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The Parliament of Chile

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Published: January 5, 2015 01:05 pm

Parliament of ChileThe National Congress of Chile is a bicameral legislature comprising a Chamber of Deputies (Lower House) of 120 members and the Senate (Upper House) composed of 38 lawmakers.

The deputies are elected for four-year terms by direct universal suffrage from 60 two-member electoral districts. Deputies must: be aged at least 21; not be disqualified from voting; have finished secondary school or its equivalent; and have lived in the corresponding electoral district for at least two years prior to the election.

The Senate is composed of thirty-eight directly elected senators, chosen by universal popular suffrage vote in 19 senatorial circumscriptions. These serve eight-year terms, with half of them being replaced every fourth year. They must be eligible to vote, have completed secondary school, or its equivalent, and be at least 35 years old.

The Senate of Chile was created in 1812 to support the formulations of policies of the Government Junta. Since then it has undergone several constitutional reorganizations that have altered the scope of its constitutional powers, its composition and the generation of its members.

Chile’s congressional elections are governed by a unique binomial system that rewards coalition slates. Each coalition can run two candidates for each electoral district’s two chamber seats. Typically, the two largest coalitions in a district divide the seats (one each) among themselves. Only if the leading coalition ticket out-polls the second-place coalition by a margin of more than two-to-one does the winning coalition gain both seats.

Posted by on January 5, 2015. Filed under Parliamentary Information. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry