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Cook Islands (self-governing in free association with New Zealand) Government 1999

    Country name:
    conventional long form: none
    conventional short form: Cook Islands

    Data code: CW

    Dependency status: self-governing in free association with New Zealand; Cook Islands is fully responsible for internal affairs; New Zealand retains responsibility for external affairs, in consultation with the Cook Islands

    Government type: self-governing parliamentary democracy

    Capital: Avarua

    Administrative divisions: none

    Independence: none (became self-governing in free association with New Zealand on 4 August 1965 and has the right at any time to move to full independence by unilateral action)

    National holiday: Constitution Day, 4 August

    Constitution: 4 August 1965

    Legal system: based on New Zealand law and English common law

    Suffrage: NA years of age; universal adult

    Executive branch:
    chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Apenera SHORT (since NA); New Zealand High Commissioner Jon JONESSEN (since NA January 1998), representative of New Zealand
    head of government: Prime Minister Sir Geoffrey A. HENRY (since 1 February 1989); Deputy Prime Minister Inatio AKARURU (since 1 February 1989)
    cabinet: Cabinet chosen by the prime minister; collectively responsible to Parliament
    elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; the UK representative is appointed by the monarch; the New Zealand high commissioner is appointed by the New Zealand Government; following legislative elections, the leader of the party that wins the most seats usually becomes prime minister

    Legislative branch: unicameral Parliament (25 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
    elections: last held 6 March 1994 (next to be held by June 1999)
    election results: percent of vote by party—NA; seats by party—Cook Islands Party 20, Democratic Party 3, Democratic Alliance Party 2
    note: the House of Arikis (chiefs) advises on traditional matters, but has no legislative powers

    Judicial branch: High Court

    Political parties and leaders: Cook Islands Party [Sir Geoffrey HENRY]; Democratic Party [Sir Thomas DAVIS]; Democratic Alliance Party [Norman GEORGE]

    International organization participation: AsDB, ESCAP (associate), FAO, ICAO, ICFTU, IFAD, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), IOC, OPCW, Sparteca, SPC, SPF, UNESCO, WHO, WMO

    Diplomatic representation in the US: none (self-governing in free association with New Zealand)

    Diplomatic representation from the US: none (self-governing in free association with New Zealand)

    Flag description: blue, with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant and a large circle of 15 white five-pointed stars (one for every island) centered in the outer half of the flag

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)