Parliament: The National Assembly

The National Assembley - entrance portal. Photo: Jakše-Jeršič

The Slovenian Parliament is bicameral, composed of the National Assembly  and the National Council . The Slovenian Parliament is characterized by an asymmetric duality, as the Constitution does not accord equal powers to both chambers. The National Assembly is comprised of ninety deputies, with one representative of each of the Hungarian and Italian minorities.

The deputies are elected for a four-year term; they represent all the people of Slovenia and are "not bound by any instructions" (Article 82 of the Constitution). The National Assembly exercises legislative, voting and monitoring functions. As a legislative authority, it enacts constitutional amendments, laws, national programmes, resolutions, etc. It also creates its own internal rules, ratifies the state budget and treaties, and calls referendums.

The National Assembley. Entrance portal - detail.

 

As a voting body the National Assembly elects the Prime Minister and other ministers, the President of the National Assembly and up to three Vice-Presidents. On the recommendation of the President, it also elects judges to the Constitutional Court, the Governor of the Bank of Slovenia, the Ombudsman, etc. Compared to other bicameral systems, the voting power of the Slovenian lower house is exercised over a wider range of issues. The monitoring function of the National Assembly includes the setting up of parliamentary enquiries, votes of no confidence in the government or ministers, and constitutional proceedings against the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister or ministers in the Constitutional Court.

The National Council

The National Assembley.

 

The National Council is unusual among the political systems of Western democracies, as its composition reflects the principle of corporate representation. It consists of forty members, who serve a term of five years. The National Council may propose laws to the National Assembly, and has an advisory role. It may demand that the National Assembly review decisions on legislation prior to its promulgation (suspensive veto). It also may demand the commissioning of a parliamentary inquiry, which along with its right to a suspensive veto enables corrective measures important for the functioning of a democratic political system.