The present constitution of France, voted by the National Assembly, elected in 1871, bears date February 25, 1875. It vests the legislative power in an assembly of two houses, the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate, and the executive in a chief magistrate called President of the Republic. The Chamber of Deputies is elected by universal suffrage, under the ‘scrutin d’arrondissement,’ adopted by the National Assembly, November 11, 1875. The law orders that every arrondissement has to elect one deputy, and if its population is in excess of 100,000, an additional deputy for each 100,000, or portion thereof. There were 10,179,315 ‘électeurs politiques,’ or persons possessing votes, in the year 1881. The only requisite to be an elector is to be possessed of citizenship and to be of the age of twenty-one years, while the only requisite for a deputy is to be a citizen and twenty-five years of age. There are 557 members in the Chamber of Deputies. The Senate is composed of 300 members, of whom 75 hold their seats for life, the vacancies being filled by the choice of the Senate. The remaining 225 seats arc divided by lot into three classes of 75 each, one class going out at successive periods of three years. The election of these 225 senators is by an indirect process.
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