Soviet republic (system of government)

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A Soviet Republic is a system of government in which the whole state power belongs to the Soviets (workers' councils). Although the term is usually associated with communist states, it was not initially intended to represent only one political force, but merely a form of democracy and representation.

In the classic Soviet Republic all power belongs to the hierarchy of Councils (Soviets), with the Supreme Council on the top. This means the Supreme Council has the authority to alter the constitution, resolve trials, sentence people, change the government, confiscate property, reform language and appoint any official by simple majority. Decisions of the councils are not required to be ratified or undersigned by any other body or person. In practice the councils do not normally execute all these powers, but rather institute bodies to perform their work.

Each council is headed by a Presidium, which serves as a collective head of the entity. The chairman of the Supreme Council performs the ceremonial duties of the Head of State. State awards are usually awarded by a decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Council or a lower level council. Each Council has a number of committees, including the Executive Committee, which serves executive functions of the Council and even as a local administration.

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