Uzbekistan - Government
The state constitution adopted on 8 December 1992 mandates a civil democratic society. The executive branch consists of the president and his appointed prime minister and Cabinet of Ministers. During the Soviet years, the legislative branch consisted of a unicameral Supreme Soviet of 150 seats. The judicial branch is appointed by the president, subject to legislative confirmation, for 5- and 10-year terms. The Supreme Assembly replaced the Soviet-era legislature and has 250 members with members serving five-year terms. On 27 January 2002, a referendum was held that will make the Assembly bicameral in the 2004 elections. The last elections were held 5 and 19 December 1999. Not all of the seats in the Supreme Assembly election were contested, and all parties in the Assembly support President Islam Karimov. In 1992, President Karimov banned opposition parties. The president is the head of state and has responsibility for the functioning of the other branches of government as well as for making sure the constitution is observed. He essentially rules by decree. Karimov held referendums extending his presidency in 1995 and 2002, taking 92% of the vote in 2002. The president is currently elected for a seven-year term.