tenures made by the King in Privy Council, judge appointments subject to consent of the Legislative Assembly
subordinate courts: Supreme Court; Magistrate's Courts; Land Courts
Legal systemEnglish common law
Legislative branchunicameral Legislative Assembly or Fale Alea (26 seats - 9 for nobles elected from among the country's 29 nobles, 17 members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held on 25 November 2010 (next to be held in 2014)
election results: Peoples Representatives: percent of vote - independents 67.3%, Democratic Party 28.5%, other 4.2%; seats - Democratic Party 12, independents 5
International organization participationACP, ADB, AOSIS, C, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), OPCW, PIF, Sparteca, SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
National holidayNational Day, 4 November (1875)
Political pressure groups and leadersHuman Rights and Democracy Movement Tonga or HRDMT (Rev. Simote VEA, chairman)
Public Servant's Association (Finau TUTONE)
Political parties and leadersDemocratic Party of the Friendly Islands (Samuela 'Akilisi POHIVA)
People's Democratic Party or PDP (Tesina FUKO)
Sustainable Nation-Building Party (Sione FONUA)
Tonga Democratic Labor Party (NA)
Tonga Human Rights and Democracy Movement or THRDM (NA)
Suffrage21 years of age; universal
Government typeconstitutional monarchy
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Mahe'uli'uli Sandhurst TUPOUNIUA (since 10 September 2013)
chancery: 800 Second Avenue, Suite 400B, New York, NY 10017
telephone: (1) (800) 345-6541
consulate(s) general: San Francisco
National anthemname: "Ko e fasi `o e tu"i `o e `Otu Tonga" (Song of the King of the Tonga Islands)
lyrics/music: Uelingatoni Ngu TUPOUMALOHI/Karl Gustavus SCHMITT
note: in use since 1875; the anthem is more commonly known as "Fasi Fakafonua" (National Song)
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
National symbol(s)red cross on white field; arms equal length
Diplomatic representation from the USthe US does not have an embassy in Tonga; the US ambassador to Fiji, currently Ambassador Frankie A. REED, is accredited to Tonga