Vanuatu is governed under a constitution that came into effect with
the republic's independence in 1980. The president of Vanuatu serves
as head of state, a largely ceremonial office.
The president is elected by Vanuatu's parliament and heads regional
The parliament, or legislature, is a single-chamber body whose membership
has increased several times since independence, in 1998 the parliament
had 52 members. Members of parliament are chosen by popular election
and serve four-year terms.