|Following the withdrawal of Portugese colonisers, Timor-Leste was declared a republic on 28 November 1975 by members of the Frente Revolucionaria do Timor-Leste Independente (Fretelin). However, this was followed by a quarter of a century of Indonesian occupation. Timor-Leste was formally recognised as a sovereign state on 20 May 2002, becoming the 191st United Nations member state.
The United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) governed Timor-Leste until formal independence in May 2002, when the country’s constitution came into effect. Timor-Leste is a unicameral parliamentary democracy. It is led by a Prime Minister as head of government (the National Parliament) and a President as head of state. The President, who is supreme commander of the defence force, is directly elected for a term of five years and may serve up to two consecutive terms. The Prime Minister is selected by the political party or coalition of political parties that have a majority in the National Parliament, and is formally appointed by the President. As at September 2006, the National Parliament consisted of 88 members who were elected on 30 August 2001. Nevertheless, the National Parliament is usually meant to have between 52 and 65 members.|