Palau's government capitol is located in Melekeok State on Babeldaob Island, a thirty-minute scenic drive from Koror. Visitors are welcome to tour the capitol, which was officially opened in 2006.
Palau has a constitutional government in free association with the United States called the Compact of Free Association, which was entered into on October 1, 1994, also marking Palau’s independence.
Palau's three branches of government include the Administrative, Legislative and Judicial Branches. The Administrative Branch includes a President, who is directly elected and serves a four-year term. The President and Vice-President are elected separately. Comprised of the highest traditional chiefs from each state, the Council of Chiefs acts in an advisory capacity to the President on traditional Laws and customs. Palau's current President is the Honorable Tommy E. Remengesau Jr., who is serving his fourth term. For a list of Palau's past presidents, please visit http://palaugov.pw/past-presidents. The current Vice President of Palau is the Honorable Raynold B. Oilouch, who also serves as the Minister of Justice.
The legislative branch, the Olbiil Era Kelulau, translated as the "house of whispers" is Palau's National Congress, which consists of two chambers, the Senate and House of Delegates. All legislators serve four-year terms.
The judicial system consists of the Supreme Court, the Court of Common Pleas, and the Land Court. The Supreme Court has trial and appellate divisions and is presided over by the Chief Justice. Judges are appointed to life terms by the President with approval from Palau’s National Congress.
Each of Palau’s 16 states also elects its own governor and legislature.
For more information about Palau's government, please visit http://palaugov.pw.
Photo by D. Kirkland