Guadeloupe became an overseas department of France in 1946, and as such, is part of the European Union. Its head of state is the President of the French Republic, who appoints a Prefect (resident at the Prefecture building in Basse-Terre) as his representative. It honours the French Constitution of September 1958, and utilises the French legal system.
The legislative branch is composed of a unicameral General Council and a unicameral Regional Council. The General Council of Guadeloupe is composed of 43 seats whose members are elected by popular vote to serve six-year terms, whereas the Regional Council is composed of 31 seats whose members are elected by popular vote to serve six-year terms.
Guadeloupe is represented in the French parliament by three senators in the French Senate and four deputies of representatives in the French National Assembly.