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.
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