Northern Mariana Iss Government - 2021


SOURCE: 2021 CIA WORLD FACTBOOK

GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES  Spanish Simplified Chinese French German Russian Hindi Arabic Portuguese

Country name

conventional long form: Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands

conventional short form: Northern Mariana Islands

former: Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, Mariana Islands District

abbreviation: CNMI

etymology: formally claimed and named by Spain in 1667 in honor of the Spanish Queen, MARIANA of Austria

Dependency status

commonwealth in political union with and under the sovereignty of the US; federal funds to the Commonwealth administered by the US Department of the Interior, Office of Insular Affairs

Government type

republican form of government with separate executive, legislative, and judicial branches; a commonwealth in political union with and under the sovereignty of the US

Capital

name: Saipan

geographic coordinates: 15 12 N, 145 45 E

time difference: UTC+10 (15 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

etymology: the entire island of Saipan is organized as a single municipality and serves as the capital; according to legend, when the first native voyagers arrived in their outrigger canoes they found an uninhabited island; to them it was like an empty voyage, so they named the island "saay" meaning "a voyage," and "peel" meaning "empty"; over time Saaypeel - "island of the empty voyage" - became 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 4 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

history: partially effective 9 January 1978 (Constitution of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands); fully effective 4 November 1986 (Covenant Agreement)

amendments: proposed by constitutional convention, by public petition, or by the Legislature; ratification of proposed amendments requires approval by voters at the next general election or special election; amendments proposed by constitutional convention or by petition become effective if approved by a majority of voters and at least two-thirds majority of voters in each of two senatorial districts; amendments proposed by the Legislature are effective if approved by majority vote; amended several times, last in 2012

Legal system

the laws of the US apply, except for customs and some aspects of taxation

Citizenship

see United States

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal; note - indigenous inhabitants are US citizens but do not vote in US presidential elections

Executive branch

chief of state: President Joseph R. BIDEN Jr. (since 20 January 2021); Vice President Kamala D. HARRIS (since 20 January 2021)

head of government: Governor Ralph TORRES (since 29 December 2015); Lieutenant Governor Victor HOCOG (since 29 December 2015)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the Senate

elections/appointments: president and vice president indirectly elected on the same ballot by an Electoral College of 'electors' chosen from each state; president and vice president serve a 4-year term (eligible for a second term); under the US Constitution, residents of the Northern Mariana Islands do not vote in elections for US president and vice president; however, they may vote in Democratic and Republican party presidential primary elections; governor directly elected by absolute majority vote in 2 rounds if needed; election last held on 13 November 2018 (next to be held in 2022)

election results: Ralph TORRES elected governor; percent of vote - Ralph TORRES (Republican) 62.2%, Juan BABAUTA (Independent) 37.8%;  Arnold PALACIOS elected Lieutenant Governor

Legislative branch

description: bicameral Northern Marianas Commonwealth Legislature consists of:
Senate (9 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 4-year terms)
House of Representatives (20 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 2-year terms)

the Northern Mariana Islands directly elects 1 delegate to the US House of Representatives by simple majority vote to serve a 2-year term

elections:
CNMI Senate - last held on 3 November 2020 (next to be held in November 2024)
CNMI House of Representatives - last held on 3 November 2020 (next to be held in November 2022)
Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands delegate to the US House of Representatives  - last held on 3 November 2020 (next to be held in November 2022)

election results:
CNMI Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Republican Party 6, independent 3; composition - men 8, women 1, percent of women 11.1%
CNMI House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Republican Party 9, Democrat Party 8, independent 3

delegate to US House of Representatives - seat won by independent; composition - 1 man

note: the Northern Mariana Islands delegate to the US House of Representatives can vote when serving on a committee and when the House meets as the "Committee of the Whole House" but not when legislation is submitted for a “full floor” House vote

Judicial branch

highest courts: Supreme Court of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) (consists of the chief justice and 2 associate justices); US Federal District Court (consists of 1 judge); note - US Federal District Court jurisdiction limited to US federal laws; appeals beyond the CNMI Supreme Court are referred to the US Supreme Court

judge selection and term of office: CNMI Supreme Court judges appointed by the governor and confirmed by the CNMI Senate; judges appointed for 8-year terms and another term if directly elected in a popular election; US Federal District Court judges appointed by the US president and confirmed by the US Senate; judges appointed for renewable 10-year terms

subordinate courts: Superior Court

Political parties and leaders

Democratic Party [Daniel QUITUGUA]
Republican Party [James ADA]

International organization participation

PIF (observer), SPC, UPU

Diplomatic representation from the US

embassy: none (commonwealth in political union with the US)       

Flag description

blue with a white, five-pointed star superimposed on a gray latte stone (the traditional foundation stone used in building) in the center, surrounded by a wreath; blue symbolizes the Pacific Ocean, the star represents the Commonwealth; the latte stone and the floral head wreath display elements of the native Chamorro culture

National symbol(s)

latte stone; national colors: blue, white

National anthem

name: "Gi Talo Gi Halom Tasi" (In the Middle of the Sea)

lyrics/music: Jose S. PANGELINAN [Chamoru], David PETER [Carolinian]/Wilhelm GANZHORN

note: adopted 1996; the Carolinian version of the song is known as "Satil Matawal Pacifico;" as a commonwealth of the US, in addition to the local anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner" is official (see United States)



NOTE: The information regarding Northern Mariana Iss on this page is re-published from the 2021 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Northern Mariana Iss 2021 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Northern Mariana Iss 2021 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 16 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.