Elections to Moldova's first post-independence parliament were held on 27 February 1994. The parliament consists of a single chamber of 101 seats, and members are elected for four-year terms on the basis of proportional representation. Prior to 2000, the president was directly elected. As of July 2000, however, the president is elected by parliament for a four-year term and may serve no more than two consecutive terms. The president nominates the prime minister upon consultation with parliament. The cabinet is selected by the prime minister, subject to approval by parliament.
The July 1994 constitution and the law provide for freedom of speech, press, assembly, and religion; however, the law requires that religious groups register with the government. Peaceful assembly is allowed; however, permits for demonstrations must be approved and political parties and private organizations are required to register with the government.
Reforms approved in 1995 authorized the creation of a court to deal with constitutional issues and a system of appeals courts.