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Northern Mariana Islands (commonwealth in political union with the US) Government

    Country name:
    conventional long form: Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
    conventional short form: Northern Mariana Islands

    Data code: CQ

    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 William Jefferson CLINTON of the US (since 20 January 1993); Vice President Albert GORE, Jr. (since 20 January 1993)
    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) 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 NA November 1997 (next to be held NA November 1999); House of Representatives—last held NA November 1997 (next to be held NA November 1999)
    election results: Senate—percent of vote by party—NA; seats by party—Republicans 8, Democrats 1; House of Representatives—percent of vote by party—NA; seats by party—Republicans 13, Democrats 5
    note: the Commonwealth does not have a nonvoting delegate in Congress; instead, it has an elected official or "resident representative" located in Washington, DC; seats by party—Republican 1 (Juan N. BABAUTA)

    Judicial branch: Commonwealth Supreme Court; Superior Court; Federal District Court

    Political parties and leaders: Republican Party [Benigno R. FITIAL]; Democratic Party [chairman (currently vacant)]

    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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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)