Egypt is a democratic and socialist society, as per the Constitution adopted in 1971. It is a republic with a strong national government that has three branches, an executive branch headed by a president, a legislative branch called the People's Assembly, and a judicial branch, or court system. The president serves as the center of power in Egypt, and can be in power for an unlimited number of six-year terms. The president may appoint one or more vice presidents, the prime minister and the council of ministers (cabinet). In addition, the president also commands Egypt's armed forces. The president, thus, holds great influence and authority at all levels of government. The central government, in its turn, selects all local administrators. The People's Assembly has 444 members elected by Egyptian voters, along with 10 more members that may be appointed by the president. Egypt also has a 264-member Shura Council that functions as an advisory body. Two-thirds of the members are elected by the people, and the rest are appointed by the President to serve six-year terms. Egypt is divided into 27 political units called governorates, headed by a governor, who has been appointed by the President.
The National Democratic Party is Egypt's largest political party, consisting of the president, as well as a majority of top government officials. The National Democratic Party supports a mixture of public and private ownership. All Egyptian citizens aged 18 or older are eligible to vote. The highest court in Egypt is the supreme constitutional court. The lower courts include the appeals courts, tribunals of first instance (regional courts), and district courts. About 450,000 people serve in Egypt's armed forces, apart from the 250,000 members who are enlisted in the military reserves.