Politics of Kiribati

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Template:Politics of Kiribati The constitution promulgated at independence on 12 July 1979, establishes Kiribati as a sovereign democratic republic and guarantees the fundamental rights of its citizens.

The unicameral House of Assembly (Maneaba ni Maungatabu) has 42 members: 40 elected representatives; one appointed member from Banaba, and the Attorney General on an ex officio basis. All of the members of the Maneaba ni Maungatabu serve 4-year terms. The speaker for the legislature is elected by the Maneaba from outside of its membership.

After each general election, the new Maneaba nominates three or four of its members to stand as candidates for president (Beretitenti). The voting public then elects the president from among these candidates. A cabinet of up to 10 members is appointed by the president from among the members of the Maneaba.

The judicial system consists of the High Court, a court of appeal, and magistrates' courts. All judicial appointments are made by the president.

Political conditions
Political parties exist but are more similar to informal coalitions in behavior. They do not have official platforms or party structures. Most candidates formally present themselves as independents.

A major source of conflict has been the protracted bid by the residents of Banaban Island to secede and have their island placed under the protection of Fiji. The government's attempts to placate the Banabans include several special provisions in the constitution, such as the designation of a Banaban seat in the legislature and the return of land previously acquired by the government for phosphate mining.

Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Kiribati
conventional short form: Kiribati
note: pronounced kir-ih-bahss
former: Gilbert Islands

Data code: KI

Government type: Parlamentary republic

Capital: South-Tarawa (Teinainano Urban Council)

Administrative divisions: not official: 3 units; Gilbert Islands, Line Islands, Phoenix Islands
note: in addition, there are 6 former districts (Banaba, Central Gilberts, Line Islands, Northern Gilberts, Southern Gilberts, Tarawa) and 21 island councils - one for each of the inhabited islands (Abaiang, Abemama, Aranuka, Arorae, Banaba, Beru, Butaritari, Kanton, Kiritimati, Kuria, Maiana, Makin, Marakei, Nikunau, Nonouti, Onotoa, Tabiteuea, Tabuaeran, Tamana, Tarawa, Teraina). Orona is also inhabited. 3 councils on Tarawa.

Independence: 12 July 1979 (from UK)

National holiday: Independence Day, 12 July (1979)

Constitution: 12 July 1979

Legal system: Parlamentary

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Anote Tong (since 10 July 2003, elected on 4 July 2003); Vice President, Miss Teima Onorio (from Arorae, since 2003); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government.
head of government: President Anote Tong (since the same election); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president from among the members of the House of Assembly, includes the president, vice president, attorney general, and up to eight other ministers
elections: the House of Parliament chooses the presidential candidates from among their members and then those candidates compete in a general election; president is elected by popular vote for a four-year term; election last held 25 February 2003 (next to be held by November 2007); vice president appointed by the president. The last elections are of May and July 2003 after a defiance vote in March.
election results: Anote Tong elected president; percent of vote - Anote Tong 47.4%, Dr Harry Tong (his own elder brother) 43.5%, Banuera Berina 9.1%

Legislative branch: unicameral House of Assembly or Maneaba Ni Maungatabu (42 seats; 40 elected by popular vote, one ex officio member - the attorney general, and one nominated to represent Banaba; members serve four-year terms)
elections: first round elections last held 29 November 2002; second round elections held 6 December 2002 (next to be held by November 2006)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - BTK 24, MTM 16, other 2 (includes attorney general)

Judicial branch: Court of Appeal; High Court; 26 Magistrates' courts; judges at all levels are appointed by the president

Political parties and leaders: Boutokaan Te Koaua Party or BTK [Taberannang TIMEON]; Maneaban Te Mauri Party or MTM [Teburoro TITO]; National Progressive Party or NPP [Dr. Harry TONG] (has joined the MTM in 2003). note: there is no tradition of formally organized political parties in Kiribati; they more closely resemble factions or interest groups because they have no party headquarters, formal platforms, or party structures

International organization participation: ACP, AsDB, C, ESCAP, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, IMF, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), Interpol, ITU, SOPAC, Sparteca, SPC, SPF, UN, UNESCO, UPU, WHO, WTrO (applicant)

Diplomatic representation in the US: Kiribati does not have an embassy in the US but one High Commission at Suva (Fiji); there is an honorary consulate in Honolulu, in Sydney, in Hamburg.

Diplomatic representation from the US and others: the US does not have an embassy in Kiribati; the ambassador to the Marshall Islands is accredited to Kiribati. the French ambassador to the Fiji is accredited to Kiribati. the Italian ambassador at Wellington too. An Australian High Commission?

Flag:see Flag of Kiribati

See also : Kiribati
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