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Northern Mariana Islands Government

Northern Mariana Islands    Government Top of Page
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 Pedro P. TENORIO (since NA January 1998) and Lieutenant Governor Jesus R. SABLAN (since NA January 1998)

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 in NA November 1997 (next to be held NA November 2001)

election results:  Pedro P. TENORIO elected governor in a three-way race; percent of vote - Pedro P. TENORIO (Republican Party) 47%
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)

elections:  Senate - last held 9 November 1999 (next to be held NA November 2001); House of Representatives - last held 9 November 1999 (next to be held NA November 2001)

election results:  Senate - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - Republican Party 6, Democratic Party 2, Reform Party 1; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - Republican Party 10, Democratic Party 8

note:  the Commonwealth 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 (Juan N. BABAUTA)
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


Countryfacts Information Courtesy: CIA Worldbook

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