The constitution provides for a bicameral legislature, the Parliament. This body consists of the king and two houses, the House of Representatives (Pratinidhi Sabha) and the National Council (Rashtriya Sabha). The House of Representatives has 205 directly elected members. The term for the House of Representatives is five years unless it dissolves earlier, pursuant to the provisions of the constitution. On the recommendation of the prime minister, the king may dissolve the house, but new elections must be held within six months. Administrative districts are the election districts; and each district's allocation of seats is proportional to its population. All persons eighteen years or older are enfranchised.
The National Council has sixty members consisting of ten nominees of the king; thirty-five members, including at least three women, to be elected by the House of Representatives by means of a single transferable vote, pursuant to the system of proportional representation; and fifteen members to be elected by the electoral college comprising the voters, including the chair and deputy chair of the village and town and district committees of various development regions. The National Council is a permanent body; onethird of its members must retire every two years. Council members serve six-year terms.
With the exception of finance bills, introduced only in the House of Representatives, bills may be introduced in either house. All bills, however, must be passed by both houses before receiving royal assent. When a bill is rejected by the National Council, the House of Representatives has the overriding authority. If the joint session of Parliament receives and passes a bill that the king returned for reconsideration, it receives royal assent within thirty days. The king may, when both the Houses of Parliament are not in session, promulgate ordinances, which are not effective unless approved by both the houses when reconvened. Financial procedures are outlined in part ten of the constitution, which states that taxes cannot be levied or loans raised except in accordance with the law.
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