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mapThe Palau Constitution designates sixteen traditional municipalities of Palau as states. Adoption of the Palau Constitution gave the sixteen states the authority to formulate their own constitutional conventions and elect their respective legislatures and heads of state.

The state constitutions also defined the role of traditional leaders. Therefore, depending on the constitution of each of the sixteen states, they respectively have their own local government comprised of local legislators, governors, traditional chiefs, elders, and high ranking clans.

Palau’s traditional chiefs have advisory authority at the national level through the Council of Chiefs. This council is highly respected and works closely with the elected officials on a variety of local and regional issues. This ensures the preservation of traditional ways and the continued success of the democratic goverment.