Supreme Soviet

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The Supreme Soviet (Russian: Верхо́вный Сове́т, Verhovny Sovet) comprised the highest legislative body in the Soviet Union in the interim of the sessions of the Congress of Soviets, and the only one with the power to pass constitutional amendments. It elected the Presidium, formed the Supreme Court, and appointed the Procurator General of the USSR. Its prototype (before the creation of the Soviet Union) was All-Russian Central Executive Committee (Всероссийский Центральный Исполнительный Комитет or ВЦИК, or in Latin letters, VTsIK), whose full name at a certain time was All-Russian Central Executive Committee of Workers', Peasants', Red Army, and Cossack Deputies (Всероссийский Центральный Исполнительный Комитет Советов рабочих, крестьянских, красноармейских и казачьих депутатов).

The Supreme Soviet was made up of two chambers, each with equal legislative powers, with members elected for five-year terms:

  • The Soviet of the Union, elected on the basis of population with one deputy for every 300,000 people in the Soviet federation
  • The Soviet of Nationalities, supposed to represent the ethnic populations, with members elected on the basis of 32 deputies from each union republic (excluding the autonomous republics, autonomous oblasts, and autonomous okrugs in its territory, which would send in separate members), 11 from each autonomous republic, five from each autonomous oblast (region), and one from each autonomous okrug (district). The administrative units of the same type would send in the same amount of members regardless of their size or population.

In 1989 there were 750 members in each chamber. The Supreme Soviet met regularly twice a year but it could be called into extraordinary session. The Presidium carried out the day-to-day operations of the Supreme Soviet when it was not in session.

In practice, until Perestroika and the partially free elections in 1989, the Supreme Soviet functioned as a rubber stamp to legislation originating from less representative but more powerful bodies, like the Politburo.

The Supreme Soviet officially dissolved the USSR and itself on December 26, 1991.

[edit] Supreme Soviets of the Union Republics

Each republic of the Soviet Union also had its own Supreme Soviet, a one-chamber legislature functioning along similar lines. The same was the case with the ASSRs. After the dissolution of USSR, each of these bodies became the legislatures of independent countries. The Supreme Soviet of the Russian SFSR and the Congress of People's Deputies of the Russian SFSR were the legislature of Russia until being dissolved by military force during the 1993 constitutional crisis.

[edit] See also

es:Soviet Supremo de la URSS et:Eesti NSV Ülemnõukogu fr:Soviet suprême he:הסובייט העליון nl:Opperste Sovjet ja:最高会議 ro:Sovietul Suprem ru:Верховный Совет СССР sv:Högsta sovjet zh:苏联最高苏维埃

Supreme Soviet

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