Namorese Central Council
|Namorese Central Council |
|19th Central Council|
Txo Hengzang, L
Ke Tzanjin, L
Yao Shenkang, DS
Vang Bomen, S
|Mixed-member proportional representation|
First past the post
|Central Council Hall, Namo, Capital District|
The Namorese Central Council (Намора Джунггангзехои tr. Namora Junggangzehoi), commonly known by its syllabic abbreviation CenCo (Гангзехои tr. Gangzehoi) is the unicameral national legislature of the People's Republic of Namor. With 2,549 members, known as deputies, the Central Council is the largest legislature among representative democracies in Esquarium.
Founded in 1925, the Central Council originated from the Liberationist concept of "people's assemblies" overseeing day-to-day governance in a state. Because of the Liberationist one-party state, the Central Council was dominated by the Liberationist Party and considered a rubber stamp legislature. Starting the 1960s, the Central Council gradually developed into a genuine forum for policymaking, and non-Liberationist parties gained more seats. Presently, no political party controls a majority of the Central Council and coalition-building has become more common.
The Constitution of Namor grants the CenCo a broad range of powers, including the power to determine the national budget, declare war or a state of emergency, appoint the Procurator-General and members of the Supreme People's Court, confirm presidential appointments, and impeach all executive officials including the President-General. The CenCo was also responsible for electing the President-General and Vice President-General until the constitution was amended to allow direct presidential elections.
Elections for Central Council are held every five years under most circumstances. According to the Constitution, elections for Central Council must be held concurrently with presidential elections. Most deputies of the Central Council are directly elected with the exception of the 46 Vaihoimeng deputies who are elected by Overseas Namorese organizations.
- 1 History
- 2 Powers
- 3 Composition
- 4 Proceedings
- 5 Leadership
- 6 Committees
The first Central Council convened in 1925 inside the National Assembly Building in Namo, which was expanded and renamed the Central Council Hall.
Under Antelope Yunglang, the Central Council acted as a rubberstamp legislature, voting overwhelmingly in favor of legislation preapproved by the Liberationist Party. From 1925 to 1966, representation in the Central Council was based on class; all deputies were elected to represent one of the five "revolutionary classes" in Liberationism — the working class, peasantry, intelligentsia, petite bourgeoisie and national bourgeoisie. Non-Liberationist parties and organizations that pledged allegiance to the Liberationists during the Namorese Civil War were represented in the Central Council as well until they were banned in 1941.
In 1950, the Central Council supported the coup that resulted in the arrest of Kiang Su and his allies. The Central Council's role in the coup was a watershed moment for Namorese politics, as it marked the first time the Central Council turned against the Liberationist leadership. From then on, the Central Council became more proactive in monitoring the government, although it remained under Liberationist control.
The new constitution of 1955 allowed multiple parties to be represented in the Central Council, and in 1960, the Democratic Socialists and Socialists became the first political parties unaffiliated with the Liberationists to run and win seats in the Central Council.
In 1966, the constitution was amended to transfer the power to elect the President-General from the Central Council to the electorate, while retaining the Central Council's power to determine the President-General's salary and summon the President-General for annual policy addresses. The Central Council's class-based representation was also abolished in favor of geographical constituencies which are still used to this day.
In 1985, the Democratic Socialists won a majority in the Central Council for the first time, while the Liberationists held on to the executive branch. Lan Xuan Huong, who would later go on to become President-General, became the Central Council's first female, non-Liberationist president.
Since the 1990s, it has become less common for a single party to control a majority in the Central Council due to the breakdown of the two-party system. The last time that happened was during the 2005 election when the New Democrats won a landslide victory over the incumbent Democratic Socialists.
The Central Council's size is expected to grow to 2,619 seats in 2020 because of Riro's incorporation into Namor.
The powers of the Central Council are outlined in Article 15 of the Namorese constitution. Most of the Central Council's powers in Article 15 are still in place with the exception of the power to elect the President-General and Vice President-General, which was transferred to the electorate in accordance with Additional Article Four of the constitution.
Since 1955, the Central Council has exercised all of its constitutionally enumerated powers at least once.
The Central Council is chiefly responsible for Namor's fiscal policy, including the passage of the national budget and tax code. Theoretically, the Central Council can also develop the budget beforehand, but this task has usually been left to the leader of the ruling party — usually the President-General — who submits a draft of the budget to the Central Council. The Central Council then modifies the budget, typically by appropriating funds to the deputies' geographical constituencies, before putting the budget up for a vote. A national budget must be developed before the beginning of the new fiscal year, which in Namor corresponds with the calendar year. If the Central Council fails to produce a budget, then the budget for the previous fiscal year comes into effect.
The Central Council has the power to ratify treaties signed between the President-General and foreign governments and confirm diplomatic appointments made by the President-General. The Central Council can also declare war and peace.
The Central Council has declared war only once in its history — against Luziyca in 1941. The state of war between Namor and Luziyca did not officially end until 1990 when both countries restored diplomatic ties and the Central Council declared an end to hostilities. However, some constitutional scholars argue that Namo-Luziycan relations have yet to be fully normalized because the Central Council never explicitly declared peace with Luziyca.
Article 15 of the constitution grants the Central Council power to establish new administrative divisions of Namor and disestablish existing ones. This power was exercised three times since the adoption of the current constitution — in 1990 (establishment of the Autonomous Republic of Txotai), 2006 (establishment of the district of Peitoa), and 2018 (establishment of the district of Riro). The Central Council has also designated several cities as special economic zones, but SEZs are not considered administrative divisions.
Theoretically, the Central Council can establish and disestablish administrative divisions at the lowest level, such as townships and villages, though this has never happened.
Supervision of the government
The Central Council has many powers to supervise the government, mainly the powers to impeach officials, summon officials to address their policies, and conduct probes into alleged unlawful behavior by officials.
The Central Council has the power to impeach the President-General, Vice-President and "all whom it elects," meaning appointments by the President-General that are confirmed by the Central Council, for "unlawful behavior." Officials impeached by the Central Council are stripped of immunity from criminal prosecution. President-General Su Shui's presidency was cut short in 1982 after the Central Council impeached him for disclosing classified information to people outside of the government.
Policy addresses are routinely delivered by the President-General and other officials at the request of the Central Council. Most addresses involve officials answering questions from deputies in committee sessions, with an exception being the President-General's Annual Policy Address, which is delivered every beginning of the year before a full session of the Central Council.
The Central Council conducts probes by setting up investigative commissions. Depending on its outcome, the probe may lead to an official's impeachment.
Article 15 gives the Central Council power to determine the salaries of "all whom it elects," which at the time of the constitution's adoption included the President-General and Vice President-General. Additional Article Four, which made the President-General and Vice President-General directly elected, continued the Central Council's practice of determining the salaries of the President-General and Vice President-General.
Additional Article Seven, passed in 1984, mandated that the salaries of the President-General and Vice President-General must be determined before both leaders assume their positions.
The preamble of the Additional Articles gives the Central Council power to amend the constitution with a three-fourths majority vote among all deputies. As of 2018, there have been ten amendments to the constitution.
State of emergency
Under Additional Article One, the Central Council may declare a state of emergency that lasts up to a year. The state of emergency it may be extended for another year by the Central Council if it sees an extension as necessary.
The Central Council is not the only body that can declare an emergency. Regional governments can also declare emergencies in their regions, and sometimes regional emergencies may overlap with emergencies declared by the Central Council. Only the Central Council has the authority to declare nationwide emergencies.
Since the adoption of the current constitution, the Central Council has declared four emergencies, three of which were nationwide. A nationwide state of emergency declared in the aftermath of the 2017 Central Ocean earthquake and tidal wave is still in effect, having been extended in June 2018.
In addition to its constitutional powers, the Central Council enjoys some powers that are outlined in other laws or agreements. An agreement between Namor and the Apostolic Catholic Church allows the Central Council to confirm the President-General's appointment for the Patriarch of Gusev — a unique situation where a secular body has the final say in the selection of a religious leader.
Under Namorese nationality law, the Central Council can confer Namorese citizenship upon any foreigner who takes part in "anti-imperialist" movements or has contributed greatly to Namor and humankind.
The Central Council currently has 2,549 deputies, although that number is expected to increase to 2,619 in 2020 with the election of 70 additional deputies to represent the district of Riro.
Of the 2,549 deputies in the Central Council, 1,500 represent a legislative district — a geographical constituency that covers an area of approximately 10 million people. Most legislative districts are located within a district or autonomous republic, while some, such as District 50 in Txotai and District 45 in Khao and Tojav, cover an entire region or regions. Each legislative district is represented by 30 deputies who are elected by party-list proportional representation.
980 CenCo deputies represent a district or autonomous republic. Unlike deputies who represent legislative districts, the deputies who represent a district or autonomous republic are elected by first-past-the-post. 23 deputies represent Capital District and are elected by first past the post, and 46 deputies are members of the Vaihoimeng, a federation of Overseas Namorese associations.
Only the Vaihoimeng deputies are not directly elected since they represent ethnic Namorese living overseas who are not Namorese citizens but identify with Namor culturally.
The Central Council is required to convene for at least one week per month except for the month of Shintsun (Namorese New Year), which falls on either January or February. During the month of Shintsun, the CenCo is exempt from this rule and may take a month-long recess.
Deputies of the Central Council do not have to be present to vote. Due to its size, most monthly sessions of the CenCo are not attended by all deputies. Nearly all deputies show up during the State of the People's Republic. All deputies are required to be present when a CenCo convenes for the first time so that they may be sworn into office.
Bills in the Central Council undergo a lengthy review process before they are passed and promulgated into law.
A bill is first introduced to the Secretary of the Central Council, who assigns the bill to one of 14 committees, where it is debated and revised before being put to vote before the whole committee. When the bill passes the committee, it is scheduled to be debated and voted on in a full session of the Central Council. A bill requires a simple majority (1,275 out of 2,549 votes) to pass the Central Council. After it is passed, the bill is signed into law by the President-General.
The President of the Central Council is a deputy selected by the largest party in the Central Council to preside over the Central Council and maintain order and decorum during full sessions. The President signs laws that are passed by the Central Council to indicate their eligibility to be promulgated by the President-General. Although the President is not explicitly mentioned in Additional Article Three of the Namorese constitution, which details the presidential line of succession, it is widely believed that if the entire State Council is unable to assume the presidency-general, leaving the Central Council to decide the next President-General, the President will be the Central Council's first pick.
The Secretary of the Central Council is a deputy responsible for overseeing the administrative affairs of the Central Council. Unlike the President, the Secretary is elected by the whole Central Council and is thus not guaranteed to be a member of the largest party. The Secretary is responsible for assigning submitted bills to their appropriate committees for review, assigning deputies to committees, scheduling committee-approved bills to be put to vote in full sessions, and take attendance during full sessions.
Each committee of the Central Council is headed by a chair who is elected by other committee members.
The Central Council consists of 14 committees. The makeup of the committee is proportional to that of the entire CenCo. Each committee is headed by a chair who is elected by other committee members.
- Agriculture (Нон Веихои)
- Funding (Джичу Веихои)
- Military (Кунси Веихои)
- Budget (Йусан Веихои)
- Science and Technology (Кезе Веихои)
- Resources (Чаийен Веихои)
- Legislative Ethics (Лифадоде Веихои)
- Environment (Хуанджин Веихои)
- Economics (Чинку Веихои)
- Foreign Affairs (Ваиву Веихои)
- Domestic Security (Неипин Веихои)
- Societal Well-Being (Сохоифуджи Веихои)
- Standards (Поджун Веихои)
- Nantai Reunification (Нантаи Тонгуни Веихои)