The constitution of July 1991 provides for a presidential-parliamentary form of republican government, in which no party enjoys constitutional primacy. Importantly, the document provides clear-cut distinctions among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government.
The president, who is chief of state, is popularly elected to a five-year term with a maximum of two terms. Among his duties is the naming of the prime minister, who must be confirmed by the National Assembly. The emerging tradition is that the president sets the overall direction of policy, while the prime minister and his cabinet, presently 14 people, are responsible for day-to-day implementation.
The legislative branch of government is the National Assembly, with 240 members elected to four-year terms. Deputies are elected on a proportional voting basis, in which parties must receive at least 4% of the total national vote in order to receive seats.