The Republic of Peru, formerly the most important of the Spanish Viceroyalties in South America, issued its declaration of independence July 28, 1821; but it was not till after a war, protracted till 1824, that the country gained its actual freedom from Spanish rule. The Republic is politically divided into departments, and the departments into provinces. According to the Constitution proclaimed on November 10, 1860, the legislative poweris vested in a Senate (52 members) and a House of Representatives, (116 members) the latter composed of deputies of the provinces, in the proportion of one for every 30,000 inhabitants or fraction exceeding 15,000 and the former of representatives in the proportion of four senators for each department which has more than eight provinces; three for each department which has less than eight provinces and more than four; two for each department which has less than five and more than one; one for a department having only one province; and one for the littoral province of Callao. Senators must have an income of 1,000 soles (100l. ) a year or belong to a scientific profession; and deputies 500 soles (50l.) a year, or belong to a scientific profession. Both senators and deputies are elected by a direct vote. Every two years one-third of the members of each chamber, as decided by lot, retire. Congress meets annually on July 28, and sits for 90 days only. It may be summoned as often as necessary, but no extraordinary session may last more than 45 days.
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