In foreign policy the Constitution required that the National Assembly be consulted about delarations of war, treaties and the conduct of international relations under Article 102. A determined legislator could exploit these Constitutional provisions to block or limit government decisions, influence appointments and force reconsideration of policies.
During its annual four-month sessions the Assembly conducted public debates. These were widely reported and formed a national forum for the expression of public concerns from all parts of the country. It was frequently a venue for expressing opposition to policies and airing grievances. Legislators enjoyed immunity from prosecution for speeches made from the floor and in the discharge of their offices. Only their own chambers within the Assembly could order the arrest of a member during his tenure. "With no actual responsibility for the actual conduct of affairs, the legislators were free to propose sweeping reforms, advocate ideal solutions, and denounce compromising and opportunistic conduct by the government."
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