The Republic of Chile threw off allegiance to the Crown of Spain by the declaration of independence of September 18, 1810, finally freeing itself from Spanish rule in 1818. By the Constitution which came into force on October 18, 1925, legislative power is vested in the National Congress, consisting of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies, both of which are elected by direct popular vote. The Senate consists of 45 members, who represent 9 provincial groups. Each group elects five senators. It is renewable every four years, but each Senator holds his seat for eight years. The Chamber of Deputies consists of 132 members elected by departments or groups of departments, one member for every 30,000 inhabitants or fraction of not less than 15,000. Electors are all registered citizens of 21 years of age or over, who are able to read and write. All voting is by ballot. Congress is to be in ordinary session from May 21 to September 18. The executive is exercised by the President of the Republic elected for a term of six years, also by direct popular vote. A retiring President is not re-eligible. In legislation the President has a modified veto; a bill returned to the Chambers with the President’s objections may, by a two-thirds vote of the members present (a majority of the members being present), be sustained and become law. The validity of all elections of President, Deputies and Senators is determined by a special body called Tribunal Calificador, consisting of five members chosen by lot from among the following: One each from past-presidents or vice-presidents of the Chamber and Senate; two from Ministers of the Supreme Court; and one from Ministers of the Court of Appeal of the city where Congress meets.
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