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After almost four decades under US administration as the easternmost part of the UN Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, the Marshall Islands attained independence in 1986 under a Compact of Free Association. Compensation claims continue as a result of US nuclear testing on some of the atolls between 1947 and 1962. The Marshall Islands hosts the US Army Kwajalein Atoll (USAKA) Reagan Missile Test Site, a key installation in the US missile defense network.


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Government

Country name
Conventional long form
Republic of the Marshall Islands
Conventional short form Marshall Islands
Local long form
Republic of the Marshall Islands
Local short form Marshall Islands
Abbreviation RMI
Former
Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, Marshall Islands District

Government type
Constitutional government in free association with the US; the Compact of Free Association entered into force on 21 October 1986 and the Amended Compact entered into force in May 2004

Capital
Name Majuro
Geographic coordinates 7 06 N, 171 23 E
Time difference
UTC+12 (17 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions
33 municipalities; Ailinginae, Ailinglaplap, Ailuk, Arno, Aur, Bikar, Bikini, Bokak, Ebon, Enewetak, Erikub, Jabat, Jaluit, Jemo, Kili, Kwajalein, Lae, Lib, Likiep, Majuro, Maloelap, Mejit, Mili, Namorik, Namu, Rongelap, Rongrik, Toke, Ujae, Ujelang, Utirik, Wotho, Wotje

Independence
21 October 1986 (from the US-administered UN trusteeship)

Constitution
1 May 1979

Legal system
Mixed legal system of US and English common law, customary law, and local statutes

International law organization participation
Has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Suffrage
18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state
President Christopher J. LOEAK (since 17 January 2012); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
Head of government
President Christopher J. LOEAK (since 17 January 2012)
Cabinet
Cabinet selected by the president from among the members of the legislature
Elections
President elected by Nitijela (legislature) from among its members for a four-year term; election last held on 3 January 2012 (next to be held in 2016)
Election results
Nitijela elects Christopher J. LOEAK president on 3 January 2012

Legislative branch
Unicameral legislature or Nitijela (33 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
Elections
Last held on 19 November 2007 (next to be held by November 2011)
Election results
Percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - independents 33
Note
The Council of Chiefs or Ironij is a 12-member body comprised of tribal chiefs that advises on matters affecting customary law and practice

Judicial branch
Supreme Court; High Court; Traditional Rights Court

Political parties and leaders
Traditionally there have been no formally organized political parties; what has existed more closely resembles factions or interest groups because they do not have party headquarters, formal platforms, or party structures; the following two "groupings" have competed in legislative balloting in recent years - Aelon Kein Ad Party [Michael KABUA] and United Democratic Party or UDP [Litokwa TOMEING]

Political pressure groups and leaders
NA

International organization participation
ACP, ADB, AOSIS, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, IDA, IFAD, IFC, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, ITU, OPCW, PIF, Sparteca, SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, WHO

Diplomatic representation in the us
Chief of mission Ambassador Charles R. PAUL
Chancery
2433 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
Telephone [1] (202) 234-5414
FAX [1] (202) 232-3236
Consulate(s) general Honolulu

Diplomatic representation from the us
Chief of mission Ambassador Martha L. CAMPBELL
Embassy
Oceanside, Mejen Weto, Long Island, Majuro
Mailing address
P. O. Box 1379, Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands 96960-1379
Telephone [692] 247-4011
FAX [692] 247-4012

Flag description
Blue with two stripes radiating from the lower hoist-side corner - orange (top) and white; a white star with four large rays and 20 small rays appears on the hoist side above the two stripes; blue represents the Pacific Ocean, the orange stripe signifies the Ralik Chain or sunset and courage, while the white stripe signifies the Ratak Chain or sunrise and peace; the star symbolizes the cross of Christianity, each of the 24 rays designates one of the electoral districts in the country and the four larger rays highlight the principal cultural centers of Majuro, Jaluit, Wotje, and Ebeye; the rising diagonal band can also be interpreted as representing the equator, with the star showing the archipelago's position just to the north

National anthem
Name "Forever Marshall Islands"
Lyrics/music Amata KABUA
Note Adopted 1981


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  Marshall Islands (Majuro):


  GPS points from Marshall Islands (Majuro)

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Kejairik Marshall Islands (general)




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