House of Representatives

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House of Representatives is the name of legislative bodies in many countries and sub-national states. In many countries, the House of Representatives is the lower house of a bicameral legislature, with the corresponding upper house often called a "Senate". In some countries, the House of Representatives is the sole chamber of a unicameral legislature.

The functioning of a house of representatives can vary greatly from country to country, and depends on whether a country has a parliamentary or a presidential system. Members of a House of Representatives are typically apportioned according to population rather than geography.

National legislatures[edit]

The Indonesian People's Representative Council (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat, DPR) is generally known in English as the "House of Representatives", as is the Dewan Rakyat of the Parliament of Malaysia and the Dáil Éireann of the Irish Oireachtas parliament. In the 2012 draft for a new Constitution of Egypt, the People's Assembly is called "House of Representatives".

"The House of Representatives" currently is the name of a house of the legislature in the following countries:

Antigua and Barbuda House of Representatives (Antigua and Barbuda)
Australia House of Representatives (Australia)
Belarus House of Representatives of Belarus
Belize House of Representatives (Belize)
Bosnia and Herzegovina House of Representatives (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Burma (Myanmar) House of Representatives (Burma)
Colombia Chamber of Representatives of Colombia
Egypt House of Representatives (Egypt)
Ethiopia House of Peoples' Representatives
Fiji House of Representatives (Fiji)
Grenada House of Representatives (Grenada)
Indonesia People's Representative Council
Republic of Ireland Dáil Éireann
Jamaica House of Representatives
Japan House of Representatives (Japan)
Liberia House of Representatives (Liberia)
Malaysia Dewan Rakyat
Nepal House of Representatives (Nepal)
Netherlands House of Representatives (Netherlands)
Nigeria House of Representatives (Nigeria)
Philippines House of Representatives of the Philippines
Puerto Rico House of Representatives of Puerto Rico
Somaliland House of Representatives (Somaliland)
Thailand House of Representatives (Thailand)
Trinidad and Tobago House of Representatives (Trinidad and Tobago)
United States United States House of Representatives
Yemen House of Representatives (Yemen)

In the following countries it is the sole chamber in a unicameral system:

Cyprus House of Representatives (Cyprus)
Malta House of Representatives
New Zealand New Zealand House of Representatives
Sierra Leone House of Representatives

Subnational legislatures[edit]

House of Representatives is the title of most, but not all, of the lower houses of US state legislatures, with the exceptions usually called "State Assembly", "General Assembly", or more rarely, "House of Delegates."

In Germany, the Landtag parliament of the city and state of Berlin (previously of West Berlin), the Abgeordnetenhaus is known in English as the House of Representatives.

In Tanzania, the semi-autonomous islands of Zanzibar has its own legislative body, the Zanzibar House of Representatives.

Defunct Houses of Representatives[edit]

From 1867 until 1918, in Cisleithania, the Austrian part of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, the lower house of the Imperial Council (Reichsrat) parliament, the Abgeordnetenhaus was generally known in English as "House of Representatives". Since 1855 the lower house in the Landtag assembly of Prussia was called Abgeordnetenhaus, as distinct from the upper House of Lords.

In 1934, the Nebraska voters approved a unicameral legislature dissolving the House of Representatives and granting its powers to the Senate.

The Kenyan House of Representatives was combined with the Senate in 1966, to form an enlarged single chamber parliament, known as the National Assembly. The Senate was re-established as an upper house following the 2010 Kenyan constitutional referendum.

The House of Representatives of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) was the lower chamber of the parliament established in 1947 according to the Soulbury Constitution. The 1972 First Republican Constitution of Sri Lanka replaced it with the unicameral National State Assembly.

Following the surrender of South Vietnam to North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces in 1975, a Provisional Revolutionary Government established itself in Saigon and disbanded the bicameral National Assembly consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Under apartheid, the House of Representatives was the house for South Africa's mixed race 'Coloured' community, in the Tricameral Parliament of 1984 to 1994.

In 1994 the House of Representatives legislature of The Gambia was dissolved in a coup d'état led by Yahya Jammeh. It was replaced by the National Assembly according to the 1997 Constitution of The Gambia.

See also[edit]