In 1969, a governorate of 48 provinces ( wilayats ) system replaced the departments that had been established by the French. Each wilaya has its own elected people's assembly, executive council, and appointed governor ( wali ), who is responsible to the Ministry of the Interior. The 48 wilayats have subdivisions called da'iraats (districts), which are further subdivided into 1,541 communes. The commune is the basic collective unit, governed by an assembly elected for four years. Winning a majority of local council and assembly seats in the 10 October 2002 elections was the FLN, taking control of 668 communes and 43 of the country's 48 cities. The National Democratic Rally lost its previously held majority, taking control of 171 communes. The Socialist Forces Front won 65 communes and independents took control of 77. Islamic parties declined in popularity overall.