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Government of the Federated States of Micronesia


Photo: FSM National CapitolThe FSM Constitution, like that of the US, provides for three separate branches of government at the national level - Executive, Legislative and Judicial. It contains a Declaration of Rights similar to the US Bill of Rights, specifying basic standards of human rights consistent with international norms. It also contains a provision protecting traditional rights. Unlike the US system, however, most major governmental functions other than the conduct of foreign affairs and defense are carried out by the State governments.

The Congress of the FSM is unicameral with fourteen Senators - one from each state elected for a four-year term, and ten who serve two-year terms, whose seats are apportioned by population. Currently, Chuuk has six seats, Pohnpei four and two each are held by Yap and Kosrae. The President and Vice President are elected to four-year terms by the Congress, from among the four-year Senators, and the vacant seats are then filled in special elections.

The Judicial Branch of the National Government is headed by the FSM Supreme Court, currently comprised of three Justices who sit in trial and appellate Divisions. At this time there are no other National courts. Justices are nominated by the President for a lifetime appointment and confirmed by the Congress.

The State governments under their Constitutions are structurally similar, all utilizing three branches, Executive, Legislative and Judicial. Their makeups vary according to their different circumstances.