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Tuvalu Government Profile 2018

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Country nameconventional long form: none
conventional short form: Tuvalu
local long form: none
local short form: Tuvalu
former: Ellice Islands
etymology: "tuvalu" means "group of eight" or "eight standing together" referring to the country's eight traditionally inhabited islands
Government typeparliamentary democracy (House of Assembly) under a constitutional monarchy; a Commonwealth realm
Capitalname: Funafuti; note - the capital is an atoll of some 29 islets; administrative offices are in Vaiaku Village on Fongafale Islet
geographic coordinates: 8 31 S, 179 13 E
time difference: UTC+12 (17 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions7 island councils and 1 town council*; Funafuti*, Nanumaga, Nanumea, Niutao, Nui, Nukufetau, Nukulaelae, Vaitupu
Independence1 October 1978 (from the UK)
National holidayIndependence Day, 1 October (1978)
Constitutionprevious 1978 (at independence); latest effective 1 October 1986; amended 2007, 2010, 2013 (2016)
Legal systemmixed legal system of English common law and local customary law
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: yes
citizenship by descent: yes; for a child born abroad, at least one parent must be a citizen of Tuvalu
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: na
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Iakoba TAEIA Italeli (since 16 April 2010)
head of government: Prime Minister Enele SOPOAGA (since 5 August 2013)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general on recommendation of the prime minister
elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch on recommendation of the prime minister; prime minister and deputy prime minister elected by and from members of House of Assembly following parliamentary elections
election results: Enele SOPOAGA elected prime minister by House of Assembly; House of Assembly vote count on 4 August 2013 - 8 to 5; note - Willie TELAVI removed as prime minister by the governor general on 1 August 2013
Legislative branchdescription: unicameral House of Assembly or Fale I Fono (15 seats; members directly elected in single- and multi-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 4-year terms)
elections: last held on 31 March 2015 (next to be held in 2019)
election results: percent of vote - NA; seats - independent 15; 12 members reelected
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Court of Appeal (consists of the chief justice and not less than 3 appeals judges); High Court (consists of the chief justice); appeals beyond the Court of Appeal are heard by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (in London)
judge selection and term of office: Appeal Court judges appointed by the governor general on the advice of the Cabinet; judges' tenure based on terms of appointment; High Court chief justice appointed by the governor general on the advice of the Cabinet; chief justice appointed for life; other judges appointed by the governor-general on the advice of the Cabinet after consultation with chief justice; tenure of judges set by terms of appointment
subordinate courts: magistrates' courts; island courts; land courts
Political parties and leadersthere are no political parties but members of parliament usually align themselves in informal groupings
Political pressure groups and leadersnone
International organization participationACP, ADB, AOSIS, C, FAO, IBRD, IDA, IFAD, IFRCS (observer), ILO, IMF, IMO, IOC, ITU, OPCW, PIF, Sparteca, SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Samuelu LALONIU (since 21 July 2017)
chancery: note - Tuvalu does not have an embassy in Washington, D.C.; UN office located at 800 2nd Avenue, Suite 400D, New York, NY 10017
telephone: [1] (212) 490-0534
FAX: [1] (212) 937-0692
Diplomatic representation from the USthe US does not have an embassy in Tuvalu; the US Ambassador to Fiji is accredited to Tuvalu
Flag descriptionlight 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 on a blue field symbolizing the nine atolls in the ocean
National symbol(s)maneapa (native meeting house); national colors: light blue, yellow
National anthemname: "Tuvalu mo te Atua" (Tuvalu for the Almighty)
lyrics/music: Afaese MANOA
note: adopted 1978; the anthem's name is also the nation's motto

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on January 20, 2018