Constitution of Kiribati

Status: Republic with executive President

Legislature: Maneaba ni Maungatabu

Independence: 12 July 1979

Under the independence constitution of 1979, Kiribati became a sovereign and democratic republic with a unicameral legislature, the Maneaba ni Maungatabu. The president (Beretitenti, pronounced ‘Beresitence’) is both head of state and head of government, and is elected nationally, from nominations (from among its own members) made by the Maneaba ni Maungatabu. The cabinet consists of the president, the vice-president (Kauoman-ni-Maungatabu), the attorney-general (who is the government’s principal legal adviser) and up to eight other ministers. These ministers are appointed by the president from the members of the Maneaba ni Maungatabu.

The legislature has 44 members elected for four years by universal adult suffrage, plus one ex officio member (the attorney-general) and one nominated member from the Banaban community in Rabi, Fiji, who have a right to enter and live on Banaba, and have their own Banaba Island Council.

Individual rights and freedoms are guaranteed under the constitution. In the event of dissolution of the legislature on a vote of no confidence, the constitution provides for an interim council of state, composed of the chief justice, the speaker and the chairman of the Public Service Commission.