The constitution of 21 December 1975, like that of the First Republic, provided for a strong presidential system of government. The president was elected for a seven-year term and was both chief executive and head of state. The president was assisted by the Supreme Council of the Revolution (Conseil Supreme de la Révolution—CSR), which was to be "the guardian of the Malagasy Socialist Revolution." The president, as chairman of the CSR, named two-thirds of its members outright and chose the other third from a list submitted by the National People's Assembly. The premier, the designated head of government, was appointed by the president and assisted by a cabinet.
The 19 August 1992 constitution of the Third Republic provides for a head of state, the president, who is elected by universal suffrage to serve a five-year term. The president chooses a prime minister from a list of candidates nominated by the national assembly. The prime minister appoints the Council of Ministers.
The constitution provides for a two-chamber legislature—a 160-member national assembly and a senate. Members of the national assembly are elected by universal suffrage—82 by single-member and 34 by two-member constituencies—to serve four-year terms. The president appoints the remaining one-third. Regional assemblies elected by direct suffrage select two-thirds of the members of the senate with the remaining one-third appointed by the president for a four-year term. Suffrage is universal at age 18. National assembly elections were last held 15 December 2002 with the next elections scheduled for 2006.