president of Gabon, upper house, National Assembly, judiciary, new constitution
Under the 1961 constitution, as amended, the president of Gabon was directly elected for a seven-year term, serving as both chief of state and head of government. The unicameral National Assembly comprised 111 elected and 9 appointed members. The Gabonese Democratic Party was the sole legal political party.
Gabon entered a period of political transition as the 1990s began. In 1990 the ban on multiparty politics was lifted. A new constitution was adopted in March 1991. Under this constitution, a president serves as Gabonís head of state. The president is directly elected to a seven-year term. A prime minister appointed by the president serves as head of government. There is a bicameral (two-chamber) legislature composed of a National Assembly (lower house) and a Senate (upper house). The 120 members of the National Assembly are directly elected to five-year terms. The 91 members of the Senate are elected to six-year terms by local government councils.
Gabon consists of nine provinces, each with an appointed governor. The judiciary comprises the Supreme Court, the High Court of Justice, a court of appeal, and a court of state security, as well as several courts of first instance. In 2001 the armed forces included an army of 3,200 personnel, a navy of 500, and an air force of 1,000.
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