From the foundation of the Kingdom of Cuzco, the rulers of the kingdom were known as the Sapa Inca. The first Sapa Inca was Manco Capac, who was the son of the god Inti, the sun god. The ninth Sapa Inca, Pachacuti expanded the kingdom and founded an empire, which would become the largest Native American Empire.
The Inca Empire is an absolute monarchy, the Sapa Inca has total control over the empire and he performs most matters of state. However, the Imperial Advisors have relatively much influence in the government. The Sapa Inca is revered and is viewed upon as the son of the sun god, Inti. The emperor also has infallibility, inviolability and his word is law.
The Sapa Inca, the head of state and government must meet some requirements to qualify for this position. The most important is that the person in question is male. The Sapa Inca must be a male person that is a member of the Imperial family as stated in the Constitution, Article 49. Reasons for this succession law are that the gods have a society where a male, Inti is in charge, therefore the people must follow the example of the gods. Men and women are today considered equal to the law in the Inca Empire, but in the past men were the heads of families and women were subordinate to them. However, one woman succeeded in claiming the throne, Huitaca Yupanqui. Ironically enough, her rule was one of the most successful in the history of the empire. There has been pressure from many people in the empire to allow a woman to ascend the throne, as the current emperor has only one daughter. The emperor, his brother, is the current heir apparent, but he only has two daughters. This has caused much controversy and many attempts to amend the constitution, but none of these has succeeded.
Line of succession
"There was no clear line of succession; the most competent of the legitimate sons of the Inca's principal wife (coya) was usually selected. The Inca had one real wife but he maintained a menage of royal concubines. Huayna Capac is estimated to have had in the male line alone 500 descendants living at the time of the Spanish conquest." -http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/incas/collier.htm