Welcome back to #PacificTimelineTuesday. Did you know that forty two years ago, in January 1978, a form of self-government through a negotiated covenant between the United States and what is today the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) was implemented? Previously a part of the United Nations Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (TTPI), the people of the CNMI began negotiationsfor commonwealth status in 1972 and a covenant to establish a commonwealth in political union with the U.S. was approved in a 1975 referendum. The 1978 implementation of the government consisting of a bicameral legislature and a popularly elected governor and lieutenant-governor was later followed by the CNMI constitution becoming fully effective under the covenant agreement in 1986.
Source: The Pacific Islands Encyclopedia. Brij Lal and Kate Fortune, eds. University of Hawaiʻi Press, 2000.
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