The Mauritian government is parliamentary, with executive power vested under the constitution in a ceremonial president and an executive prime minister, who is leader of the majority party in parliament. The president and vice president are elected by the National Assembly, to serve five-year terms. The prime minister heads a Council of Ministers, which is responsible to a unicameral Legislative Assembly. Of its maximal 70 members, 62 are elected by universal suffrage (age 18), and as many as eight "best losers" are chosen from runners-up by the Electoral Supervisory Commission by a formula designed to give at least minimal representation to all ethnic groups and underrepresented parties.
In elections last held 25 February 2002 (next to be held 2007), Karl Offmann was elected president and Raouf Bundhun elected vice president. Parliamentary elections were held 11 September 2000 with new elections due in September 2005.