Palau is a constitutional republic with a national government consisting of independent executive, legislative, and judicial branches. Voters directly elect the president, vice president, and members of the legislature for four-year terms. In November 2020 voters elected Surangel Whipps, Jr. president in a generally free and fair election.
The Bureau of Public Safety supervises the Division of Maritime Security and is responsible for law enforcement and maintenance of order; the bureau reports to the minister of justice. Civilian authorities maintained effective control over the security forces. There were no reports that members of the security forces committed abuses.
Significant human rights issues included credible reports of serious government corruption.
The government took steps to investigate and prosecute officials who committed abuses such as corruption.