Malawi officially became a republic on 6 July 1966, and its first constitution was adopted that year. The current constitution took effect on 18 May 1995 reaffirming the president as the head of state and supreme executive authority. In July 2003, he led a 38-member cabinet. Legislative power is vested in a unicameral parliament comprising a National Assembly of 193 seats with members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms. The next elections were scheduled for 2004.
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