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Living in the Languedoc:    Local Government

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Local Elections In their commune, French citizens and residents who are nationals of other European Union states elect municipal councillors for a six-year term by direct universal suffrage; the councillors then elect the mayor. The number of municipal councillors depends on the size of the population, as do some aspects of the voting system, which in both cases is a two-ballot majority list poll. At departmental level, French citizens vote in what are known as "cantonal elections" for members of the General Council for a six-year term. These are two ballot majority uninominal (single candidate) polls, with one councillor elected for each constituency (canton). Half the councillors come up for election every three years. Electors vote for a departmental list of candidates, with proportional representation and distribution of the remaining seats using the highest averages system, a polling method that allows minorities and small parties to be represented.
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