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Samoa Government
Capital:
Apia
Country name:
conventional long form: Independent State of Samoa
conventional short form: Samoa
former: Western Samoa
Government type:
constitutional monarchy under native chief
Administrative divisions:
11 districts; A'ana, Aiga-i-le-Tai, Atua, Fa'asaleleaga, Gaga'emauga, Gagaifomauga, Palauli, Satupa'itea, Tuamasaga, Va'a-o-Fonoti, Vaisigano
Independence:
1 January 1962 (from New Zealand-administered UN trusteeship)
National holiday:
Independence Day Celebration, 1 June (1962); note - 1 January 1962 is the date of independence from the New Zealand-administered UN trusteeship, 1 June 1962 is the date that independence is celebrated
Constitution:
1 January 1962
Legal system:
based on English common law and local customs; judicial review of legislative acts with respect to fundamental rights of the citizen; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage:
21 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: Chief Tanumafili II MALIETOA (cochief of state from 1 January 1962 until becoming sole chief of state 5 April 1963)
head of government: Prime Minister Sailele Malielegaoi TUILA'EPA (since 1996); note - TUILA'EPA served as deputy prime minister from 1992 until he assumed the prime ministership in 1996, when former Prime Minister TOFILAU Eti Alesana resigned in poor health; TUILA'EPA was confirmed as prime minister (November 1998) after TOFILAU died; the post of deputy prime minister is currently vacant
cabinet: Cabinet consists of 12 members, appointed by the chief of state with the prime minister's advice
elections: upon the death of Chief Tanumafili II MALIETOA, a new chief of state will be elected by the Legislative Assembly to serve a five-year term; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party is usually appointed prime minister by the chief of state with the approval of the Legislative Assembly
Legislative branch:
unicameral Legislative Assembly or Fono (49 seats - 47 elected by voters affiliated with traditional village-based electoral districts, 2 elected by independent, mostly Eurasian, voters who cannot, (or choose not to) establish a village affiliation; only chiefs (matai) may stand for election to the Fono; members serve five-year terms)
elections: election last held 3 March 2001 (next election to be held not later than March 2006)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - HRPP 30, SNDP 13, independents 6
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court; Court of Appeal; Land and Titles Court
Political parties and leaders:
Christian Democratic Party [leader NA]; Human Rights Protection Party or HRPP [Sailele Malielegaoi TUILA'EPA, chairman]; Samoa All People's Party or SAPP [Matatumua MAIMOANA]; Samoan National Development Party or SNDP [LE MAMEA Ropati, chairman] (opposition); Samoa National Party [FETU Tiatia, party secretary]; Samoan Progressive Conservative Party [LEOTA Ituau Ale]; Samoan United Independents Party or SUIP [Dr. Saleimoa VAAI]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
NA
International organization participation:
ACP, AsDB, C, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IMF, IMO, IOC, ITU, OPCW, PIF, Sparteca, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO (observer)
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Aliioaiga Feturi ELISAIA
FAX: [1] (212) 599-0797
telephone: [1] (212) 599-6196, 6197
chancery: 800 Second Avenue, Suite 400D, New York, NY 10017
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: the Ambassador to New Zealand, Ambassador Charles J. SWINDELLS, is accredited to Samoa
embassy: Vailima
mailing address: P. O. Box 3430, Apia
telephone: [685] 21631/22696
FAX: [685] 22030
Flag description:
red with a blue rectangle in the upper hoist-side quadrant bearing five white five-pointed stars representing the southern cross constellation
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