Page:Statesman's Year-Book 1899 American Edition.djvu/1073

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CONSTITUTION AND GOVERNMENT 717

ministers ; while the legishitive authority rests conjointly in the King and Parliament, the latter consisting of two Chambers — an upper one, the Senate, and a lower one, called the ' Camera de' Deputati.' The Senate is composed of the princes of the royal house who are of age, and of an unlimited number of members, above forty years old, who are nominated by the King for life ; a condition of the nomination being that the person should either till a high office, or have acquired fame in science, literature, or any other pursuit tending to the benefit of the nation, or, finally, should pay taxes to the annual amount of 3,000 lire, or 120^. In 1897, there were 372 senators. By the electoral law of March 28, 1895, electors for deputies to the Lower House are all citizens over twenty-one years of age who can read and write and who possess one or other of the following qualifications : they must have reached a certain standard in elementary education ; or must pay not less than 19 '80 lire in direct (including provincial) taxation ; or, if peasant farmers, must pay annually at least 500 lire of rent, or be managers, with a share in the profits, of farms on which direct (including provincial) taxes of not less than 80 lire are paid ; or, being occupants of lodgings, shops, &c., in towns, pay an annual rent ranging from 150 lire in communes of 2,500 inhabitants to 400 lire in communes of 150,000 inhabitants. Non-commissioned officers and men in the army have no vote while under arms. Members of academies, professors, persons who have served their country under arms for two years, and numerous other classes, are qualified to vote by their position. The number of deputies is 508, or 1 to every 57,000 of the population (census 1881). In 1896 the number of enrolled electors was 2,120,909, exclusive of the electors temporarily disfranchised on account of military service (39,029 in 1895). At the general election in March 1897, the number of those who voted was 1,241,486, or 58-5 per cent, of those who had the right to vote. For electoral purposes the whole of the Kingdom is divided into 508 electoral colleges or districts, and these again into several sections. No deputy can be returned to Parliament unless he has obtained a number of votes greater than one-sixth of the total number of inscribed electors, and than half the votes given. A deputy must be thirty years old, and have the requisites demanded by the electoral law. Incapable of being elected are all salaried Government officials, as well as all persons ordained for the priesthood and filling clerical charges, or receiving pay from the State. Officers in the army and navy, ministers, under-secretaries of State, and