The UAE is governed under the constitution of 1971, which was made permanent in 1996. A Federal Supreme Council (FSC), composed of the seven emirate rulers, is the highest constitutional authority in the UAE. The president, who is the head of state, is elected by the FSC for a five-year term, with no term limits. The government is headed by the prime minister, who is appointed by the president. The highest legislative body is the unicameral Federal National Council, with 40 members. The members were previously all appointed by the rulers of the constituent states, but beginning in 2006 elections (initially participated in only by a select group of voters) were held for half the members; the rest are still appointed. Local matters are dealt with by the sheikhs. Administratively, the country is divided into the seven emirates.
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