The 1970 constitution of the Gambia, which divided the government into independent executive, legislative, and judicial branches, was suspended after the 1994 military coup. As part of the transition process, the Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council established the Constitution Review Commission (CRC) through decree in March 1995.
In accordance with the timetable for the transition to a democratically elected government, the commission drafted a new constitution for the Gambia which was approved by referendum in August 1996. The constitution provides for a strong presidential government, a unicameral legislature, an independent judiciary, and the protection of human rights.
The president is elected by popular vote for a five-year term; the number of terms is not restricted. He appoints the members of the Cabinet.
The National Assembly has 53 members, 48 members elected for a five-year term and 4 members appointed. Gambia is a one party dominant state with the Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction in power. Opposition parties are allowed, but are widely considered to have no real chance of gaining power.