Executive Summary

The Federated States of Micronesia is a constitutional republic composed of four states: Chuuk, Kosrae, Pohnpei, and Yap. Individual states enjoy significant autonomy, and their traditional leaders retain considerable influence, especially in Pohnpei and Yap. In 2019 the Congress selected the new president, David Panuelo, to serve a four-year term. In March national elections were held for two-year term congressional seats, in which all 10 members retained their seats. Observers considered the March elections generally free and fair, and the seating of the new Congress was uneventful.

The national police are responsible for enforcing national laws, and the Department of Justice oversees them. On September 13, the government established the Cyber Security and Intelligence Bureau, a new division in the Department of Justice. State police forces are responsible for law enforcement in their respective states and are under the jurisdiction of each state’s director of public safety. Civilian authorities maintained effective control over national and state police forces. Members of the security forces were not reported to have committed abuses.

There were no reports of significant human rights abuses.

The government sometimes took steps to identify, investigate, prosecute, and punish officials, but impunity was a problem, particularly for corruption.

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U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future