Kazakhstan is governed under the constitution of 1995 as amended, The president, who is head of state, is elected by popular vote to a five-year term (prior to 2007, a seven-year term); government power is disproportionately concentrated in the presidency. There is a two-term limit on the president, except for Nursultan Nazarbayev, as the first president of the republic. The government is headed by the prime minister, who is appointed by the president. There is a bicameral Parliament. Of the 47 members of the Senate, 15 are appointed by the president and the rest are elected by local governments; all serve six-year terms. The 107 members of the Mazhilis serve five-year terms; 98 are popular elected, and 9 are chosen by the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan, which represents Kazakhstan's ethnic minorities. A party must receive 7% of the vote to be represented in the Mazhilis. Administratively, the country is divided into 14 provinces, or oblasts, and 3 cities.
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