The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) gained independence on 3rd November 1986.
Prior to that time this group of more than 600 islands in the western Pacific Ocean had been occupied by the Portuguese, Spanish and Germans before being taken over by the Japanese in 1914. Following the second world war the United Nations created the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (TTP) over which the United States accepted trusteeship.
On 10th May 1979 four of the Trust Territory districts formed the FSM and in 1986 the FSM entered into a Compact of Free Association with the US. Under the compact the US has full authority and responsibility for the defence of the FSM. The Compact was renewed in 2004.
The President and Vice President are elected by Congress for a four year term.
There is a unicameral Congress with 14 seats of which one is elected from each of the four states to serve four year terms and 10 are elected from single member constituencies to serve two year terms.
There are no political parties in the FSM.
The Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2012 does not cover Micronesia.