The Fiji Islands is a Democratic Republic governed by a President, Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara. He is elected by the Great Council of Chiefs (GCC), who also feature prominently in the decision making process in Fiji.
Parliament consists of an Upper House (Senate) with 32 nominated members and a Lower House (House of Representatives) with 71 elected members. The 71 seats in the Lower House are made up of 25 open seats and 46 communal seats (23 - Fijian; 19 - Indo-Fijians; 1 - Rotuman and 3 - other races). The 32 senators are appointed by the President. 14 are nominated by the GCC; nine by the Prime Minister, eight by the Leader of the Opposition and one on the advice of the Council of Rotuma.
Elected municipal councils look after local government affairs in the various towns and cities. Fijian affairs are handled by the various Fijian provincial councils.