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|Parliament of Chukuo |
|Houses||House of Peers|
House of Representatives
|Speaker of the Representatives||N/A|
|Speaker of the Councillors||N/A|
|Political groups||New Hope (8) |
The Parliament of the Empire of Chukuo, commonly referred to as the Chukuan Parliament (Traditional Chinese: 議院; jyutping: yi yuen), is the supreme legislative body in the Empire of Chukuo. It consists of three elements: the Emperor, the House of Peers and the House of Representatives. The parliament is bicameral. It alone possesses legislative supremacy and thereby ultimate power over all other political bodies in the Emperor of Chukuo.
The Sovereign forms the third component of the legislature (the Emperor-in-Parliament). The House of Peers includes two different types of members: the Peers Spiritual and the Peers Temporal (members of the Peerage) whose members are not elected by the population at large, but are appointed by the Sovereign on the advice of the Prime Minister. Prior to the opening of the Supreme Court in October 2015, the House of Peers also performed a judicial role through the Law Lords.
The House of Representatives is a democratically elected chamber with elections held at least every five years. The two Houses meet in separate chambers. By constitutional convention, all government ministers, including the Prime Minister, are members of the House of Representatives – or, less commonly, the House of Peers – and are thereby accountable to the respective branches of the legislature.
The Parliament's responsibilities include not only the making of laws but also the approval of the annual national budget that the government submits and the ratification of treaties. It can also initiate draft constitutional amendments, which, if approved, must be presented to the people in a referendum. The Parliament may conduct "investigations in relation to government". The Prime Minister must be designated by Parliament resolution, establishing the principle of legislative supremacy over executive government agencies. The government can also be dissolved by the Diet if it passes a motion of no confidence introduced by fifty members of the House of Representatives. Government officials, including the Prime Minister and Cabinet members, are required to appear before Parliament investigative committees and answer inquiries. The Parliament also has the power to impeach judges convicted of criminal or irregular conduct.
Under the Constitution, at least one session of the Parliament must be convened each year. Technically, only the House of Representatives is dissolved before an election but while the lower house is in dissolution the House of Councillors is usually "closed". The Emperor both convokes the Parliament and dissolves the House of Representatives but in doing must act on the advice of the Cabinet. In an emergency the Cabinet can convoke the Parliament for an extraordinary session, and an extraordinary session may be requested by one-quarter of the members of either house. At the beginning of each parliamentary session the Emperor reads a special speech from his throne in the chamber of the House of Councillors.
The presence of one-third of the membership of either house constitutes a quorum and deliberations are in public unless at least two-thirds of those present agree otherwise. Each house elects its own presiding officer who exercises the casting vote in the event of a tie. Members of each house have certain protections against arrest while the Parliament is in session and words spoken and votes cast in the Parliament enjoy parliamentary privilege. Each house of the Parliament determines its own standing orders and has responsibility for disciplining its own members. A member may be expelled, but only by a two-thirds majority vote. Every member of the Cabinet has the right to appear in either house of the Parliament for the purpose of speaking on bills, and each house has the right to compel the appearance of Cabinet members.