Page:Statesman's Year-Book 1899 American Edition.djvu/1383

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1027
CONSTITUTION AND GOVERNMENT

4. The law on the liberty of the press of July 16, 1812. According to these statutes, the king must be a member of the Lutheran Church, and have sworn fealty to the laws of the land. His person is inviolable. He has the right to declare war and make peace, after consulting the Council of State. He nominates to all higher appointments, both military and civil; concludes foreign treaties, and has a right to preside in the supreme Court of Justice. The princes of the blood royal, however, are excluded from all civil employments. The king possesses legislative power in matters of political administration, but in all other respects that power is exercised by the Diet in concert with the sovereign, and every new law must have the assent of the crown. The right of imposing taxes is, however, vested in the Diet. This Diet, or Parliament of the realm, consists of two Chambers, both elected by the people. The First Chamber consists of 150 members. The election of the members takes place by the 'Landstings,' or provincial representations, 25 in number, and the municipal corporations of the towns, not already represented in the 'Landstings,' Stockholm, Göteborg, Malmö, Norrköping and Gefle. All members of the First Chamber must be above 35 years of age, and must have possessed for at least three years previous to the election either real property to the taxed value of 80,000 kronor, or 4,444 £., or an annual income of 4,000 kroner, or 223 £. They are elected for the term of nine years, and obtain no payment for their services. The Second Chamber consists of 230 members, of whom 80 are elected by the towns and 150 by the rural districts. All natives of Sweden, aged 21, possessing real property to the taxed value of 1,000 kroner, or 56 £., or farming, for a period of not less than five years, landed property to the taxed value of 6,000 kroner, or 333 £., or paying income tax on an annual income of 800 kronor, or 45 £., are electors; and all natives, aged 25, possessing the same qualifications, may be elected members of the Second Chamber. The number of qualified electors to the Second Chamber in 1896 was 309,899, or 6.3 of the population; only 140,488, or 45.3 of the electors, actually voted. In the smaller towns and country districts the election may either be direct or indirect, according to the wish of the majority. The election is for the term of three years, and the members obtain salaries for their services, at the rate of 1,200 kroner, or 67 £., for each session of four months, or, in the case of an extra session 10 kronor (11 s.) a day, besides travelling expenses. The salaries and travelling expenses of the deputies are paid out of the public purse. The members of both Chambers are elected by

ballot, both in town and country.

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