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 of January 18, 1920, the legislative power is vested in a Senate (35 members) and a House of Representatives (110 members), and renewed totally every five years. The number of senators and deputies can only be altered by reform of the Constitution. An organic law designs the departmental and provincial electoral districts, and the number of senators and deputies which corresponds to each of them. Both senators and deputies are elected by a direct vote. Congress meets annually on July 28, and sits for 90 to 120 days. It may be summoned as often as necessary, but no extraordinary session may last more than 45 days.
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