Kyrgyzstan was the first of the former Soviet Central Asian republics to acquire democratic institutions. Under the constitution adopted in 2010 and fully effective when the interim government ends in 2011, the president, who is head of state, is elected by popular vote for a single six-year term. The government is headed by the prime minister. The unicameral legislature consists of the 120-member Jogorku Kenesh, the Supreme Council or Parliament; members are popularly elected by a system of proportional representation for five-year terms. No one party can hold more than 65 seats. Administratively, the country is divided into seven provinces and the capital area.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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