A capital territory
normally a specially designated administrative division
's seat of government
is located. As such, in the federal
model of government, no one state
or territory takes
pre-eminence because the national capital
lies within its borders
. A capital territory can be a specific form
of federal district
distinction should be made from administrative divisions which
include national capitals, but have no special designated status
legally (for example, Île de France has no distinct quality from other regions of
France). Some federal countries (like Belgium), give their
national capitals the status as full, equal federal
Some federal countries have made no distinction administratively
for the territory around the capital. A few federal
countries have their national capitals located in the capital city
of a federal state: Sarajevo, the capital
of Bosnia and
Herzegovina, is also the capital of the Federation of Bosnia and
Herzegovina, one of federal units and de
jure capital of Republika
Srpska, the other federal unit; further, Berne, the capital
of Switzerland, is the capital of the Canton of Berne.
national capitals are neither federal units, special capital
districts, nor capitals of federal units: Ottawa, the capital
of Canada, and
Palikir, the capital
of the Federated States of Micronesia. The Canadian government does designate the
Ottawa area as the National Capital Region, although this term merely represents the
jurisdictional area of the government agency that administers
federally-owned lands and buildings, and is not an actual
The following have a special administrative district or territory
for their national capital
Ciudad autónoma de Buenos Aires is coterminous with the Argentine Federal
In 1996, under the 1994 reform of the
, the city gained autonomous status, and
held its first mayoral elections. Buenos Aires is represented in
the Argentine Senate
senators and in the Argentine Chamber of Deputies
by 25 national deputies.
Capital Territory (ACT) is one of two self-governing internal
territories of the Australian federation, the other being the
Created in 1911, the ACT was
originally called the Federal Capital Territory, the current name
being acquired in 1938. The ACT was constituted specifically to house
the seat of government, the goal being to avoid situating the new
nation's capital Canberra in either New South Wales or Victoria, the two most populous states.
The ACT is an
of New South
the ACT has its own Chief
Minister and its own legislature (the Australian Capital Territory Legislative
Assembly), the Federal
Parliament retains the right to overrule ACT
While governing the entire ACT, the Legislative
Assembly also acts as a municipal government for the city of
Canberra. The Governor-General of Australia
exercises certain rights that in the states would be exercised by a
state governor, such as the power to issue writs for
At a federal level, the ACT and the NT both elect two members of
the House of
and two Senators
. The terms of the territory
senators are tied to the term of the House of Representatives, not
to the term of the Senate. This means that if there is an election
for the Senate only (as last happened in 1970), this would involve
only half the state senators, and the territory senators' terms
would continue. Conversely, if there is an election for the House
of Representatives only (as last happened in 1972), this would also
involve the territory senators but not the state senators.
Brasília, the capital of Brazil, is set
within the Brazilian Federal District or Distrito Federal.
includes several other cities. Brasília is a planned city
, with no pre-existing status prior
to its establishment.
The Federal District is an anomalous unit of the federation, as it
is not organized the same manner as a municipality, does not
possess the same autonomy as a state (but is ranked among them) and
is closely related to the central power.
The District Governor is elected directly for a 4-year term. Local
laws are issued by a legislative assembly also elected by the local
population. Judiciary affairs are carried out by the Union, instead
of being appointed by the governor as in the other states of Brazil
. The district has the
status of a federal state in many aspects. It has representatives
both in the Lower House of Congress (Câmara dos Deputados
) and in
the national Senate
Brazilian federal government was transferred to the Distrito
Federal in April 21 1960, which was then split off from the state of
the transfer, the Brazilian capital was the municipality of
Janeiro. After the transfer, the municipality of Rio
de Janeiro became the Estado da
Guanabara (State of Guanabara), which existed from 1960 until
1975 when the State of Guanabara was merged into the State of
Colombia the Capital District of Bogotá, containing the city of Bogotá was created
as a Special District in 1955 by Gustavo Rojas Pinilla.
renamed "Capital District" in the Colombian Constitution of
. The district is subdivided into 20 localities.
Dominican Republic the Nacional
District of Santo Domingo, containing the city of Santo Domingo de Guzman was created as a Special District in 1922.
it was the Santo Domingo
Province and then the constitution of the Dominican
Republic decided that the country needed the capital to be
in a special district.
The National Capital
Territory of Delhi
(NCT) is a special Union Territory
of India. The territory
encompasses three statutory towns: New Delhi (the capital of India), Delhi and Delhi
Cantonment, along with 59 census towns and 165
The NCT was set up as a federally administered Union Territory on
11 November 1956. In December 1991, the NCT was given a legislative assembly
headed by a Chief Minister
. The territory is not
classified as a true
Union territory, though the Central government
does have limited
control over the functioning of the territory much like other Union
territories. Delhi is to eventually become a full fledged
The NCT is unique in India in that the municipal control is handled
by a locally elected government, major areas such as the police,
and administration are handled by the central government
Indonesia, the national capital Jakarta is within the Daerah Khusus Ibukota
Jakarta (Jakarta Special Capital District).
considered as one of Indonesia's provinces so Jakarta is headed by
a governor and not a mayor. However, Jakarta is divided into 5
smaller "administrative-cities" (which are headed by mayors) and
one "administrative-regency". Administrative-city is different to
city, and administrative-regency is different to regency, because
of its degree of autonomy. These all only available in Jakarta.
Mayors of administrative-cities and regent of
administrative-regency are not elected by each people there, by the
Governor and members of the Provincial Parliament of Jakarta
Special Capital District instead. And each do not have local
Baghdad, the capital of Iraq, is
contained within a
Special Capital District.
Malaysia, the national capital of Kuala Lumpur lies within the Federal Territory of Kuala
Lumpur (since 1974) while The Federal Government
Administrative Centre of Putrajaya, 40 km to the south of KL lies within the
Federal Territory of Putrajaya (since 2001). Both federal
territories are enclaves within the State of Selangor.
capital of Mali, is
contained within the Bamako Capital District.
Mexican Federal District or
Distrito Federal since 1824 is coterminous with Mexico City. The D.F. is a federal district serving as
the capital of Mexico and which
is administered by the Mexican Federal Government.
encompasses the historical center of Mexico City, but is much
larger than the historical municipality of Mexico City abolished in
1928. The urbanized area of Mexico City covers only the north of
the D.F., while the south of the D.F. is made up of rural areas and
mountains. Although the D.F. is not a municipality, the name
"Ciudad de México" is used by Mexican authorities as a synonym
for the Distrito Federal (Federal District).
Mexico City as a municipality was abolished in 1928, and the name
"Mexico City" can now refer to two things.
According to the Constitution of
, Mexico City is the Federal
. This is actually a fairly recent reform (dating
from 1993) of Article 44 of the Constitution, and it was aimed at
ending two centuries of quite sterile discussions (and occasional
problems on jurisdiction
) about whether
one concept engulfed the other or even if one of the two entities
really had any legal existence in lieu of the other. The complete
text of the aforementioned reform also states that Mexico City is
the seat of the Powers of the Union (Executive, Legislative and
Judicial) and capital of the United Mexican States.
Nigeria's capital Abuja is located
in the Federal Capital Territory. The Territory was established in 1976, and
the capital was formally moved from Lagos (the
historic capital) in 1991.
Niger's capital, Niamey, comprises a
capital district of Niger. It is surrounded by the department of Tillabéri.
North Korea's capital city, P'yŏng-yang, while traditionally located within South P'yŏng-an Province, is currently seen as
a "directly governed city" (Chikalshi 직할시).
time, P'yŏng-yang was considered a "special city"
(T'ŭkpyŏlshi 특별시), to make it equivalent to its South Korean counterpart, Seoul.
capital of Pakistan, Islamabad, is a planned city
within the Islamabad Capital Territory, which was created in 1960 out of the Punjab Province.
The Territory elects
representatives to both houses of the legislature.
Islamabad was made the capital, Karachi was located in the Federal Capital
Territory, which later reverted to the Sindh
Papua New Guinea
Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea has been contained with in the National Capital District of Papua New
Guinea since the country achieved independence in
South Korea's capital city, Seoul, while
traditionally located within Kyŏnggi Province, is currently seen as a "special city"
(Teukbyeolsi/T'ŭkpyŏlshi 특별시). Seoul's mayor
is seen as the equivalent of
any provincial governor
provided by the Article 1, Section
8 of the United States
Constitution, the seat of the
States government is a federal district known as the
Columbia. When created in 1790, the District comprised
of land donated by the states of Maryland and Virginia. Columbia
a poetic name for the United States used at the time.
of Washington was built in the center of the District, but other
towns were also located in the territory such as Georgetown and Alexandria.
The United States Congress returned the Virginia
of the District back to that state in 1846. The
Columbia Organic Act of 1871
revoked the charters of the
individuals cities of Washington and Georgetown, and instead
created a single government for the whole District of Columbia. The
City of Washington no longer exists; however, the name continues in
use and the city is often referred to as just Washington,
Since the Home Rule
Act of 1973
, the District of Columbia has been run by an
Congress retains ultimate authority over the District and has the
right to review the local budget and taxes, overturn laws passed by
the city council, and terminate home rule
District residents pay federal taxes
and are represented by a
in the United States House of
Because of the Twenty-third
to the United
, the people of the District of Columbia are
allowed to vote for President of the United States. The District is
allotted three electoral votes, equal to that of the least populous
state. Before this, the residents of the District were not afforded
the right to vote for the President who resides within their
territory. The District still does not have voting representation
in Congress, however.
Venezuelan Capital District /
Metropolitan District of
Caracas since 2000.