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The National Assembly (French: Assemblée nationale; pronounced [asɑ̃ble nɑsjɔnal]) is the lower house of the bicameral French Parliament under the Fifth Republic, the upper house being the Senate (Sénat). The National Assembly's legislators are known as députés (French pronunciation: [depyte]), meaning "delegate" or "envoy" in English; etymologically, it is a cognate of the English word deputy, which is the standard term for legislators in many parliamentary systems).
|16th legislature of the Fifth French Republic|
|Founded||4 October 1958; 65 years ago (1958-10-04)|
|Preceded by||National Assembly|
(French Fourth Republic)
|12 and 19 June 2022|
|Palais Bourbon, Paris|
|Règlement de l’Assemblée nationale|
There are 577 députés, each elected by a single-member constituency (at least one per department) through a two-round system; thus, 289 seats are required for a majority. The president of the National Assembly, currently Yaël Braun-Pivet, presides over the body. The officeholder is usually a member of the largest party represented, assisted by vice presidents from across the represented political spectrum. The National Assembly's term is five years; however, the President of France may dissolve the Assembly, thereby calling for early elections, unless it has been dissolved in the preceding twelve months. This measure has become rarer since the 2000 French constitutional referendum reduced the presidential term from seven to five years; since the 2002 French legislative election and until the 2022 French legislative election, the President of the Republic has always had a coattail effect of majority in the Assembly two months after the presidential election, and it would accordingly be of little benefit to dissolve it. Due to the separation of powers, the President of the Republic may not take part in parliamentary debates. They can address the Congress of the French Parliament, which meets at the Palace of Versailles, or have the address read by the presidents of both chambers of Parliament, with no subsequent debate.
Following a tradition started by the first 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 to the right; the seating arrangement thus directly indicates the left–right political spectrum as represented in the Assembly. The official seat of the National Assembly is the Palais Bourbon on the Rive Gauche of the Seine in the 7th arrondissement of Paris. The Assembly also uses other neighbouring buildings, including the Immeuble Chaban-Delmas on the Rue de l'Université, Paris. Like most institutions of importance in Paris, it is guarded by Republican Guards.
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