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Tuvalu Government
Capital:
Funafuti; note - administrative offices are located in Vaiaku Village on Fongafale Islet
Country name:
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Tuvalu
note: "Tuvalu" means "group of eight," referring to the country's eight traditionally inhabited islands
former: Ellice Islands
Government type:
constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democracy; began debating republic status in 1992
Administrative divisions:
none
Independence:
1 October 1978 (from UK)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 1 October (1978)
Constitution:
1 October 1978
Legal system:
NA
Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor General Faimalaga LUKA (since 9 September 2003)
elections: the monarch is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch on the recommendation of the prime minister; prime minister and deputy prime minister elected by and from the members of Parliament; election last held 2 August 2002 (next to be held following by-election projected for November 2004 to fill the seat vacated by the resignation of Saufatu SOPOANGA)
election results: Saufatu SOPOANGA resigned parliamentary seat on 27 August 2004 following no-confidence vote on 25 August 2004; succeeded by Deputy Prime Minister Maatia TOAFA in an acting capacity on 27 August 2004
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the recommendation of the prime minister
head of government: Prime Minister (Acting) Maatia TOAFA (since 27 August 2004)
Legislative branch:
unicameral Parliament or Fale I Fono, also called House of Assembly (15 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 25 July 2002 (next to be held NA 2006)
election results: percent of vote - NA; seats - independents 15
Judicial branch:
High Court (a chief justice visits twice a year to preside over its sessions; its rulings can be appealed to the Court of Appeal in Fiji); eight Island Courts (with limited jurisdiction)
Political parties and leaders:
there are no political parties but members of Parliament usually align themselves in informal groupings
Political pressure groups and leaders:
none
International organization participation:
ACP, AsDB, C, IFRCS (observer), ITU, OPCW, PIF, Sparteca, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UPU, WHO
Diplomatic representation from the US:
the US does not have an embassy in Tuvalu; the US ambassador to Fiji is accredited to Tuvalu
Flag description:
light blue with the flag of the uk in the upper hoist-side quadrant; the outer half of the flag represents a map of the country with nine yellow five-pointed stars symbolizing the nine islands
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