Following the 1979 Constitution, Kiribati is a democratic
and unified state republic. The head of state and the head
of government is a president, beretitenti, elected
in the general election for four years; he can be re-elected
up to twice. The President is elected from among three or
four members nominated by and among the members of the
National Assembly, after this election.
The government consists of the president, the vice
president, the prosecutor and not more than eight ministers.
The latter are elected by members of the National Assembly.
The government is responsible to the National Assembly,
Maneaba ni Maungatabu, which has legislative authority.
It has 44 members elected in the general election, as well
as one member nominated to represent the Banaban
community (the island of Banaba had to be vacated following
the British phosphate development). If the Attorney General
is not elected a member of the Assembly, he has an ex
officio seat in it. The President of the Assembly is elected
from among those who have not been a member of the Assembly.
The assembly is for four years, but can be dissolved
earlier. The voting age is 18 years.
Kiribati also has a government minister, consisting of
the head of the Public Service Commission, the Supreme Court
chairman and the chairman of the National Assembly. The
government may take over the board when other government
agencies are not functioning. Also see AbbreviationFinder for abbreviation of KI and its meanings of Kiribati.
Administratively, the country was previously
divided into six districts, each headed by a state official.
After independence, each of the 21 inhabited islands in the
country has its own elected council, with the exception of
the islands of Tarawa and Tabiteuea, which have three and
two councils respectively.
The judiciary comprises 24 magistrate courts, based on
the various islands. One of these courts has national
jurisdiction. The Supreme Court is an appeal body and
consists of a court president and four other judges. All
judges are appointed by the President.
According to the Constitution, Kiribati is not to have
its own defense forces. The country has defense agreements
with Australia and New Zealand.