The Republic of Azerbaijan, located in Southwestern Asia, borders the Caspian Sea, between Iran and Russia. Azerbaijan gained its independence in 1991, following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the passage of a referendum in favor of independence, which passed with over ninety eight percent of those who voted in support of it. However, Azerbaijan is still involved in a two decade long conflict involving Armenia. As of 2011, Azerbaijan’s population has reached nine million– most recent census studies estimate the population to be 9,686,210. In regard to religion, Muslim citizens account for 91% percent of the population. Politically, following its independence, Azerbaijan refers to itself as a democratic republic, containing a civil law system headed by three branches: executive, legislative, and judiciary. Its Constitution was adopted on November 12, 1995, and has been amended in 1996, 2002, and 2009. Azerbaijan also grants universal suffrage to all citizens age eighteen or over.