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Tonga 

Key facts

POPULATION (Census 2011 preliminary): 103,036
AREA: 747 sq km
CAPITAL: Nuku’alofa
LOCAL GOVERNMENT CONTRIBUTION TO GDP: -
CURRENCY: pa’anga (TOP)
HEAD OF STATE: King George Tupou VI
HEAD OF GOVERNMENT: Lord Tu’ivakano
FORM OF GOVERNMENT: constitutional monarchy
PARLIAMENTARY SYSTEM: unicameral
STATE STRUCTURE: unitary
LANGUAGES: English, Tongan (official),
NATIONAL ELECTIONS: last: April 2010, turnout: 90%; next: 2014
LOCAL ELECTIONS: last: April 2011, turnout: -; next: May 2013

Summary

Tonga is a constitutional monarchy with two levels of government, local and national. There is no constitutional provision for local government and the main legislative texts that cover local government are the Fonos Act 1988 and the District and Town Officers Act 1988. The district officer and town officer are elected by popular vote every three years and report directly to the prime minister’s office, or the governor in the case of Ha’apai and Vava’u divisions. The town officer is empowered to call a normal fono (a community meeting to discuss matters of priority) and also a ‘grand fono’ where the Minister of Internal Affairs or other government official may address the people.

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