The National Assembly (French: Assemblée nationale; pronounced: [a.sɑ̃.ble.na.sjɔ'nal]) is the lower house of the bicameralParliament of France under the Fifth Republic. The upper house is the Senate ("Sénat"). The National Assembly's members are known as députés (French pronunciation: [de.py'te] ; "delegate" or "envoy" in English; the word is an etymologicalcognate of the English word "deputy", usually "adjoint" in French).
There are 577 députés, each elected by a single-member constituency through a two-rounds system. 289 seats are therefore required for a majority. The assembly is presided over by a president (currently Claude Bartolone), normally from the largest party represented, assisted by vice-presidents from across the represented political spectrum. The term of the National Assembly is five years; however, the President of the Republic may dissolve the Assembly (thereby calling for new elections) unless he has dissolved it in the preceding twelve months. This measure is becoming rarer since the 2000 referendum reduced the President's term from seven to five years: a President usually has a majority elected in the Assembly two months after him, and it would be useless for him to dissolve it for those reasons.