- Established by the 1993 Constitution of the Russian Federation, the Federation Council is the upper house of the Russia’s bicameral legislature, the Federal Assembly. The body’s principal task is the passage of laws drafted by the lower house, the State Duma. If the Federal Assembly refuses to pass a law within 14 days, the lower and upper house may choose to develop a compromise bill satisfactory to both houses. In addition to the right to impeach the president, the body’s other powers include approval of the following: use of the armed forces on foreign soil, border changes, imposition of martial law, states of emergency, and nominations of judges to the country’s highest courts, as well as the attorney general. The current chair of the council is Sergey Mironov. Each of Russia’s 83 federal subjects sends two representatives to the assembly; with the decrease in administrative divisions in Russia under Vladimir Putin, the total number of senators has decreased in recent years. During his first term, Putin eliminated the possibility of senators concurrently serving as regional governors, resulting in an influx of more pro-Kremlin legislators. Despite this, there are no formal political fractions with the house, unlike the Duma. Senators enjoy immunity from prosecution and must be resident in the district for a period of at least 10 years before serving. Unlike the Duma members, who are elected, Federation Council members are chosen by regional governors and approved by local parliaments.See also Constitutional crisis of 1993; Politics.
Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation. Robert A. Saunders and Vlad Strukov. 2010.
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