The French High Commissioner in Nouméa selects a senior administrator to control the local bureaucracy from Mata-Utu on Wallis.
An elected Territorial Assembly with 20 members (13 from Wallis and seven from Futuna) has limited legislative powers over local matters.
The policy-making Territorial Council is composed of the Lavelua (king) of Wallis, two kings of Futuna (the Tuisigave of Sigave and the Tuiagaifo of Alo), and three members appointed by the French administrator, who presides.
The three kings retain considerable influence, and every French administrator who has tried to challenge them has had to leave.
The territory elects a deputy and a senator to the French Parliament in Paris.
The traditional Polynesian monarchy and the Catholic Church continue to be powerful forces in the islands.