POPULATION (Census 2006): 101,911
AREA: 747 sq km
LOCAL GOVERNMENT CONTRIBUTION TO GDP: -
CURRENCY: Pa'anga (TOP)
HEAD OF STATE: King George Tupou V
HEAD OF GOVERNMENT: Lord Tuivakan
FORM OF GOVERNMENT: constitutional monarchy
PARLIAMENTARY SYSTEM: unicameral
STATE STRUCTURE: unitary
LANGUAGES: Tongan (official), English
NATIONAL ELECTIONS: last: April 2008 next: 2011
LOCAL ELECTIONS: last: April 2010 next: -
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 for 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 prime minister or other government official may address the people.
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King George Tupou V died on 18 March 2012. He had named his brother as heir apparent.