National Assembly (Serbia)

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National Assembly
Народна скупштина
Narodna skupština
Coat of arms or logo
Type
Type Unicameral
Leadership
President of the Assembly Nebojša Stefanović, (SNS)
Since 16 April 2014
Vice-presidents of the assembly Konstantin Arsenović, (PUPS)
Vesna Kovač, (URS)
Žarko Korać, (LDP)
Nenad Popović, (DSS)
Gordana Čomić, (DS)
Structure
Seats 250
Political groups

     Serbian Progressive Party

     Socialist Party of Serbia

     Democratic Party

     New Democratic Party

     Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians
     Party of Democratic Action of Sandžak
     Party for Democratic Action
Elections
Last election 16 March 2014
Meeting place
Дом Народне Скупштине Србије.jpg
House of the National Assembly
13 Nikola Pašić Square,
Belgrade, Serbia
Website
www.parlament.rs
Coat of arms of Serbia small.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Serbia

The National Assembly (Serbian: Народна скупштина / Narodna skupština, pronounced [nǎːrodnaː skûpʃtina sř̩bijeː]) is the unicameral legislature of Serbia. The assembly is composed of 250 proportionally elected deputies by secret ballot, on 4 years term. The assembly elects a president (speaker) who presides over the sessions.[1] The current president of the national assembly is Nebojša Stefanović since 23 July 2012.

The National Assembly exercise supreme legislative power. It adopts and amends the Constitution, elects Government, appoints and dismisses Constitutional Court judges, president of the Supreme Court of Cassation, Governor of the National Bank of Serbia and other state officials. All decisions are made by majority vote of deputies at the session at which majority of deputies are present, except for amending the Constitution, when two thirds majority is needed.[2]

The assembly convenes in the House of the National Assembly in Belgrade.[2]

Competencies[edit]

The competencies the National Assembly are defined by the Constitution of Serbia, articles 98-110:[1][2]

  • adopts and amends the Constitution;
  • decides on changes concerning the borders of Serbia;
  • calls for the national referendum;
  • ratifies international contracts when the obligation of their ratification is stipulated by the Law;
  • decides on war and peace and declares state of war or emergency;
  • supervises the work of security services;
  • enacts laws and other general acts;
  • gives prior consent to the Statute of the autonomous province;
  • adopts defence strategy;
  • adopts development plan and spatial plan;
  • adopts the budget and end-of-year balance, at the government’s proposal;
  • grants amnesty for criminal offences.
  • elects the Government, supervises its work and decides on expiry of term of office of the government and ministers;
  • appoints and dismisses Constitutional Court judges;
  • appoints the president of the Supreme Court of Cassation, court presidents, public prosecutors and judges;
  • appoints and dismisses the Governor of the National Bank of Serbia and supervises his/her work;
  • appoints and dismisses other officials stipulated by the Law.

Performs other functions stipulated by the Constitution and Law.

Elections[edit]

Parliamentary elections are regulated by the Constitution.[1] The elections are held after the four-year term of the previous assembly has expired, but can also be held before that if the Assembly dismisses the Government or the Government resigns and no majority can be reached to elect new Government. Elections are called by the President of Serbia 90 days before the end of the term of office of the National Assembly, so that elections are finished within the following 60 days. Elections are closed party-list proportional. The whole country is one electoral district. 250 seats are than distributed between the lists using d'Hondt method. There is a minimum voting threshold of 5%, so that only the party lists which get more than 5% of the votes are awarded the seats. There is no threshold for the ethnic minority lists.

After the elections, the first session of the new Assembly is convened by the Speaker from the previous convocation, so that the session is held not later than 30 days from the day of declaring the final election results.[2]

Deputies[edit]

The assembly is composed of 250 deputies. At least 30% of the deputies are women. Deputies may not hold dual functions which represent a conflict of interest.[2] Deputies enjoy parliamentary immunity.

President and vice-presidents[edit]

By means of majority votes of all deputies, the National Assembly elects the President of the Assembly (speaker) and one or more Vice-Presidents (deputy speakers), usually one vice-president from each parliamentary group. The Speaker of the National Assembly represents the National Assembly, convokes its sessions, presides over them and performs other official activities. The vice-presidents assist the President in performing the duties within his/her purview.

In case the speaker is temporarily absent, one of the Vice-Presidents designated by him/her stands in for him/her. If the speaker does not designate any of the Vice-Presidents to stand in for him/her, the oldest Vice-President shall stand in for him/her.[2]

The Secretary of the National Assembly is appointed by the National Assembly. Secretary of the National Assembly assists the President and Vice-Presidents in preparing and chairing sittings. His/her term of office is terminated upon the constitution of a newly elected National Assembly, while he/she shall continue discharging his/her duties until the appointment of a new Secretary.[2] Secretary is not elected from the deputies, and is not member of the Assembly.

Parliamentary groups[edit]

Parliamentary groups in the National Assembly are formed not later than seven days after the date of the election of the National Assembly Speaker. A parliamentary group comprises the deputies of one political party or organisation, that has at least five deputies. A parliamentary group of at least five members may also be established by the association of deputies belonging to several political parties ore other political organisations that have less than five deputies each. A Parliamentary group is represented by the Group Head. A Group has its Deputy Head, who stands in for the head in case of his/her absence. During a National Assembly sitting, a Parliamentary group may authorise one of its members to represent the Group in relation with a particular item from the agenda. When new members join a parliamentary group, the group Head shall communicate to the National Assembly Speaker their signed statements of accession.[2]

The Parliamentary groups usually, but not necessary, correspond to the electoral party lists. Sometimes deputies from two or more lists join to form one group, but more usually members of one list, who joined together before the elections just to pass the threshold, split into two or more Parliamentary groups.

Since 2000[edit]

Sessions[edit]

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev addresses the National Assembly on 20 October 2009.

The first session of the new Assembly is convened by the Assembly Speaker from the previous convocation. The first sitting of the National Assembly is chaired by the oldest deputy. He/she is assisted in his/her work by the youngest deputy from each of the four party lists that polled the largest number of seats, and by the Secretary of the Assembly from the previous convocation. At the first sitting of the National Assembly the President of the Assembly, Vice-Presidents and the members of the working bodies of the National Assembly are elected and the Secretary of the National Assembly is appointed.

The National Assembly is convoked for two regular sessions per year, starting on the first workdays of March and October. The Assembly is convoked for extraordinary session at the request of at least one-third of the deputies or the request of the Government, with previously determined agenda. The National Assembly can be convoked without announcement upon the declaration of the state of war or emergency. The proposed agenda for a National Assembly sitting is prepared by the speaker. A quorum for the work of the National Assembly exists if a minimum of one-third of deputies are present at the National Assembly sitting. The quorum for the work of the National Assembly on Voting Days exists if at least 126 deputies are present at the sitting.[2]

The right to propose laws, other regulations and general acts belongs to every deputy, the government, assemblies of autonomous provinces or at least 30,000 voters. The Ombudsman and National Bank of Serbia also have the right to propose laws falling within their competence. Upon the request of the majority of all deputies or at least 100,000 voters, the National Assembly may call a referendum on issues falling within its competence.[2]

The National Assembly adopts decisions by majority vote of deputies at the session at which majority of deputies are present. The deputies vote “For” a motion, “Against” a motion, or abstain from voting.[2]

If the Assembly is in crisis, The President of the Republic may dissolve the National Assembly, upon an elaborated proposal of the government. The government may not propose dissolution of the Assembly, if a proposal has been submitted to dismiss the Government. The National Assembly is also dissolved if it fails to elect the Government within 90 days from the day of its constitution. The National Assembly may not be dissolved during the state of war and emergency. The National Assembly, which has been dissolved, only performs current or urgent tasks. In case of declaration of the state of war or emergency, its full competence is re-established and lasts until the end of the state of war, that is, emergency.[2]

Acts[edit]

Acts passed by the National Assembly are:[2]

The Rules of Procedure of the National Assembly of Serbia regulate the organisation and work of the National Assembly and the manner in which the deputies’ rights and duties are exercised.[2]

Committees[edit]

Committees are standing working bodies of the National Assembly established to consider and review issues falling within the purview of the National Assembly, to propose official documents, as well as to carry out reviews of policies pursued, and laws, by-laws and other regulations implemented by the Government, to be done by each Committee for the field that falls within its purview; and also to perform other duties foreseen by the Rules of Procedure. There are 30 standing Committees, and each Committee may, from its midst, appoint one or more sub-committees to consider certain issues from its purview.[2]

Before being considered by the National Assembly, a bill is considered by competent Committees and the Government, if it is not the submitter of the bill. In their opinion, the Committees and the Government may propose that the National Assembly accept or reject the bill.[2]

Parliamentary Groups nominate members for each Committee proportionally to the number of deputies they have at the National Assembly. The proposed candidate list for Committee members is voted on as a unit, by open voting.[2]

Building[edit]

The National Assembly building during construction in the 1920s

The national assembly convenes in the House of the National Assembly building, located on Nikola Pašić Square in downtown Belgrade.

Composition[edit]

The current National Assembly was elected in the 2012 parliamentary elections. The current Parliament includes 83 women, making up 33 per cent of the total members – an increase from 22 per cent in 2008 that places it 23rd on the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) league table for female representation."[3][4]

Leadership[edit]

Gordana Čomić (Democratic Party)
Konstantin Arsenović (Party of United Pensioners of Serbia)
Nenad Popović (Democratic Party of Serbia)
Vesna Kovač (United Regions of Serbia)
Žarko Korać (Liberal Democratic Party)

Members[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Wikisource: Constitution of Serbia
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q National Assembly of Serbia: Informer (This text is in public domain as the official material of the Republic of Serbia state body or a body performing public functions, under the terms of Article 6, Paragraph 2 of Serbian copyright law)
  3. ^ "Women in politics: The Serbia you have not heard of". The World Outline. 29 July 2013. Retrieved 31 July 2013. 
  4. ^ "Proportion of seats held by women in national parliaments (%)". http://data.worldbank.org. The World Bank Group. Retrieved 31 July 2013. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 44°48′41″N 20°27′57″E / 44.8113°N 20.4658°E / 44.8113; 20.4658