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Palau Politics

State and politics


The Republic of Palau, which became independent in 1994, has a democratic regime in which the executive power lies with a president who is elected in general direct elections for a four-year term. All presidents have been men.

Government and Politics of Palau

The legislative power lies in Parliament, which consists of a Senate with 13 members and a House of Delegates with 16 members, one for each state. Both houses are elected in general elections every four years. After the 2016 elections, two of the members (12.5 percent) of the delegates' houses were women.

In the treaty that underlies Palau's independence, the United States undertakes to take care of Palau's defense as well as provide the country with financial assistance.


There are no political parties in Palau but the candidates stand as independent. Head of State at the time of independence in 1994 was the Japanese-run Kuniwo Nakamura (born 1943). He was succeeded in 2001 by Tommy Remengesau (born 1956), who was re-elected in 2004 by a wide margin. Remengesau did not run for office in the 2008 election, which was won by Johnson Toribiong (born 1946) but returned as head of state after his 2012 election victory; Remengesau was elected for a further term in 2016.


The Palau judicial system consists of the Supreme Court, the National Court and the Court of Common Pleas. The legal order is based on Anglo-American legal traditions in combination with local legislation and customary law. Also see AbbreviationFinder for abbreviation of PW and its meanings of Palau. The death penalty does not exist in the penal code.

Heads of State


1993-2001 Kuniwo Nakamura
2001-09 Tommy Remengesau
2009-13 Johnson Toribiong
2013 Tommy Remengesau
Other Countries in Oceania

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