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Northern Mariana Islands: Government

Government Northern Mariana Islands
Country name:
conventional long form: Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
conventional short form: Northern Mariana Islands
former: Mariana Islands District (Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands)
Dependency status:
commonwealth in political union with the US; federal funds to the Commonwealth administered by the US Department of the Interior, Office of Insular Affairs
Government type:
commonwealth; self-governing with locally elected governor, lieutenant governor, and legislature
Capital:
Saipan
Administrative divisions:
none (commonwealth in political union with the US); there are no first-order administrative divisions as defined by the US Government, but there are four municipalities at the second order; Northern Islands, Rota, Saipan, Tinian
Independence:
none (commonwealth in political union with the US)
National holiday:
Commonwealth Day, 8 January (1978)
Constitution:
Covenant Agreement effective 4 November 1986 and the Constitution of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands effective 1 January 1978
Legal system:
based on US system, except for customs, wages, immigration laws, and taxation
Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal; indigenous inhabitants are US citizens but do not vote in US presidential elections
Executive branch:
chief of state: President George W. BUSH of the US (since 20 January 2001); Vice President Richard B. CHENEY (since 20 January 2001)
head of government: Governor Juan N. BABAUTA (since NA January 2002); Lieutenant Governor Diego T. BENEVENTE (since NA January 2002)
cabinet: NA
elections: US president and vice president elected on the same ticket for four-year terms; governor and lieutenant governor elected on the same ticket by popular vote for four-year terms; election last held NA November 2001 (next to be held NA November 2005)
election results: Juan N. BABAUTA elected governor in a four-way race; percent of vote - Juan N. BABAUTA (Republican Party) 49%
Legislative branch:
bicameral Legislature consists of the Senate (9 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year staggered terms) and the House of Representatives (18 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve two-year terms)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - Republican Party 4, Democratic Party 3, Reform Party 1, independent 1; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - Covenant Party 9, Republican Party 7, Democratic Party 1, independent 1
note: the Northern Mariana Islands does not have a nonvoting delegate in the US Congress; instead, it has an elected official or "resident representative" located in Washington, DC; seats by party - Republican Party 1 (Pedro A. TENORIO)
elections: Senate - last held 5 November 2001 (next to be held NA November 2003); House of Representatives - last held 1 November 2003 (next to be held NA November 2005)
Judicial branch:
Commonwealth Supreme Court; Superior Court; Federal District Court
Political parties and leaders:
Democratic Party [Dr. Carlos S. CAMACHO]; Republican Party [Benigno R. FITIAL]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
NA
International organization participation:
ESCAP (associate), Interpol (subbureau), SPC
Flag description:
blue, with a white, five-pointed star superimposed on the gray silhouette of a latte stone (a traditional foundation stone used in building) in the center, surrounded by a wreath

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Source: The CIA World Fact Book 2003

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