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Sénat (Senate)

Compare data for parliamentary chambers in the Electoral system module

Parliament name (generic / translated) Parlement / Parliament
Structure of parliament Bicameral
Chamber name (generic / translated) Sénat / Senate
Related chamber (for bicameral parliaments) Assemblée nationale / National Assembly
Electoral Law 27 October 1964
last amendment: 14 April 2011
Mode of designation indirectly elected 348
Constituencies 128 territorial constituencies (number of seats dependent on population) comprising the departments of metropolitan France, overseas departments and territories, territorial collectivities and French citizens residing abroad
Voting system : Indirect elections.
The law on parity, which henceforth stipulates equality of candidatures between men and women on electoral lists, provides as follows: "On each of the lists, the difference between the number of candidates of each sex may not be greater than one. Within each complete group of six candidates in the order of presentation of the list, there must be an equal number of candidates of both sexes (L.O. 2000 - 493)
Indirect election by popularly chosen departmental electoral colleges with mixed system of voting:
- Two-round majority ballot in the departments that elect from one to three senators and in all overseas departments and collectivities (48 per cent at the end of the current transitional period, in 2010);

- Proportional representation, with allocation of seats according to the highest average, without the possibility of voting for candidates of more than one party and with closed lists, in the departments that elect four or more senators (52 per cent at the end of the current transitional period, in 2010).
Vacancies of Senate seats elected on a majority basis are filled by substitutes elected at the same time as titular members, except in certain cases (such as resignation) when by-elections are held within three months (except in the last year before the next normal partial renewal). Vacancies of proportional representation Senate seats are filled by the "next-in-line" candidates of the party list concerned.
Voting is compulsory.
Voter requirements - age: 18 years
- French citizenship
- appointment or election to an electoral college (as a representative of a territorial community or as a Deputy)
- disqualifications: persons under guardianship, deprivation of voting rights as a result of certain penal convictions
Eligibility Qualified electors
- age: 24 years
- French citizenship
- fulfillment of military service
- ineligibility: persons under guardianship and those deprived of their eligibility as a result of certain penal convictions, grave breaches of campaign finance laws, failure to declare assets, judicial liquidation, ban on holding management posts, leading posts in electoral district. (relative ineligibility)
Incompatibilities - Deputies
- members of the Government
- members of the Economic and Social Council
- members of the Constitutional Council
- judges, civil servants, career military
- holders of certain functions conferred by foreign States
- international civil servants
- leadership posts in a national enterprise, a State-assisted company, a financial company relying on public savings, a real estate firm
- acceptance of advisory services during the legislative term
- no plurality of important election mandates possible
Candidacy requirements - candidates may run either individually or as members of a party list
- Reimbursement of costs incurred for paper and for pamphlet and newsletter printing, for any candidate who obtains at least 10 per cent of valid votes in a given constituency in one of the two rounds of a majority ballot, or for all candidates of a list that receives at least 5 per cent of the votes cast under the proportional representation system.

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