The republic is governed under the constitution of 1937. The president, who is the head of state, is popularly elected to a seven-year term and is eligible for a second term. The prime minister, who is the head of government, is appointed by the president, as is the cabinet. There is a bicameral Parliament, the Oireachtas. The House of Representatives or Dáil Éireann is the more powerful chamber. Its 166 members are elected by popular vote on the basis of proportional representation. Members of the 60-seat Senate or Śeanad Éireann are indirectly elected or appointed. All legislators serve five-year terms. Administratively, the country is divided into 26 counties.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.