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State structure

Nauru joined the British Commonwealth on 1 May 1979. The parliamentary system is similar to the British system. Nauru has one of the smallest parliaments in the world. It has only 18 members from eight regions. Parliamentary elections are held every three years, after which Parliament elects the President, who must be a member of Parliament and remain a member of Parliament. The president in turn appoints four or five ministers who are chosen from among the members of parliament. Under the 1968 Constitution, the President is also the head of government and is also elected for a three-year term.

Voting is compulsory for everyone over the age of 20. Recent years have been marked by much political unrest. In 1997, the political situation was so unstable that four presidents were elected within four months. In April 1999, the incumbent president, Bernard Dowiyogo, was forced to resign after a vote of no confidence in him. Administratively, the island is divided into 14 districts headed by a council of state. For the current political situation, see the history section.


Education in Micronesia is generally free up to and including high school, but on most islands school is compulsory only until the age of 14. Higher education is only available in the main towns. The only university is the University of Guam, where many students from other islands also study. The largest university in the South Pacific is that of Fiji, with branches on Tarawa, Majuro and Nauru. The university is known for its marine laboratory. On Nauru, education is free and compulsory from the age of six to sixteen. Children who wish to pursue secondary and higher education in Australia or New Zealand can obtain a scholarship.


Galbraith, K. / Micronesia
Lonely Planet

Levy, N.M. / Micronesia handbook Moon

CIA - World Factbook

BBC - Country Profiles

Last updated May 2024
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