19.1 The Republic of the Marshall Islands consists of two parallel chains of islands and atolls, roughly 800 miles long, between Hawaii and Guam in the central Pacific Ocean, with a total population of some 74,000. A former UN Trust Territory that was administered by the USA until 1986, the country is now an independent democracy with a constitution based on British and US concepts. The legislature consists of the Council of Iroij of 12 members and the Nitijela, the law-making chamber which has 33 members. The head of State is the President who is elected every four years by the Nitijela. The legal tender is the US dollar (US$).