Constitution of Veridia

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The constitution of Veridia is the supreme law under which the Veridian Government operates, It sanctions a republican form of government with a powerful president. The current constitution of Veridia was officially adopted in 1932 in the period that followed the end of the Veridian monarchy and the transition to republic, it is based on the 1849 Constitution which was the first written constitution and marked the change from absolute monarchy. Though the Veridian constitution grants the President wide powers, since the Gíradz dictatorship it has been the practice of presidents to not exercise their constitutional powers, though all efforts to amend the constitution to remove presidential powers have failed in parliament.

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Preamble

Desiring to promote the welfare of, and to give development to the moral and intellectual faculties of the Veridian Citizenry, and hoping to maintain the prosperity of the State, in concert with the people and with their support, We hereby promulgate a fundamental law of the State, to exhibit the principles, by which we are guided in our conduct, and to point out to what our descendants and their descendants are forever to conform. Neither we nor they shall in the future fail to wield them, in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution hereby granted.

We now declare to respect and protect the security of the rights and of the property of the people, and to secure to them the complete enjoyment of the same, within the extent of the provisions of the present Constitution and of the law. Our Ministers of State, on behalf of the people, shall be held responsible for the carrying out of the present Constitution, and our present and future citizens shall forever assume the duty of allegiance to the present Constitution.

Chapter I: The President

Article 1. The President shall be elected by the presidential electoral committee upon the death or resignation of the incumbent.

Article 2. The President gives sanction to laws, and orders them to be promulgated and executed.

Article 3. The President shall appoints the Prime Minister as designated by the House of Commons.


Article 4. The President shall appoint the Chief Judge of the Supreme Court as designated by the Cabinet.

Article 5. The President shall Attest of the appointment and dismissal of Ministers of State and other officials as provided for by law, and of full powers and credentials of Ambassadors and Ministers.

Article 6. The President convokes Parliament, opens, closes, and prorogues it, dissolves the House of Commons and proclaims the general election of members of the House of Commons.

Article 7. The President, in consequence of an urgent necessity to maintain public safety or to avert public calamities issues, when Parliament is not sitting, ordinances in the place of law. 
 (2) Such Ordinances are to be laid before Parliament at its next session, and when Parliament does not approve the said Ordinances, the Government shall declare them to be invalid for the future.

Article 8. The President issues or causes to be issued, the Ordinances necessary for the carrying out of the laws, or for the maintenance of the public peace and order, and for the promotion of the welfare of the citizenry. But no Ordinance shall in any way alter any of the existing laws.

Article 9. The President declares war, makes peace, and concludes treaties.

Chapter II: Rights and Duties of Citizens

Article 10. The conditions necessary for being a Veridian Citizen shall be determined by law.

Article 11. Citizens may, according to qualifications determined in laws or ordinances, be appointed to civil or military or any other public offices equally.

Article 12. Citizens are amenable to service in the Army, Navy or Air Force, according to the provisions of law.

Article 13. Citizens are amenable to the duty of paying taxes, according to the provisions of law.

Article 14. Citizens shall have the liberty of abode and of changing the same within the limits of the law.

Article 15. No Citizen shall be arrested, detained, tried or punished, unless according to law.

Article 16. No Citizen shall be deprived of his right of being tried by the judges determined by law.

Article 17. Except in the cases provided for in the law, the house of no Citizen shall be entered or searched without his consent.

Article 18. Except in the cases mentioned in the law, the secrecy of the letters of every Citizen shall remain inviolate.

Article 19. The right of property of every Citizen shall remain inviolate. 


Article 20. Citizens shall, within limits not prejudicial to peace and order, and not antagonistic to their duties as citizens, enjoy freedom of religious belief.

Article 21. Citizens shall, within the limits of law, enjoy the liberty of speech, writing, publication, public meetings and associations.

Article 22. Citizens may present petitions, by observing the proper forms of respect, and by complying with the rules specially provided for the same.

Chapter III: Parliament

Article 23. Parliament shall consist of two Houses, a House of Commons and a House of Lords.

Article 24. The House of Lords shall, in accordance with the ordinance concerning the House of Lords, be composed of Academics, Religious Authorities and Experts in various fields, selected according to successful application or recommendation by existent members.

Article 25. The House of Commons shall be composed of members elected by the people, according to the provisions of the law of Election.

Article 26. No one can at one and the same time be a Member of both Houses.

Article 27. The number of the members of each House shall be fixed by law.

Article 28. The term of office of members of the House of Commons shall be five years. However, the term shall be terminated before the full term is up in case the House of Commons is dissolved.

Article 29. When the House of Commons is dissolved, there must be a general election of members of the House of Commons within forty days from the date of dissolution, and Parliament must be convoked within thirty days from the date of the election. 
 (2) When the House of Commons is dissolved, the House of Lords is closed at the same time. However, the Cabinet may in time of national emergency convoke the House of Lords in emergency session.
 (3) Measures taken at such a session as mentioned in the proviso of the preceding paragraph shall be provisional and shall become null and void unless agreed to by the House of Commons within a period of ten days after the opening of the next session of Parliament.

Article 30. Each House shall select its own Speaker and other officials.


Article 31. Each House shall establish its rules pertaining to meetings, proceedings and internal discipline, and may punish members for disorderly conduct. However, in order to expel a member, a majority of two-thirds or more of those members present must pass a resolution thereon.

Article 32. Each House shall judge disputes related to qualifications of its members. However, in order to deny a seat to any member, it is necessary to pass a resolution by a majority of two-thirds or more of the members present. Article 33. Members of both Houses shall receive appropriate annual payment from the national treasury in accordance with law. Article 34. Every law requires the consent of Parliament.

Article 35. Both Houses shall vote upon projects of law submitted to it by the Government, and may respectively initiate projects of law. Article 36. No debate can be opened and no vote can be taken in either House, more than than one-third of the whole number of Members thereof are present.

Article 37. Votes shall be taken in both Houses by absolute majority. In the case of a tie vote, the Prime Minister shall have the casting vote.

Article 38. The deliberations of both Houses shall be held in public. The deliberations may, however, upon demand of the Government or by resolution of the House, be held in secret sitting. (2) Each House shall keep a record of proceedings. This record shall be published and given general circulation, excepting such parts of proceedings of secret session as may be deemed to require secrecy. 
(3) Upon demand of one-fifth or more of the members present, votes of the members on any matter shall be recorded in the minutes.

Article 39. Both Houses may respectively present addresses to the President.

Article 40. Both Houses may receive petitions presented by citizens.

Article 41. The Cabinet may determine to convoke extraordinary sessions of the Parliament. When a quarter or more of the total members of either House makes the demand, the Cabinet must determine on such convocation.

Article 42. No Member of either House shall be held responsible outside the respective Houses, for any opinion uttered or for any vote given in the House. When, however, a Member himself has given publicity to his opinions by public speech, by documents in print or in writing, or by any other similar means, he shall, in the matter, be amenable to the general law.

Article 43. The Members of both Houses shall, during the session, be free from arrest, unless with the consent of the House, except in cases of flagrant delicts, or of offences connected with a state of internal commotion or with a foreign trouble.

Article 44. The Ministers of State and the Delegates of the Government may, at any time, take seats and speak in either House.

Chapter IV: The Cabinet

Article 45. Executive power shall be vested in the Cabinet.

Article 46. The Cabinet shall consist of the Prime Minister, who shall be its head, and other Ministers of State, as provided for by law.
 (2) The Prime Minister and other Ministers of State must be civilians. (3) The Cabinet, in the exercise of executive power, shall be collectively responsible to Parliament.

Article 47. The Prime Minister shall be the appointed by the President and must command the confidence of the House of Commons. This designation shall precede all other business.


Article 48. The Prime Minister shall appoint the Ministers of State. (2) The Prime Minister may remove the Ministers of State as he or she chooses.

Article 49. If the House of Commons passes a non-confidence resolution, or rejects a confidence resolution, the Cabinet shall resign en masse, unless the House of Commons is dissolved within ten days.

Article 50. The Prime Minister, representing the Cabinet, reports on general national affairs and foreign relations to Parliament and exercises control and supervision over various administrative branches.

Article 51. The Cabinet Shall administer the law faithfully; conduct affairs of state and manage foreign affairs.


Article 52. The Cabinet shall Administer the civil service, in accordance with standards established by law. 


Article 53. The Cabinet shall Prepare the budget, and present it to Parliament.


Article 54. The Cabinet shall Enact cabinet orders in order to execute the provisions of this Constitution and of the law. However, it cannot include penal provisions in such cabinet orders unless authorised by such law.

Article 55. All laws and cabinet orders shall be signed by the competent Minister of State and countersigned by the Prime Minister.

Article 56. The Ministers of State, during their tenure of office, shall not be subject to legal action without the consent of the Prime Minister. However, the right to take that action is not impaired hereby.

Chapter V: The Judicature

Article 57. The Judicature shall be exercised by the Courts of Law according to law. (2) The organisation of the Courts of Law shall be determined by law.

Article 58. The judges shall be appointed from among those who possess proper qualifications according to law. 
 (2) No judge shall be deprived of his position, unless by way of criminal sentence or disciplinary punishment. 
 (3) Rules for disciplinary punishment shall be determined by law.

Article 59. Trials and judgments of a Court shall be conducted publicly. When, however, there exists any fear, that such publicity may be prejudicial to peace and order, or to the maintenance of public morality, the public trial may be suspended by provisions of law or by the decision of the Court of Law.

Article 60. All matters that fall within the competency of a special Court, shall be specially provided for by law.

Chapter VI: Finance

Article 61. The imposition of a new tax or the modification of the rates (of an existing one) shall be determined by law. 
 (2) However, all such administrative fees or other revenue having the nature of compensation shall not fall within the category of the above clause. 
 (3) The raising of national loans and the contracting of other liabilities to the charge of the National Treasury, except those that are provided in the Budget, shall require the consent of Parliament.

Article 62. The expenditure and revenue of the State require the consent of Parliament by means of an annual Budget. 
 (2) Any and all expenditures overpassing the appropriations set forth in the Titles and Paragraphs of the Budget, or that are not provided for in the Budget, shall subsequently require the approbation of Parliament.

Article 63. The Budget shall be first laid before the House of Commons.

Article 64. In order to meet special requirements, the Government may ask the consent of Parliament to a certain amount as a Continuing Expenditure Fund, for a previously fixed number of years.

Article 65. In order to supply deficiencies, which are unavoidable, in the Budget, and to meet requirements unprovided for in the same, a Reserve Fund shall be provided in the Budget.

Article 66. When Parliament cannot be convoked, owing to the external or internal condition of the country, in case of urgent need for the maintenance of public safety, the Government may take all necessary financial measures, by means of a Presidential Ordinance. 
 (2) In the case mentioned in the preceding clause, the matter shall be submitted to Parliament at its next session, and its approbation shall be obtained thereto.

Article 67. When Parliament has not voted on the Budget, or when the Budget has not been brought into actual existence, the Government shall carry out the Budget of the preceding year.

Article 68. The final account of the expenditures and revenues of the State shall be verified and confirmed by the Board of Audit, and it shall be submitted by the Government to Parliament, together with the report of verification of the said board. 
 (2) The organisation and competency of the Board of Audit shall be determined by law separately.

Chapter VII: Amendments

Article 69. Amendments to this Constitution shall be initiated by Parliament, through a concurring vote of two-thirds or more of all the members of each House and shall thereupon be submitted to the people for ratification, which shall require the affirmative vote of a majority of all votes cast thereon, at a special referendum or at such election as Parliament shall specify.

Article 70. Amendments when so ratified shall immediately be promulgated by the President in the name of the people, as an integral part of this Constitution.

Chapter VIII: Constitutional Law

Article 71. The fundamental human rights by this Constitution guaranteed to the people of Veridia are conferred upon this and future generations in trust, to be held for all time inviolate.

Article 72. The President and Prime Minister as well as Ministers of State, members of Parliament, judges, and all other public officials have the obligation to respect and uphold this Constitution.