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Kiribati Government Profile 2017

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Country nameconventional long form: Republic of Kiribati
conventional short form: Kiribati
local long form: Republic of Kiribati
local short form: Kiribati
note: pronounced keer-ree-bahss
former: Gilbert Islands
etymology: the name is the local pronounciation of "Gilberts," the former designation of the islands; originally named after explorer Thomas GILBERT, who mapped many of the islands in 1788
Government typepresidential republic
Capitalname: Tarawa
geographic coordinates: 1 21 N, 173 02 E
time difference: UTC+12 (17 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
note: on 1 January 1995, Kiribati proclaimed that all of its territory was in the same time zone as its Gilbert Islands group (UTC +12) even though the Phoenix Islands and the Line Islands under its jurisdiction were on the other side of the International Date Line
Administrative divisions3 geographical units: Gilbert Islands, Line Islands, Phoenix Islands; note - there are no first-order administrative divisions, but 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)
Independence12 July 1979 (from the UK)
National holidayIndependence Day, 12 July (1979)
ConstitutionThe Gilbert and Ellice Islands Order in Council 1915, The Gilbert Islands Order in Council 1975 (preindependence); latest promulgated 12 July 1979 (at independence); amended 1995, 2013 (2016)
Legal systemEnglish common law supplemented by customary law
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a native-born citizen of Kiribati
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 7 years
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President Taneti MAAMAU (since 11 March 2016); Vice President Kourabi NENEM (since 17 March 2016); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Taneti MAAMAU (since 11 March 2016); Vice President Kourabi NENEM (since 17 March 2016)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president from among House of Assembly members
elections/appointments: president directly elected by simple majority popular vote following nomination of candidates from among House of Assembly members; term is 4 years (eligible for 2 additional terms); election last held on 13 January 2012 (next to be held in 2015); vice president appointed by the president
election results: Taneti MAAMAU elected president; percent of vote - Taneti MAAMAU 60%, Rimeta BENIAMINA (BTK) 38.5%, Taneti IOANE (BTK) 1.5%
Legislative branchdescription: unicameral House of Assembly or Maneaba Ni Maungatabu (46 seats; 44 members directly elected in single- and multi-seat constituencies by absolute majority vote in two-rounds, 1 member appointed by the Rabi Council of Leaders - representing Banaba Island, and 1 ex officio member - the attorney general; members serve 4-year terms)
elections: legislative elections were held in two rounds - the first on 21 October 2011 and the second on 28 October 2011 (next to be held in 2015)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA, other 2 (includes attorney general)
Judicial branchhighest court(s): High Court (consists of a chief justice and other judges as prescribed by the president); note - the High Court has jurisdiction on constitutional issues
judge selection and term of office: chief justice appointed by the president on the advice of the cabinet in consultation with the Public Service Commission (PSC); other judges appointed by the president on the advice of the chief justice along with the PSC
subordinate courts: Court of Appeal; magistrates' courts
Political parties and leadersBoutokaan Te Koaua Party or BTK [Anote TONG]
Kamaeuraoan Te I-Kiribati Party or KTK [Tetaua TAITAI]
Maurin Kiribati Pati or MKP [Rimeta BENIAMINA]
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 participationABEDA, ACP, ADB, AOSIS, C, FAO, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IOC, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), OPCW, PIF, Sparteca, SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO
Diplomatic representation in the USnone; the Kiribati Permanent Mission to the UN serves as the Embassy; it is headed by Makurita BAARO (since 21 May 2014); address: 800 Second Avenue, Suite 400A, New York, NY 10017; telephone: [1](212)867-3310; FAX: [1](212)867-3320
note: there is an honorary consulate in Honolulu
Diplomatic representation from the USthe US does not have an embassy in Kiribati; the US Ambassador to Fiji is accredited to Kiribati
Flag descriptionthe upper half is red with a yellow frigatebird flying over a yellow rising sun, and the lower half is blue with three horizontal wavy white stripes to represent the Pacific ocean; the white stripes represent the three island groups - the Gilbert, Line, and Phoenix Islands; the 17 rays of the sun represent the 16 Gilbert Islands and Banaba (formerly Ocean Island); the frigatebird symbolizes authority and freedom
National symbol(s)frigatebird; national colors: red, white, blue, yellow
National anthemname: "Teirake kaini Kiribati" (Stand Up, Kiribati)
lyrics/music: Urium Tamuera IOTEBA
note: adopted 1979

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on July 9, 2017