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French Polynesia Government Profile 2016

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Country nameconventional long form: Overseas Lands of French Polynesia
conventional short form: French Polynesia
local long form: Pays d'outre-mer de la Polynesie Francaise
local short form: Polynesie Francaise
former: French Colony of Oceania
etymology: the term "Polynesia" is an 18th-century construct composed of two Greek words, "poly" (many) and "nesoi" (islands), and refers to the more than 1,000 islands scattered over the central and southern Pacific Ocean
Dependency statusoverseas lands of France; overseas territory of France from 1946-2003; overseas collectivity of France since 2003, though it is often referred to as an overseas country due to its degree of autonomy
Government typeparliamentary democracy (Assembly of French Polynesia); an overseas collectivity of France
Capitalname: Papeete (located on Tahiti)
geographic coordinates: 17 32 S, 149 34 W
time difference: UTC-10 (5 hours behind Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisionsIles Australes, Iles du Vent, Iles Marquises, Iles Sous-le-Vent, Iles Tuamotu-Gambier
Independencenone (overseas lands of France)
National holidayFete de la Federation, 14 July (1789); note - the local holiday is Internal Autonomy Day, 29 June (1880)
Constitution4 October 1958 (French Constitution)
Legal systemthe laws of France, where applicable, apply
Citizenshipsee France
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President Francois HOLLANDE (since 15 May 2012), represented by High Commissioner of the Republic Rene BIDALL (since 30 May 2016)
head of government: President of French Polynesia Edouard FRITCH (since 12 September 2014)
cabinet: Council of Ministers approved by the Assembly from a list of its members submitted by the president
elections/appointments: French president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); high commissioner appointed by the French president on the advice of the French Ministry of Interior; French Polynesia president indirectly elected by Assembly of French Polynesia for a 5-year term (no term limits)
Legislative branchdescription: unicameral Assembly of French Polynesia or Assemblee de la Polynesie Francaise (57 seats; elections held in two rounds; in the second round, 38 members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote; the party receiving the most votes gets an additional 19 seats; members serve 5-year terms)
note: two seats were elected to the French Senate for a 6-year term on 20 September 2014 (next to be held in September 2022); results - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Popular Rally 1, People's Servant Party 1; two seats were elected to the French National Assembly for a 5-year term on 17 June 2012 (next to be held by June 2017); results - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - UMP 2; the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) is France's ruling party,
elections: last held on 21 April 2013 and 5 May 2013 (next to be held in 2018)
election results: percent of vote by party - Popular Rally 45.1%, UPD 29.3%, A Tia Porinetia 25.6%; seats by party - Popular Rally 38, UPD 11, A Tia Porinetia 8
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Court of Appeal or Cour d'Appel (composition NA); note - appeals beyond the French Polynesia Court of Appeal are heard by the Court of Cassation (in Paris)
judge selection and term of office: judges assigned from France normally for 3 years
subordinate courts: Court of the First Instance or Tribunal de Premiere Instance; Court of Administrative Law or Tribunal Administratif
Political parties and leadersA Tia Porinetia [Teva ROHFRITSCH]
Alliance for a New Democracy or ADN (includes the parties The New Star and This Country is Yours)
New Fatherland Party (Ai'a Api) [Emile VERNAUDON]
Our Home alliance
People's Servant Party (Tavini Huiraatira) [Oscar TEMARU]
Popular Rally (Tahoeraa Huiraatira) [Gaston FLOSSE]
Union for Democracy alliance or UPD [Oscar TEMARU]
International organization participationITUC (NGOs), PIF (associate member), SPC, UPU, WMO
Diplomatic representation in the USnone (overseas lands of France)
Diplomatic representation from the USnone (overseas lands of France)
Flag descriptiontwo red horizontal bands encase a wide white band in a 1:2:1 ratio; centered on the white band is a disk with a blue and white wave pattern depicting the sea on the lower half and a gold and white ray pattern depicting the sun on the upper half; a Polynesian canoe rides on the wave pattern; the canoe has a crew of five represented by five stars that symbolize the five island groups; red and white are traditional Polynesian colors
note: similar to the red-white-red flag of Tahiti, the largest of the islands in French Polynesia, which has no emblem in the white band; the flag of France is used for official occasions
National symbol(s)outrigger canoe; national colors: red, white
National anthemname: "Ia Ora 'O Tahiti Nui" (Long Live Tahiti Nui)
lyrics/music: Maeva BOUGES, Irmine TEHEI, Angele TEROROTUA, Johanna NOUVEAU, Patrick AMARU, Louis MAMATUI, and Jean-Pierre CELESTIN (the compositional group created both the lyrics and music)
note: adopted 1993; serves as a local anthem; as a territory of France, "La Marseillaise" is official (see France)
Government - noteunder certain acts of France, French Polynesia has acquired autonomy in all areas except those relating to police, monetary policy, tertiary education, immigration, and defense and foreign affairs; the duties of its president are fashioned after those of the French prime minister

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on October 8, 2016