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At the national level, a head of state – the president is elected for a seven-year term by the people; a two-term limit on the office was removed through a parliamentary vote in April 2008.
The National Assembly (Lower House of Parliament) has 180 members, elected for a five-year term in 49 single and multi-seat constituencies.
The Senate (Upper House of Parliament) is made up of 100 senators, 10 each from all 10 regions of the country. 70 are elected by municipal councilors while 30 are appointed by the head of state. The senators have a five-year mandate.
Municipal elections are also organized every five years to elect mayors and councilors in all 360 municipalities of the country.
Independent candidates are barred from running in parliamentary, senatorial and municipal elections. They are permitted to run in presidential elections, but there has never been an independent presidential candidate due to the very exacting legal requirements for an independent candidacy.