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In 1974, ethnic differences within the British colony of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands caused the Polynesians of the Ellice Islands to vote for separation from the Micronesians of the Gilbert Islands. The following year, the Ellice Islands became the separate British colony of Tuvalu. Independence was granted in 1978. In 2000, Tuvalu negotiated a contract leasing its Internet domain name ".tv" for $50 million in royalties over a 12-year period.


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Government

Country name
Conventional long form None
Conventional short form Tuvalu
Local long form None
Local short form Tuvalu
Former Ellice Islands
Note
"Tuvalu" means "group of eight" referring to the country's eight traditionally inhabited islands

Government type
Parliamentary democracy and a Commonwealth realm

Capital
Name Funafuti
Geographic coordinates 8 31 S, 179 13 E
Time difference
UTC+12 (17 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Note
Administrative offices are in Vaiaku Village on Fongafale Islet

Administrative divisions
None

Independence
1 October 1978 (from the UK)

Constitution
1 October 1978

Legal system
Mixed legal system of English common law and local customary law

International law organization participation
Has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt

Suffrage
18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state
Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Iakoba TAEIA Italeli (since May 2010)
Head of government
Prime Minister Willie TELAVI (since 24 December 2010)
Cabinet
Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the recommendation of the prime minister
Elections
The monarchy is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch on the recommendation of the prime minister; prime minister and deputy prime minister elected by and from the members of parliament following parliamentary elections
Election results
Willie TELAVI elected prime minister in a parliamentary election on 24 December 2010 following a no-confidence vote on 21 December 2010 that ousted Maatia TOAFA

Legislative branch
Unicameral Parliament or Fale I Fono, also called House of Assembly (15 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
Elections
Last held on 16 September 2010 (next to be held in 2014)
Election results
Percent of vote - NA; seats - independents 15; 10 members reelected

Judicial branch
High Court (a chief justice visits twice a year to preside over its sessions; its rulings can be appealed to the Court of Appeal in Fiji); eight Island Courts (with limited jurisdiction)

Political parties and leaders
There are no political parties but members of parliament usually align themselves in informal groupings

Political pressure groups and leaders
None

International organization participation
ACP, ADB, AOSIS, C, FAO, IBRD, IDA, IFRCS (observer), ILO, IMF, IMO, IOC, ITU, OPCW, PIF, Sparteca, SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO

Diplomatic representation in the us
Tuvalu does not have an embassy in the US - the country's only diplomatic post is in Fiji - Tuvalu does, however, have a 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 us
The US does not have an embassy in Tuvalu; the US ambassador to Fiji is accredited to Tuvalu

Flag description
Light 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 anthem
Name
"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


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  Tuvalu (Funafuti):


  GPS points from Tuvalu (Funafuti)

Deafatule Pass Tuvalu (general)

Te Akau Tutea Funafuti

Nui Tuvalu (general)

Tomelotu Tuvalu (general)

Hounson Rock Tuvalu (general)

Ellice Atoll Funafuti

Ellice Group Tuvalu (general)

Flemming Rock Tuvalu (general)




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