French National Assembly

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This article concerns the modern National Assembly. For information about the body formed in the French Revolution, see National Assembly (French Revolution).
The Palais Bourbon, front
The Palais Bourbon, front

The French National Assembly (French: "Assemblée nationale") is one of the two houses of the bicameral Parliament of France under the Fifth Republic. The other is the French Senate ("Sénat").

The National Assembly consists of 577 members known as députés (deputies), each elected by a single-member constituency. It is presided over by a president (currently Jean-Louis Debré), normally from the largest party represented, assisted by vice-presidents from across the represented political spectrum. The term of the National Assembly is five years; however, the President of France may dissolve the Assembly (by i.e.: calling a new election), unless he dissolved it in the preceding year.

The official seat of the National Assembly is the Palais Bourbon on the banks of the river Seine. It is guarded by Republican Guards; huissiers oversee the operations inside the meeting amphitheater and in other facilities.

Following from a tradition started by the first French National Assembly during the French revolution, the "left-wing" parties sit to the left as seen from the president's seat, and the "right-wing" parties sit to the right, and the seating thus directly indicates the political spectrum as represented in the Assembly.

The last legislative elections, held in June 2002 resulted in the following distribution of seats:

357 Union for a Popular Movement (right/center-right)
140 Socialist Party (left/center-left)
29 Union for French Democracy (center-right)
21 Communist Party of France (left)
7 Left Radical Party (left/center-left)
23 other (Green, etc.)

See also

External link

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