Micronesia is a country located in the region of Micronesia. The Micronesian Federation is governed by President David W. Panuelo and his federal government. However, the four state governments have a great influence on politics. The most important political issues are how the country can reduce the great economic dependence of the United States and how best to fight the threat to the islands fragile environment.
In May 2019, David W. Panuelo was elected new federal president by the Federal Congress. He replaced Peter M Christian, who had held the office for a four-year term. In the 2019 congressional elections, Christian lost in his constituency, which meant that he was not entitled to stand as a candidate in the subsequent presidential election. The Constitution provides that the president is elected from the congressmen.
- Countryaah: Country facts and history of Micronesia, including state flag, location map, demographics, GDP data, currency code, and business statistics.
During his years as head of state and government, Christian prioritized the development of the fishing industry and tourism.
President Panuelo and his federal government hold a relatively weak position of power in relation to the four state governments (see Political system). In the largest and most populous state of Chuuk, a movement is emerging that seems to be breaking out of the federation.
There is no party being in the real sense. Instead, the congressmen are elected in person and group themselves on the basis of common interests in matters of matter or by clan or geographical affiliation. The country is politically stable and the turnover of congressmen is small; it is not uncommon for everyone to be re-elected.
Perhaps the biggest political issue after the turn of the millennium has been the renegotiation of the economic parts of the so-called free association agreement with the United States (see Foreign Policy and Defense). The agreement’s financial support provisions expired in 2001. Two years later, a 20-year extension of the agreement had been negotiated.
The new agreement gives the Micronesian Federation financial support of a total of US $ 1.8 billion over a 20-year period, but part of the money is invested in a future use fund, which means that the annual support has in practice decreased. Otherwise, the assistance is mainly focused on a few areas, such as education, health care and the environment.
At the same time, the United States places higher demands than previously on accounting for how the grants are used and also on some control of what the grants are used for. There has been criticism against the fact that people in a leading position have enriched themselves.
A foundation (2023 Planning Committee) was formed in 2012 that prepares the country for reduced US grants in the future. One conclusion drawn is that the Micronesian private sector must be developed. High hopes are being placed on increased tourism and on the fishing industry.
Environmental problems are another key political issue. They have increased as pollution, depletion and higher sea temperature have contributed to the destruction of coral reefs. This in turn has led to erosion of the islands’ coastlines – the land surface is simply shrinking. In the long term, global warming threatens to submerge low-lying Micronesian islands as sea levels gradually rise (see also Natural Resources and Energy).
FACTS – POLITICS
The Federated States of Micronesia / Micronesia Federation
republic, federal state
Head of State
President David W Panuelo (2019–)
Head of government
President David W Panuelo (2019–)
Most important parties with mandates in the last election
no formal parties are missing: elections only take place between people
Main parties with mandates in the second most recent elections
formal parties are missing, choices are made only between people
33% in the 2017 congressional election
congressional elections 2021, presidential elections 2023