Palau: Government#

Country nameconventional long form: Republic of Palau
conventional short form: Palau
local long form: Beluu er a Belau
local short form: Belau
former: Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, Palau District
etymology: from the Palauan name for the islands, Belau, which likely derives from the Palauan word "beluu" meaning "village"
Government typepresidential republic in free association with the US
CapitalNgerulmud Ngerulmud
geographic coordinates: 7 30 N, 134 37 E
time difference: UTC+9 (14 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions16 states; Aimeliik, Airai, Angaur, Hatohobei, Kayangel, Koror, Melekeok, Ngaraard, Ngarchelong, Ngardmau, Ngatpang, Ngchesar, Ngeremlengui, Ngiwal, Peleliu, Sonsorol
Independence1 October 1994 (from the US-administered UN trusteeship)
National holidayConstitution Day, 9 July (1981), day of a national referendum to pass the new constitution; Independence Day, 1 October (1994)
Constitutionratified 9 July 1980, effective 1 January 1981; amended 1992, 2004, 2008 (2016)
Legal systemmixed legal system of civil, common, and 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 citizen of Palau
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: note - no procedure for naturalization
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President Tommy REMENGESAU (since 17 January 2013); Vice President Antonio BELLS (since 17 January 2013); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Tommy REMENGESAU (since 17 January 2013); Vice President Antonio BELLS (since 17 January 2013)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president with the advice and consent of the Senate; also includes the vice president; the Council of Chiefs consists of chiefs from each of the states who advise the president on issues concerning traditional laws, customs, and their relationship to the constitution and laws of Palau
elections/appointments: president and vice president directly elected on separate ballots by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 4-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 1 November 2016 (next to be held in November 2020)
election results: Tommy REMENGESAU elected president; percent of vote - Tommy REMENGESAU 51.3%, Surangel WHIPPS, Jr. 48.7%; Antonio BELLS elected vice president
Legislative branchdescription: bicameral National Congress or Olbiil Era Kelulau consists of the Senate (9 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by majority vote to serve 4-year terms) and the House of Delegates (16 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 4-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held on 6 November 2012 (next to be held in November 2016); House of Delegates - last held on 6 November 2012 (next to be held in November 2016)
election results: Senate - percent of vote - NA; seats - independent 9; House of Delegates - percent of vote - NA; seats - independent 16
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of the chief justice and 3 associate justices organized into appellate trial divisions; also within the Supreme Court organization are the Common Pleas and Land Courts)
judge selection and term of office: justices nominated by a 7-member independent body consisting of judges, presidential appointees, and lawyers, and appointed by the president; judges appointed until mandatory retirement at age 65
subordinate courts: National Court and other 'inferior' courts
Political parties and leadersnone
Political pressure groups and leadersNA
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Hersey KYOTA (since 12 November 1997)
chancery: 1701 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20036
telephone: (1) (202) 452-6814
FAX: (1) (202) 452-6281
consulate(s): Tamuning (Guam)
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador Helen P. REED-ROWE (since 27 September 2013)
embassy: Koror (no street address)
mailing address: P. O. Box 6028, Koror, Republic of Palau 96940
telephone: (680) 587-2920
FAX: (680) 587-2911
Flag descriptionlight blue with a large yellow disk shifted slightly to the hoist side; the blue color represents the ocean, the disk represents the moon; Palauans consider the full moon to be the optimum time for human activity; it is also considered a symbol of peace, love, and tranquility
National symbol(s)bai (native meeting house); national colors: blue, yellow
National anthemname: "Belau rekid" (Our Palau)
lyrics/music: multiple/Ymesei O. EZEKIEL

note: adopted 1980