Prior to the revolution, the President was elected to five-year terms with no term limit. He appointed a prime Minister and cabinet, who play a strong role in the execution of policy. Regional governors and local administrators are appointed by the central government. Mayors and municipal councils, which fill a local consultative role, are elected. This system was established by a provision of the country's Code of Personal Status, introduced by the former President Habib Bourguiba in 1956.
The Chamber of Deputies of Tunisia (Majlis al-Nuwaab) is Tunisia’s lower Chamber. It has 189 seats and members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms. 20% of the seats are reserved for the opposition. The Chamber plays a role in debate on national policy but never originates legislation. Elections are held in the last 30 days of each five-year term. To be eligible for office, one must be a voter with a Tunisian mother or father and be at least 23 years.
Tunisia's upper chamber, the Chamber of Advisors, was created in July 2002 by Parliament. Its membership is restricted to two-thirds of the number of members in the Chamber of Deputies. Members are elected or appointed. One or two members (determined by size of population) are elected from each governance. These members are selected by local authorities. A third of the members are elected by a group of employers, farmers and workers. These seats are divided equally among the three groups. The remaining seats (41) are filled by qualified presidential appointees. All members sit for six-year terms and half of the membership is renewed every three years. To be eligible for office, a candidate must be a voter with a Tunisian mother or father and at least 40 years old.