Belarus is divided into six oblasts (provinces) and one municipality. The oblasts are roughly parallel to counties in the United States. Each has a capital city, and the name of the oblast is typically derived from the name of this city. The names of the six oblasts are Brestskaya, Homyel'skaya, Hrodzyenskaya, Mahilyowskaya, Minskaya, and Vitsyebskaya. The municipality is Horad Minsk. The constitutional modifications passed in 1996 give the president increased powers over local government, including the power of nullifying rulings by local councils. Under a 1994 decree, the president had already assumed the right to appoint and dismiss senior local officials. As of 2003, the local Councils of Deputies were elected for 4-year terms.