Capitol Complex, Majuro Atoll
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|Constitution of the RMI (Preamble)|
Executive power lies with the President, who is head of state and head of government, and the Presidential Cabinet. The President is elected by the Nitijela. The President appoints cabinet ministers to leading positions in the government departments with the approval of the Nitijela.
Her Excellency Hilda C. Heine-President of the Republic of the Marshall Islands
Honoralbe Mattlan Zachras-Minister in Assistance to the President
HOnorable Wilbur Heine-Minister of Education
Honorable Brenson S. Wase-Minister of Finance
Honorable John M. Silk-MInister of Foreign Affairs
Honorable Amentha Matthews-Minister of Internal Affairs
Honorable Thomas Heine-Minister of Justice
Honorable Kalani Kaneko-Minister of Health
Honorable Tony Muller-Minister of Publc Works
Honorable Alfred Alfred Jr.-Minister of Resources and Development
Honorable Mike Halferty-Minister of Transportation and Communications
Legislative power resides in the Nitijela, the lower house of the Marshall Islands bicameral parliament. It consists of 33 senators elected by 24 electoral districts by universal suffrage of all citizens above 18 years of age. The electoral districts correspond roughly to each atoll of the Marshall Islands. Four district centers—Majuro, Ebeye, Jaluit, and Wotje—serve as local governments with an elected council, a mayor, appointed local officials, and a local police force. Funding for the district centers comes in the form of grants from the national government and revenues raised locally. No legal restrictions exist against the formation of political parties, and two parties currently exist.
Speaker: The Honorable Donald Capelle
Vice Speaker: The Honorable Tomaki Juda
Ailinglaplap – President Christopher Jorebon Loeak, Senator Ruben Zackhras
Ailuk – Senator Maynard Alfred
Arno – Senator NidelLorak, Senator Jiba Kabua
Aur – Minister Hilda Heine, PhD Ed.
Ebon – Senator John Silk
Enewetak – Senator Jack Ading
Jabat – Senator Kessai Note
Jaluit – Senator Alvin Jacklick, Minister Rien Morris
Kili – Vice-Speaker Tomaki Juda
Kwajalein – Minister Tony deBrum, Senator Michael Kabua, Senator Jeban Riklon
Lae – Minister Thomas Heine
Lib – Senator Jerako Bejang
Likiep – Speaker Donald F. Capelle
Majuro – Minister Philip Muller, Senator Anthony Muller, Senator David Kramer, Senator Brenson Wase, Senator Jurelang Zedkaia
Maloelap – Minister Michael Konelios
Mejit – Minister Dennis Momotaro
Mili – Minister Wilbur Heine
Namu – Senator Tonyokwe Aiseia
Namdrik – Senator Mattlan Zackhras
Rongelap – Senator Kenneth Kedi
Utrik – Minister Hiroshi Yamamura
Ujae – Senator Caios Lucky
Wotje – Senator Litokwa Tomeing
Wotho – Minister David Kabua
The Council of Iroij is the upper house of the Marshall Islands bicameral parliament, while the Nitijela is the elected lower house. The Council is comprised of 12 tribal chiefs who advise the Presidential Cabinet and review legislation affecting customary law or any traditional practice, including land tenure.
Chairman: Iroij Kotak Loeak
Members: (Coming soon)
Germany purchased the Marshall Islands from Spain in 1899. Japan seized the Islands in 1914, governing them under a League of Nations mandate until the U.S. Navy occupied them in 1945. In 1947, the islands became part of the U.S. Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands under United Nations trusteeship. The Constitution of the Marshall Islands entered into force on May 1, 1979, at which time the parliament chose Amata Kabua to be the country’s first president. In 1983, the Marshall Islands signed a Compact of Free Association with the United States, which entered into force in 1986. Under the Compact, the country is fully sovereign in domestic and foreign affairs, but gives responsibility for defense to the United States.
The government of the Marshall Islands operates under a mixed parliamentary- presidential system, which includes a head of state—the President, who is also the head of government—and a bicameral parliament—the Council of Iroij (the upper house) and Nitijela (the elected lower house).
Executive: Executive power lies with the President, who is elected by the Nitijela, and the Presidential Cabinet. The President appoints cabinet ministers to leading positions in the government departments with the approval of the Nitijela.
Legislative: Legislative power resides in the Nitijela, which consists of 33 senators elected by 24 electoral districts by universal suffrage of all citizens above 18 years of age. The electoral districts correspond roughly to each atoll of the Marshall Islands. Although no legal restrictions exist against the formation of political parties, no formal parties exist. Two ad hoc parties have existed since the mid 1990s.
Council of Iroij: The Council of Iroij is comprised of 12 tribal chiefs who advise the Presidential Cabinet and review legislation affecting customary law or any traditional practice, including land tenure.
Freedom of Speech and the Press: The government respects freedom of speech and the press. A privately owned weekly newspaper, the Marshall Islands Journal , publishes in both English and the Marshallese languages. There are two radio stations (one is state-owned), both of which give voice to a range of views. Cable television broadcasts local news as well as U.S. programs.
Judicial Independence: The Judiciary is independent, and the rule of law is well established. The government respects the right to a fair trial. Both the national and local police honor legal civil rights protections in performing their duties. There are no restrictions on religious observance in this predominantly Christian country.
We, the people of the Marshall Islands, trusting in God, the Giver of our life, liberty, identity and our inherent rights do hereby exercise these rights and establish for ourselves and generations to come this Constitution, setting forth the legitimate legal framework for the governance of the Marshall Islands.
We have reason to be proud of our forefathers who boldly ventured across the unknown waters of the vast Pacific Ocean many centuries ago, ably responding to the constant challenges of maintaining a bare existence on these tiny islands in their noble quest to build their own distinctive society.
This society has survived, and has withstood the test of time, the impact of other cultures, the devastation of war, and the high price paid for the purposes of international peace and security. All we have and are today as a people, we have received as a sacred heritage which we pledge ourselves to maintain, valuing nothing more dearly than our rightful home on these islands.
With this Constitution, we affirm our desire and right to live in peace and harmony, subscribing to the principles of democracy, sharing the aspirations of all other peoples for a free and peaceful world, and striving to do all we can to assist in achieving this goal.
We extend to other peoples what we profoundly seek from them: peace, friendship, mutual understanding, and respect for our individual idealism and our common humanity.
Read entire Constitution HERE
Significance: The deep blue background represents the Pacific Ocean. The white and orange bands represent the Ratak (Sunrise) and Ralik (Sunset) chains, respectively. The customary symbolism of orange as the color of bravery and white as the color of peace are also recognized. The star represents the cross of Christianity, with each of the 24 points signifying a municipal district of the RMI. The four main points represent the major centers of Majuro, Ebeye, Jaluit and Wotje. The official flag is at an aspect ratio of 2:1.
Other Flags of the Marshall Islands:
A German organization, the Jaluit Company, ruled the Marshalls in the late 1800’s, This flag, based on the German national flag of the time, was used until 1906.
The Bikini atoll adopted this flag in 1987. It represents the United States government’s resposibility to the victims of nuclear testing in the Marshall Islands.
Description: The outstanding feature of the Seal is the stylized Angel of Peace centered with outstretched wings.
Around the Angel, from the top and moving clockwise:
24 point star representing the 21 municipalities of the Republic. The four longer rays represent the 4 sub-centers of Majuro (the capital), Jaluit, Wotje, and Kwajalein Atolls.
On either side of the star are the rays which are on the flag. Each ray is of two colors, one, orange representing bravery, and the other, white representing peace. The two-colored rays also represent the two chains of atolls, the Ratak (Sunrise) and the Ralik (Sunset).
Next is a stylized fishing net, fish being the main staple of the diet of the Marshallese people.
Next, a stylized sailing canoe, outrigger type, sails on the ocean (covering the bottom 1/3 of the seal).
Under the stick chart is the word “SEAL.”
An island with stylized palm trees (coconut) is next. All of the Marshall Islands are low lying atolls.
Above the right wing of the Angel is a “pounder”, made out of a giant clam shell, and treasured by every family that owns one. This pounder is used to pound pandanus leaves, which are used for making mats, sails, and, traditionally, clothing.
Around the outer edges are the words “Republic of the Marshall Islands” and at the bottom, “Jepilpilin ke ejukaan.”
The rim of the seal is a link chain representing that the islands are all linked together, half of the chain representing the Ralik group and the other half the Ratak.
Protection of the Seal: A person who uses the seal or a representation of it, or anything that so resembles the seal as to be calculated to deceive or advertise or promote any commercial purposes, or for any purpose whatsoever without the permission of the Cabinet, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall, upon conviction, be subject to a fine of not less than $500 and no more than $2500, a term of imprisonment of not less that 6 months nor more than one year or both. Each individual use of the seal shall be considered a separate offense.
“Forever Marshall Islands” (music and lyrics by President Amata Kabua)
Ae-lon eo ao ion lo—me-to; Einwot wut ko loti ion dren e-lae; Kin me-ram in Me-kar jen ijo—i-lan; Erreo an romak ioir kin me—ram—in mour; Iltan pein A—nij ewel-eo—sim woj; Kejolit kij kin ijin ji-kir e-mol; Ijja-min I-lok jen in ao-le-mo ran; Anij an ro je-mem wo-nak-ke im kej ram-mon Ae-lin kein am.
My island lies o’er the o-cean; Like a wreath of flowers upon the sea; With a light of Mekar from far a-bove; Shining with the brilliance of rays of life;. Our Fa-ther’s wondrous cre-a-tion; Bequeathed to us, our Motherland; I’ll never leave my dear home sweet home; God of our forefathers protect and bless forever Marshall Islands.
Hear a recording of the Marshall Islands’ national anthem (The may take several minutes to load if you have a slow modem connection. You must also be using a utility that can capture .mid format sound files).
RMI Permanent Mission to the UN
800 Second Avenue, 18th Fl., New York, New York 10017
Tel. # (212) 983-3040; Fax (212) 983-3202
Ambassador Philip Kabua, Head of Mission
RMI Embassy in the Republic of China (ROC)
4F, No. 9-1, Lane 62 Tienmu West Road, Shih-Lin 11156, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC
Tel. # (886) 2-2873-4884; Fax: (886) 2-2873-4904;
Ambassador Amatlain Kabua, Head of Mission
RMI Embassy in Fiji
41 Borron Road, P.O. Box 2038, Suva Fiji
Tel. # (679) 338-7899/7821; Fax: (679) 338-7115
RMI Embassy in Japan
Meiji Park Heights, Rm# 101, 9-9 Minamimoto-Machi, Shinjuku-ky, Tokyo, Japan
Tel. # (813) 5379-1701/1702; Fax: (813) 5379-1810
Mrs. Carmen Chong-Gum, Consulate General
RMI Consulate General in Arkansas
109 Spring Street, # 9, Springdale, AR 72764
Tel. # (479) 419-9332/ 419-9356; Fax: (479) 419-9667
Mr. Noda Lojkar, Consulate General
RMI Consulate General in Hawaii
1888 Lusitana Street, # 301, Honolulu, HI 96813
Tel. # (808) 545-7767; Fax: (808) 545-7211
“The Republic of the Marshall Islands and the United States: A Strategic Partnership”
The History of the RMI’s Bilateral Relationship with the United States
Exhibit photographs courtesy of: