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Kiribati Government
Capital:
Tarawa
Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Kiribati
conventional short form: Kiribati
former: Gilbert Islands
note: pronounced keer-ree-bahss
Government type:
republic
Administrative divisions:
3 units; Gilbert Islands, Line Islands, Phoenix Islands; note - in addition, there are 6 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)
Independence:
12 July 1979 (from UK)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 12 July (1979)
Constitution:
12 July 1979
Legal system:
NA
Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Anote TONG (since 10 July 2003); Vice President Teima ONORIO; note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
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 4 July 2003 (next to be held not later than July 2007); vice president appointed by the president
election results: Anote TONG 47.4%, Harry TONG 43.5%, Banuera BERINA 9.1%
cabinet: 12-member Cabinet appointed by the president from among the members of the House of Parliament
head of government: President Anote TONG (since 10 July 2003); Vice President Teima ONORIO; note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
Legislative branch:
unicameral House of Parliament or Maneaba Ni Maungatabu (42 seats; 39 elected by popular vote, one ex officio member - the attorney general, one appointed to represent Banaba, and one other; 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 17, MTM 16, independents 7, other 2 (includes attorney general)
note: new legislative elections were held in two rounds - the first round on 9 May 2003 and the second round on 14 May 2003
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]; Maurin Kiribati Pati or MKP [leader NA]; National Progressive Party or NPP [Dr. Harry TONG]
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
Political pressure groups and leaders:
NA
International organization participation:
ACP, AsDB, C, FAO, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IOC, ITU, OPCW, PIF, Sparteca, UN, UNESCO, UPU, WHO, WMO
Diplomatic representation from the US:
the US does not have an embassy in Kiribati; the ambassador to the Marshall Islands is accredited to Kiribati
Flag description:
the upper half is red with a yellow frigate bird flying over a yellow rising sun, and the lower half is blue with three horizontal wavy white stripes to represent the ocean
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