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Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union
Верховный Совет СССР
|Legislative body in the Soviet Union|
Soviet of Nationalities
Soviet of the Union
|Preceded by||Congress of Soviets and the Central Executive Committee of the Soviet Union|
|Seats||542 (at dissolution)|
|Direct non-competitive elections (1936—1989)
Elected by Congress of People's Deputies of the Soviet Union (1989—1991)
4 March 1984 (last direct election)
25 May 1990 (last - and only - indirect election)
|Grand Kremlin Palace, Moscow Kremlin|
The Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union (Russian: Верхо́вный Сове́т СССР, Verkhóvnyj Sovét SSSR) was the highest legislative body in the Soviet Union and the only one with the power to pass constitutional amendments. It elected the Presidium serving as the collective head of state of the Soviet Union, formed the Council of Ministers and the Supreme Court, and appointed the Procurator General of the Soviet Union.
The Supreme Soviet was made up of two chambers, each with equal legislative powers, with members elected for four-year terms:
After 1989 it consisted of 542 deputies (down from previously 1,500). The meetings of the body were also more frequent, from six to eight months a year. The presidium carried out the day-to-day operations of the Supreme Soviet when it was not in session.
Beside the Supreme Council, in the Soviet Union supreme councils also existed in each of union and autonomous republics. The supreme councils of republican level also were headed by their presidiums, but all those councils consisted of one chamber. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, some councils of the succeeded independent republics simply changed their name to their historic or to emphasise the importance of the council as a national parliament, while others went through some major restructuring by changing to double-chamber assemblies. All republics in the Soviet Union were soviet (as soviet national), yet 15 were of union level, while the other, autonomous republics, were subordinated to the union republics.
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