Royal Congress of Vulshain
The Royal Congressional Parliament, or simply called the Royal Congress, of the Confederacy is the legislative branch of the Confederate Parliament of Vulshain, and is the national parliament of Vulshain. It is made up of 347 members, called Royal Congressional Peers, Congressional Peers, or simply Peers, who each represent the 28 Confederate Provinces of Vulshain.
The Royal Congressional Parliament is a unicameral parliament system that has traits and characteristics of both the Westminster system and the Western European parliamentary model, although it more resembles a parliament following the Westminster system model.
The Royal Congressional Parliament enacts laws, amends the constitution, approves treaties, has the power of the purse, and has the power of impeachment, by which it can remove sitting members of the government, with the exception of the Monarch of Vulshain and Royal Confederate Premier. Only the Monarch can remove the Royal Confederate Premier, but such a thing has never happened, with the exception being during King Oykieke Chaney's reign when he changed Royal Confederate Premiers three times. He attempted to replace his Royal Confederate Premier a fourth time, but the Royal Congress put a stop to it by passing into law that the Monarch may only remove the Royal Confederate Premier with the consent of the Royal Congress. King Chaney tried to veto the bill, but his veto was overruled by Royal Congress.
The Monarch may approve or deny any act of impeachment, but rarely is this power used as the Monarch trusts the Royal Congress in its decisions.
Each of the 347 Congressional Peers are elected for a six-year term and may be reelected up to three times.
Relationship with the Monarch
Since the signing of the Constitution of the Confederacy, the Monarch and the Royal Congress have been on excellent terms. While both parties do tend to disagree, both are deeply committed to serving the interests of Vulshain and her people. Although, there was a much friction between King Chaney and the Royal Congress.
This is why corruption, although present, is deeply not tolerated. Corrupt Peers are usually impeached after a Congressional Investigation is conducted.
In addition, when a new Monarch must be elected and crowned, a few members of the Royal Congress will be selected to serve on the Royal Council of Succession in selecting which Royal Candidate is best qualified to wear the Crown of Vulshain.
Elections to a Royal Congressional Seat is conducted after six years. Election of members is based on a complex system involving both area and list election; parties must win at least 5% of the popular vote in order to enter list members the assembly (but area winners enter regardless). The Royal Congress maybe dissolved by either the Monarch, Royal Confederate Premier, or the Chief Prime Minister, which results in a new Royal Congress being elected. The Dissolving of the Royal Congress has only happened once, during the reign of King Oykieke Chaney.
The minimum age to be elected to a Royal Congressional Seat is 25 and must be a citizen of Vulshain. However, those born to parents who immigranted from other countries are also eligible as long as they have Vulshainian citizenship.
Dating back to when the Constitution of the Confederacy was first signed and the establishment of the Council of Vulshain, the members of the Royal Congress are granted special privileges. The foremost privilege claimed by the Royal Congress members is that of freedom of speech in debate; nothing said in Royal Congress may be questioned in any court or other institution outside the Confederate Parliament. Another privilege claimed is that of freedom from arrest, except for high treason, felony, or breach of the peace. Such actions will often result in the addition of being removed from the Royal Congress. The idea of the Royal Congress members judging their fellows dates back to the Royal Council of Vulshain where Royal Councilors were charged with punishing their fellow Councilors for abusing their privileges and breaking the law.
The exception of treason is to prevent acts of spying or treason by Royal Congress members. The Royal Congress also possesses the power to punish breaches of their privilege. Contempt of Parliament—for example, disobedience of a subpoena issued by a committee—may also be punished.
Royal Speaker of Parliament
The head of the Royal Congress is the Royal Speaker of Parliament who serves the role of mediator and tie-breaker in the Royal Congress. The Royal Speaker of Parliament is elected from a list of candidates, each representing one of the political parties of Vulshain. The current Royal Speaker of Parliament is Sir Jochen Arkadiy Christoffer. He is expected to step down from his position in 2011. The tradition of electing a member of the nobility to act as the voice of the Parliament dates back to pre-Confederacy days when to address issues the nobles thought important would elect a representative to bring such matters before the Monarch. The Royal Speaker of Parliament functions very similar to that of a Prime Minister, such as the Prime Minister of Kelssek.
In late 2011, Kili Ankeremia of the Yelizaveta Party was elected and became the new Royal Speaker of Parliament.