Romania has a multi-party system.
Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the two chambers of parliament, the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate.
The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature. Romania's 1991 constitution, amended in 2003 proclaims Romania a democratic and social republic, deriving its sovereignty from the people.
It also states that "human dignity, civic rights and freedoms, the unhindered development of human personality, justice, and political pluralism are supreme and guaranteed values".
The constitution provides for a President, a Parliament, a Constitutional Court and a separate system of lower courts that includes The High Court of Cassation and Justice. The right to vote is granted to all citizens over 18 years of age.
The President is elected by popular vote for a maximum of two 5-year terms (4-year terms until 2004).
S/he is head of state (charged with safeguarding the constitution, foreign affairs, and the proper functioning of public authorities), supreme commander of the Armed Forces and chairperson of the Supreme Council of National Defense.
According to the constitution, s/he acts as mediator among the power centers within the state, as well as between the state and society.
The president nominates the Prime Minister, following consultations with the party that holds the majority in the Parliament.
If none of the parties hold an absolute majority, the president chooses the prime minister following consultations with all the parties represented in the parliament.
The nominated prime minister chooses the other members of the government and then the government and its program must be confirmed by a vote of confidence from Parliament. The prime minister is head of government, executive power is exercised by the government.
The national legislature is a bicameral parliament (Romanian: Parlament), consisting of the Chamber of Deputies (Camera Deputaţilor) and the Senate (Senat).
Members are elected for 4-year terms by universal suffrage under party list proportional representation electoral systems. Starting next election (November 2008) members are elected using a mixed member proportional representation.
The number of senators and deputies has varied in each legislature, reflecting the variation in population.
As of 2008, there are 137 senatorial seats and 334 seats in the Chamber of Deputies; of the 334 deputy seats, 18 are held by the ethnic minorities representatives that would not pass the 5% electoral threshold that all the other parties and organizations must pass.