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World > Oceania > Tonga > Government and Political Conditions (Notes)

Tonga - Government and Political Conditions (Notes)


GOVERNMENT
Tonga is the South Pacific's last Polynesian kingdom. Its executive branch includes the prime minister and the cabinet, which becomes the Privy Council when presided over by the monarch. In intervals between legislative sessions, the Privy Council makes ordinances, which become law if confirmed by the legislature. The unicameral Legislative Assembly is controlled by the royal family and nobles. It consists of nine nobles who are elected by the 33 hereditary nobles of Tonga and nine people's representatives elected by universal adult suffrage for 3-year terms. The cabinet includes 12 ministers, appointed by the monarch, currently including two from the nine selected nobles' representatives and two from the nine elected people's representatives. The governors of Ha'apai and Vava'u are appointed to their offices and serve as ex officio members of the cabinet. The Legislative Assembly sits for 4 or 5 months a year.

Tonga's court system consists of the Court of Appeal (Privy Council), the Supreme Court, the Magistrates' Court, and the Land Court. Judges are appointed by the monarch.

The only form of local government is through town and district officials who have been popularly elected since 1965. The town official represents the central government in the villages; the district official has authority over a group of villages.

Principal Government Officials
Monarch--King Siaosi Tupou V
Prime Minister--Feleti Vaka'uta Sevele
Minister of Foreign Affairs--Sonatane 'Tu'akinamolahi Taumoepeau-Tupou
Ambassador to the United States--Fekitamoeloa ?Utoikamanu

Tonga maintains an embassy at 250 East 51st Street, New York, New York 10022 (tel: 917-369-1136; fax: 917-369-1024). In addition, Tonga has a Consulate General in San Francisco.


Facts at a Glance: Geography - People - Government - Economy - Communications - Transportation - Military - Climate - Current Time - Ranking Positions
Notes and Commentary: People - Economy - Government and Political Conditions - Historical Highlights - Foreign Relations - Relations with U.S.



Facts at a Glance
Geography
People
Government
Economy
Communications
Transportation
Military
Climate
Current Time
Ranking Positions


Notes and Commentary
People
Economy
Government and Political Conditions
Historical Highlights
Foreign Relations
Relations with U.S.





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