According to the Constitution of 1976, Cuba is a unitary socialist republic, in which the Communist Party of Cuba is the leading force of society and the state. The state is responsible for the organization and direction of the economic life of the country, in accordance with a central social and economic development plan. Legislative authority resides in the National Assembly of People's Power, which is composed of 601 deputies. Deputies are elected for five-year terms by direct vote of all Cuban citizens over the age of 16.
The National Assembly of People's Power elects a Council of State (31 members) that represents the assembly between sessions. The president of the Council of State is the official head of state and the head of government. Moreover, the president presides over the Council of Ministers, which is the highest ranking executive and administrative organ. The Executive Committee is led by the president, and includes the first vice president and the vice presidents of the Council of Ministers.