Government of the Marshall Islands
The government of the Marshall Islands operates under a mixed parliamentary-presidential system as set forth in its Constitution. Elections are held every four years in universal suffrage (for all citizens above 18), with each of the twenty-four constituencies (see below) electing one or more representatives (senators) to the lower house of RMI’s unicameral legislature, the Nitijela. (Majuro, the capital atoll, elects five senators.) The President, who is head of state as well as head of government, is elected by the 33 senators of the Nitijela. Four of the five Marshallese presidents who have been elected since the Constitution was adopted in 1979 have been traditional paramount chiefs.
Governance occurs 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.
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 four-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 January 4, 2015.
The executive branch consists of the President and the Presidential Cabinet, which consists of ten ministers appointed by the President with the approval of the Nitijela.
|President||Hilda Heine||Independent||28 January 2016|
The current Presidential Cabinet is as follows:
|Minister in Assistance to the President and Environment||David Paul|
|Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade||John Silk|
|Minister of Finance, Banking, and Postal Services||Brenson Wase|
|Minister of Justice, Immigration, and Labor||Jack Ading|
|Minister of Education, Sports, and Training||Wilbur Heine|
|Minister of Health and Human Resources||Kalani Kaneko|
|Minister of Natural Resources and Commerce||Dennis Momotaro|
|Minister of Culture and Internal Affairs||Amenta Matthew|
|Minister of Works, Infrastructure, and Utilities||Anthony Muller|
|Minister of Transportation, Communication, and Information Technology||Thomas Heine|
The legislative branch of the government of the Marshall Islands consists of the Legislature (Nitijela) with an advisory council of high chiefs. Legislative power lies with the Nitijela. The upper house of Parliament called the Council of Iroij, is an advisory body comprising twelve tribal 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 2011 without the participation of parties, though part of the members could be members of the AKA and United Democratic Party.
The twenty-four electoral districts into which the country is divided correspond to the inhabited islands and atolls. There are currently four political parties in the Marshall Islands: Aelon Kein Ad (AKA), Kien Eo Am (KEA), United People's Party (UPP), and United Democratic Party (UDP). As of 2011 legislative elections, rule is shared by the AKA and the KEA. The following senators are currently in the legislative body:
|Ailinglaplap Atoll||Alfred Alfred Jr.||Minister of Resources and Development|
|Christopher Loeak||Senator, former President (2012-2015)|
|Ailuk Atoll||Maynard Alfred||Senator|
|Arno Atoll||Jejwarick Anton||Vice Speaker|
|Mike Halferty||Minister of Transportation and Communication|
|Aur Atoll||Hilda C. Heine||President|
|Ebon Atoll||John Silk||Minister of Foreign Affairs|
|Enewetak Atoll||Jack Ading||Senator|
|Jabat Island||Kessai Note||Senator, former President (2000-2007)|
|Jaluit Atoll||Daisy Alik-Momotaro||Senator|
|Casten Nemra||Senator, former President (2016)|
|Kili Island||Eldon Note||Senator|
|Kwajalein Atoll||Alvin Jacklick||Senator|
|David Paul||Minister in Assistance to the President|
|Lae Atoll||Thomas Heine||Minister of Justice|
|Lib Island||Jerakoj Bejang||Senator|
|Likiep Atoll||Leander Leander Jr.||Senator|
|Majuro Atoll||Kalani Kaneko||Minister of Health|
|Tony Muller||Minister of Public Works|
|Brensan Wase||Minister of Finance|
|Maloelap Atoll||Bruce Bilimon||Senator|
|Mejit Island||Dennis Momotaro||Senator|
|Mili Atoll||Wilbur Heine||Minister of Education|
|Namdrik Atoll||Wisely Zackhras||Senator|
|Namu Atoll||Tony Aiseia||Senator|
|Rongelap Atoll||Kenneth Kedi||Speaker|
|Ujae Atoll||Atbi Riklon||Senator|
|Utirik Atoll||Amenta Matthew||Minister of Internal Affairs|
|Wotho Atoll||David Kabua||Senator|
|Wotje Atoll||Litokwa Tomeing||Senator, former President|
The Marshall Islands is divided into 33 municipalities:
Foreign affairs and defenseEdit
The Compact of Free Association with the United States gives the U.S. sole responsibility for international defense of the Marshall Islands. It allows islanders to live and work in the United States and establishes economic and technical aid programs.
The Republic of the Marshall Islands has four court systems: Supreme Court, High Court, district and community courts, and the traditional rights court. Trial is by jury or judge. Jurisdiction of the traditional rights court is limited to cases involving titles or land rights or other disputes arising from customary law and traditional practice.
- "Constitution of the Marshall Islands". Paclii.org. Archived from the original on 2011-01-02. Retrieved 2010-07-04.
- Johnson, Giff (2010-11-25). "Huge funeral recognizes late Majuro chief". Marianas Variety News & Views. Archived from the original on 2011-07-14. Retrieved 2010-11-28.
- "RMI Washington D.C. Embassy - Cabinet Members". www.rmiembassyus.org. Retrieved 2019-02-27.
- "Results for 2011 Elections in Marshall Islands". Adam Carr News. 21 February 2012.
- "Members". rmiparliament.org. Retrieved 2019-09-20.