After the Constitution of 1979, the Marshall Islands is a
parliamentary-democratic republic; An agreement on free
association with the United States from 1986, renegotiated
in 2004, states that the islands are an independent state,
but draws up foreign policy guidelines. Legislative
authority has been added to an assembly called Nitijela,
elected in the general election for four years. The
Assembly, which has 33 members (called senators), elects the
president, who is both head of state and head of government,
among his own members for four years. The president then
elects the other ministers from the assembly. The assembly
is advised by a council of 12 members.
Administratively, the Marshall islands are divided into 34
municipalities. See ABBREVIATIONFINDER for how MH can stand for Marshall Islands.
The judiciary includes a Supreme Court and a Superior
Court in addition to district and local community law. There
are also traditional courts.
Marshall Islands defense
The United States is responsible for the defense of the
Marshall Islands, and has a military presence there.
A plant on the island of Kwajalein plays an important
role in the development and testing of the United States
defense system for ballistic missiles.