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Tonga's Political System

Since independence in 1970, Tonga has been a unified state monarchy within the Commonwealth, the only monarchy in the Pacific. The form of government dates back to 1875; it is to some extent democratized in recent times, but the king is still the real leader. He heads the government, the Privy Council, and has placed close relatives in key positions. In addition to the king, the council has twelve life-long ministers, including the prime minister, and the governors of Ha'apai and Vava'u. The Council has a certain legislative authority, but it is mainly in the National Assembly. It is called Fale Alea, elected for three years and has 32 members; the government (12), the two governors, nine nobles, elected by Tonga's 33 noble families, and nine representatives elected in the general election.

Political System of Tonga

The judiciary

The judiciary comprises the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal and, as the first instance, eight magistrates' courts. The Supreme Court chairman chairs the appeals court, which otherwise includes three judges from other Commonwealth countries. Prosecutors in criminal cases and the parties in civil cases can ask a jury when cases are pending in the Supreme Court. See ABBREVIATIONFINDER for how TO can stand for Tonga.

Weights and Measures

Dimensions and weight are British and metric.

Tonga's defense

Tonga has volunteer military service. The country has a total workforce of about 500 personnel. The forces are easily equipped. Tonga has a small navy operating patrol boats, and a small air component. The country cooperates closely with Australia in defense matters.

Other Countries in Oceania

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