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Administrative divisions (GPS Maps)

Geography

People and Society

Government

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The Gilbert Islands became a British protectorate in 1892 and a colony in 1915; they were captured by the Japanese in the Pacific War in 1941. The islands of Makin and Tarawa were the sites of major US amphibious victories over entrenched Japanese garrisons in 1943. The Gilbert Islands were granted self-rule by the UK in 1971 and complete independence in 1979 under the new name of Kiribati. The US relinquished all claims to the sparsely inhabited Phoenix and Line Island groups in a 1979 treaty of friendship with Kiribati.


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Government

Country name
Conventional long form Republic of Kiribati
Conventional short form Kiribati
Local long form Republic of Kiribati
Local short form Kiribati
Note Pronounced keer-ree-bahss
Former Gilbert Islands

Government type
Republic

Capital
Name Tarawa
Geographic coordinates 0 53 S, 169 32 E
Time difference
UTC+12 (17 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Note
On 1 January 1995, Kiribati proclaimed that all of its territory was in the same time zone as its Gilbert Islands group (UTC +12) even though the Phoenix Islands and the Line Islands under its jurisdiction were on the other side of the International Date Line

Administrative divisions
3 units; Gilbert Islands, Line Islands, Phoenix Islands; note - in addition, there are 6 districts (Banaba, Central Gilberts, Line Islands, Northern Gilberts, Southern Gilberts, Tarawa) and 21 island councils - one for each of the inhabited islands (Abaiang, Abemama, Aranuka, Arorae, Banaba, Beru, Butaritari, Kanton, Kiritimati, Kuria, Maiana, Makin, Marakei, Nikunau, Nonouti, Onotoa, Tabiteuea, Tabuaeran, Tamana, Tarawa, Teraina)

Independence
12 July 1979 (from the UK)

Constitution
12 July 1979

Legal system
English common law supplemented by customary law

International law organization participation
Has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt

Suffrage
18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state
President Anote TONG (since 10 July 2003); Vice President Teima ONORIO; note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
Head of government
President Anote TONG (since 10 July 2003); Vice President Teima ONORIO
Cabinet
12-member cabinet appointed by the president from among the members of the House of Parliament
Elections
The House of Parliament nominates the presidential candidates from among its members following parliamentary elections and then those candidates compete in a general election; president elected by popular vote for a four-year term (eligible for two more terms); election last held on 13 January 2012 (next to be held in 2015); vice president appointed by the president
Election results
Anote TONG 42.2%, Tetaua TAITAI 35%, Rimeta BENIAMINA 22.8%

Legislative branch
Unicameral House of Parliament or Maneaba Ni Maungatabu (46 seats; 44 members elected by popular vote, 1 ex officio member - the attorney general, 1 nominated by the Rabi Council of Leaders (representing Banaba Island); members serve four-year terms)
Elections
Legislative elections were held in two rounds - the first round on 21 October 2011 and the second round on 28 October 2011 (next to be held in 2015)
Election results
Percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA, other 2 (includes attorney general)

Judicial branch
Court of Appeal; High Court; 26 Magistrates' courts; judges at all levels are appointed by the president

Political parties and leaders
Boutokaan Te Koaua Party or BTK [Taberannang TIMEON]; Maneaban Te Mauri Party or MTM [Teburoro TITO]; Maurin Kiribati Pati or MKP; National Progressive Party or NPP [Dr. Harry TONG]
Note
There is no tradition of formally organized political parties in Kiribati; they more closely resemble factions or interest groups because they have no party headquarters, formal platforms, or party structures

Political pressure groups and leaders
NA

International organization participation
ACP, ADB, AOSIS, C, FAO, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IOC, ITU, ITUC, OPCW, PIF, Sparteca, SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UPU, WHO, WMO

Diplomatic representation in the us
Kiribati does not have an embassy in the US; there is an honorary consulate in Honolulu

Diplomatic representation from the us
The US does not have an embassy in Kiribati; the US ambassador to Fiji is accredited to Kiribati

Flag description
The upper half is red with a yellow frigate bird flying over a yellow rising sun, and the lower half is blue with three horizontal wavy white stripes to represent the Pacific ocean; the white stripes represent the three island groups - the Gilbert, Line, and Phoenix Islands; the 17 rays of the sun represent the 16 Gilbert Islands and Banaba (formerly Ocean Island); the frigate bird symbolizes authority and freedom

National symbol(s)
Frigatebird

National anthem
Name
"Teirake kaini Kiribati" (Stand Up, Kiribati)
Lyrics/music Urium Tamuera IOTEBA
Note Adopted 1979


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  Kiribati (South Tarawa):


  GPS points from Kiribati (South Tarawa)

Leper Island Kiribati (general)

Marenanuka Kiribati (general)

Aubeanau Kiribati (general)

Hopper Island Gilbert Islands

Neiteba Kiribati (general)

Starbuck Island Kiribati (general)

Koinawa Kiribati (general)

Black Rock Kiribati (general)




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