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Marshall Islands: Government#

Country nameconventional long form: Republic of the Marshall Islands
conventional short form: Marshall Islands
local long form: Republic of the Marshall Islands
local short form: Marshall Islands
abbreviation: RMI
former: Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, Marshall Islands District
CapitalMajuro Majuro
geographic coordinates: 7 06 N, 171 23 E
time difference: UTC+12 (17 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions24 municipalities; Ailinglaplap, Ailuk, Arno, Aur, Bikini & Kili, Ebon, Enewetak & Ujelang, Jabat, Jaluit, Kwajalein, Lae, Lib, Likiep, Majuro, Maloelap, Mejit, Mili, Namdrik, Namu, Rongelap, Ujae, Utrik, Wotho, Wotje
Constitutioneffective 1 May 1979; amended several times, last in 1990 (2005)
Executive branchchief of state: President Christopher J. LOEAK (since 17 January 2012); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Christopher J. LOEAK (since 17 January 2012)
cabinet: Cabinet selected by the president from among the members of the legislature
elections: president elected by Nitijela (legislature) from among its members for a four-year term; election last held on 3 January 2012 (next to be held in 2016)
election results: Christopher J. LOEAK elected president; Nitijela vote - NA
Flag descriptionblue with two stripes radiating from the lower hoist-side corner - orange (top) and white; a white star with four large rays and 20 small rays appears on the hoist side above the two stripes; blue represents the Pacific Ocean, the orange stripe signifies the Ralik Chain or sunset and courage, while the white stripe signifies the Ratak Chain or sunrise and peace; the star symbolizes the cross of Christianity, each of the 24 rays designates one of the electoral districts in the country and the four larger rays highlight the principal cultural centers of Majuro, Jaluit, Wotje, and Ebeye; the rising diagonal band can also be interpreted as representing the equator, with the star showing the archipelago's position just to the north
Independence21 October 1986 (from the US-administered UN trusteeship)
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of the chief justice and other judges as prescribed by law)
judge selection and term of office: judges appointed by the Cabinet on the recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission and upon the approval of the Nitijela; judges appointed until retirement, normally at age 72
subordinate courts: High Court; District Courts; Traditional Rights Court; Community Courts
Legal systemmixed legal system of US and English common law, customary law, and local statutes
Legislative branchunicameral legislature or Nitijela (33 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held on 21 November 2011 (next to be held by November 2015)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - independents 33
note: the Council of Chiefs or Ironij is a 12-member body comprised of tribal chiefs that advises on matters affecting customary law and practice
International organization participationACP, ADB, AOSIS, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, IDA, IFAD, IFC, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, ITU, OPCW, PIF, Sparteca, SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, WHO
National holidayConstitution Day, 1 May (1979)
Political pressure groups and leadersNA
Political parties and leaderstraditionally there have been no formally organized political parties; what has existed more closely resembles factions or interest groups because they do not have party headquarters, formal platforms, or party structures; the following two "groupings" have competed in legislative balloting in recent years - Aelon Kein Ad Party (Michael KABUA) and United Democratic Party or UDP (Litokwa TOMEING)
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Government typeconstitutional government in free association with the US; the Compact of Free Association entered into force on 21 October 1986 and the Amended Compact entered into force in May 2004
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Charles R. PAUL (since 6 September 2011)
chancery: 2433 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: (1) (202) 234-5414
FAX: (1) (202) 232-3236
consulate(s) general: Honolulu, Springdale (AR)
National anthemname: "Forever Marshall Islands"
lyrics/music: Amata KABUA
note: adopted 1981
International law organization participationaccepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador Thomas H. ARMBRUSTER (since 16 August 2012)
embassy: Oceanside, Mejen Weto, Long Island, Majuro
mailing address: P. O. Box 1379, Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands 96960-1379
telephone: (692) 247-4011
FAX: (692) 247-4012