On 21 March 1990 Namibia became independent, and the Constitution took effect. Executive authority is held by the President, who is the head of state. According to the Constitution, the President shall be directly elected by universal adult suffrage for a term of five years, and permitted to hold office for a maximum of two terms. (In late 1998 legislation was approved whereby the Constitution was to be exceptionally amended to allow the incumbent President to seek a third term of office.) Legislative power is vested in the National Assembly, comprising 96 members directly elected by universal adult suffrage and as many as eight members nominated by the President; the presidential appointees have qualified voting rights. The National Assembly has a maximum term of five years. An advisory National Council, comprising three representatives from each of the country's 14 Regional Councils, elected for a six-year period, operates as the second chamber of parliament. Each region has its own Governor, who is appointed by the President.