The Constitution of Independence 1979 states
that Kiribati is a republic. The president is the head
of state and government and appoints all the judges of
the country. The president also appoints the government,
which, in addition to the president himself, consists of
the vice president, the chancellor of justice and a
maximum of twelve MPs as ministers.
The selection system is original. A new parliament is
elected every four years in general elections. After the
election, Parliament appoints three or four presidential
candidates from among its members, after which the
people elect a president. A president may not be elected
more than three times.
Total population and chart of Kiribati for years of 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024. Also covers population density, birth rate, death rate and population growth rates.
Parliament (Maneaba ni Maungatabu)
has a chamber of 46 members, 44 of whom are elected. The
other two are the Chancellor of Justice and a
representative of the railways' council at Rabi in Fiji
(see Older history and Modern history). According to the
constitution, the bananas - although they are now Fijian
citizens - have the right to return to their island. In
Parliament, their representatives also have the right to
veto issues concerning the bananas.
Kiribati's 32 atolls have a significant measure of
self-government exercised by popular elected councils.
Political parties in the real sense do not exist.
Instead, there are loosely organized alliances based
mainly on family ties and geographical affiliation.
Election campaigns are run orally and through informal
meetings in the village halls. Many candidates stand as
independent, but it is not uncommon for them to then
join any group in Parliament.
The group BTK (Boutokaan Te
Koaua, the spelling varies, means roughly "the
support of the truth") was given the most mandate in the
2007-2016 elections, while MTM (Maneaban
Te Mauri, "Protect Maneaban") dominated
politics in 1998-2007. After a merger in 2010 with a
newly started small party, MTM changed its name to
KTK (Karikirakean Tei-Kiribati,
"United Coalition Party"). A third, smaller party
grouping was MKP (Maurin
Kiribati Pati). Shortly after the 2016
parliamentary elections, KTK and MKP merged into
TKP (Tobwaan Kiribati Pati).
Although BTK became the largest group in the election,
the TCP candidate Taneti Maamau was elected president
that year. Ahead of the 2020 elections, the group
Boutokaan Kiribati Moa (BKM)
was formed through a merger between BTK and a smaller
group. After the 2020 elections, only the CCP and BKM
sit in Parliament. The same year, President Maamau of
the CCP was re-elected.
The judiciary consists of three levels: local courts,
an appeal court and a supreme court. The justice system
works quite well and human rights are generally
respected. Outside of the villages there is some
traditional justice, with physical punishment for
drunkenness or petty theft. The rest of the law is based
on British law.