Politics of the Marshall Islands

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This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of
the Marshall Islands

Politics of the Marshall Islands takes place in a framework of a parliamentary representative democratic republic, and of an emerging multi-party system, whereby the President of the Marshall Islands is both head of state and head of government. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the Nitijela (Legislature). The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature.


Executive branch

The president is elected by the Nitijela from among its members. Presidents pick cabinet members from the Nitijela. Amata Kabua was elected as the first president of the republic in 1979. Subsequently, he was re-elected to 4-year terms in 1983, 1987, 1991, and 1996. After Amata Kabua's death in office, his first cousin, Imata Kabua, won a special election in 1997. The current president was elected and took office in October 2009.

Legislative branch

The legislative branch of the government of the Marshall Islands consists of the Legislature (Nitijela) with an advisory council of high chiefs. The Nitijela has 33 members, elected for a four year term in 19 single-seat and five multi-seat constituencies. Members are called senators. The Legislature was last elected 17 November 2003 without the participation of parties, though part of the members could be members of the United Democratic Party.

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