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After three decades as part of the UN Trust Territory of the Pacific under US administration, this westernmost cluster of the Caroline Islands opted for independence in 1978 rather than join the Federated States of Micronesia. A Compact of Free Association with the US was approved in 1986 but not ratified until 1993. It entered into force the following year when the islands gained independence.


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Government

Country name
Conventional long form Republic of Palau
Conventional short form Palau
Local long form Beluu er a Belau
Local short form Belau
Former
Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, Palau District

Government type
Constitutional government in free association with the US; the Compact of Free Association entered into force on 1 October 1994

Capital
Name Melekeok
Geographic coordinates 7 29 N, 134 38 E
Time difference
UTC+9 (14 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions
16 states; Aimeliik, Airai, Angaur, Hatohobei, Kayangel, Koror, Melekeok, Ngaraard, Ngarchelong, Ngardmau, Ngatpang, Ngchesar, Ngeremlengui, Ngiwal, Peleliu, Sonsorol

Independence
1 October 1994 (from the US-administered UN trusteeship)

Constitution
1 January 1981

Legal system
Mixed legal system of civil, common, and 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 Johnson TORIBIONG (since 15 January 2009); Vice President Kerai MARIUR (since 15 January 2009); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
Head of government
President Johnson TORIBIONG (since 15 January 2009); Vice President Kerai MARIUR (since 15 January 2009)
Cabinet NA
Elections
President and vice president elected on separate tickets by popular vote for four-year terms (eligible for a second term); election last held on 4 November 2008 (next to be held in November 2012)
Election results
Johnson TORIBIONG elected president; percent of vote - Johnson TORIBIONG 51%, Elias Camsek CHIN 49%

Legislative branch
Bicameral National Congress or Olbiil Era Kelulau (OEK) consists of the Senate (9 seats; members elected by popular vote on a population basis to serve four-year terms) and the House of Delegates (16 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
Elections
Senate - last held on 4 November 2008 (next to be held in November 2012); House of Delegates - last held on 4 November 2008 (next to be held in November 2012)
Election results
Senate - percent of vote - NA; seats - independents 9; House of Delegates - percent of vote - NA; seats - independents 16

Judicial branch
Supreme Court; Court of Common Pleas; Land Court

Political parties and leaders
None

Political pressure groups and leaders
NA

International organization participation
ACP, ADB, AOSIS, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, IMF, IMO, IMSO, IOC, IPU, MIGA, OPCW, PIF, SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, WHO

Diplomatic representation in the us
Chief of mission Ambassador Hersey KYOTA
Chancery
1701 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20006
Telephone [1] (202) 452-6814
FAX [1] (202) 452-6281
Consulate(s) Tamuning (Guam)

Diplomatic representation from the us
Chief of mission Ambassador Helen P. REED-ROWE
Embassy Koror (no street address)
Mailing address
P. O. Box 6028, Republic of Palau 96940
Telephone [680] 488-2920, 2990
FAX [680] 488-2911

Flag description
Light blue with a large yellow disk shifted slightly to the hoist side; the blue color represents the ocean, the disk represents the moon; Palauans consider the full moon to be the optimum time for human activity; it is also considered a symbol of peace, love, and tranquility

National anthem
Name "Belau rekid" (Our Palau)
Lyrics/music Multiple/Ymesei O. EZEKIEL
Note Adopted 1980


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  Palau (Koror):


  GPS points from Palau (Koror)

Ngesias Palau (general)

Aiekasol Palau (general)

Orakura State Of Ngatpang

Maglrong Palau (general)

Garamediu-hana Palau (general)

Ororumakku-to Palau (general)

Chemoi Palau (general)

Ngerbechetei Palau (general)




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