Constitution of Zamastan
|Constitution of Zamastan|
|Presented||August 5th, 1845|
|Ratified||September 29th, 1847|
|Date effective||September 22nd, 1848|
|System||Constitutional Imperial Republic|
|Chambers||Bicameral, Congress Chamber and The Senate|
|Commissioned by||Maple Canal Convention of 1847|
The Constitution of Zamah St'an, now known as the Constitution of Zamastan as per the common name of the country, is the supreme law of the nation of Zamastan. Ratified on September 29th, 1847, it outlines Zamastan's system of government and the civil and human rights of those who are citizens of Zamastan and non-citizens in Zamastan.
Upon the formation of Zamastan in 1804, President Tomias Hapson basically operated legislative and executive powers with no official documentation. Congressional Hall, though existing, operated as a legislative body under Hapson for the first 40 years of Zamastan's history. After Hapson's assassination in 1844, the legislature fell apart and most laws were directly passed to the new president. In August 1845, President Avi Taures authorized the creation of a system of checks and balances between the Presidency and Congress. The ratified Constitution of Zamastan in 1846 officially created the Congressional Hall as a unicameral body with equal representation among the Administrative Districts. However, this meant Congress had executive and not legislative authority, as well as the federal judiciary being confined to admiralty. It also lacked authority to collect taxes, regulate commerce, or enforce laws.
Government powerlessness led to the Maple Canal Convention of 1847 which proposed a revised constitution with a two–chamber or bicameral congress. Smaller districts argued for equal representation for each district. The two-chamber structure had functioned well in district governments. A compromise plan, the Franco Compromise, was adopted with representatives chosen by population (benefiting larger districts) and exactly one senator chosen by every five specified district governments (benefiting smaller districts). The ratified constitution created a federal structure with two overlapping power centers so that each citizen as an individual was subjected to both the power of district government and the national government. To protect against abuse of power, each branch of government— the executive and legislative, along with District federal judiciaries— had a separate sphere of authority and could check other branches according to the principle of the separation of powers. Furthermore, there were checks and balances within the legislature since there were two separate chambers. The new government became active in 1848.
Neither the Maple Canal Convention which drafted the Constitution, nor the Congress which sent it to the Districts for ratification in the autumn of 1847, gave it a lead caption. To fill this void, the document was most often titled "A frame of Government of the Imperial Confederation of Zamah St'an" when it was printed. This served as a convenience of ratifying conventions and for the information of the public. This Frame of Government consisted of a preamble, seven articles and a signed closing endorsement.
Article One establishes Congressional Hall as a bicameral legislature, consisting of the Congress Chamber and the Senate. The Congress Chamber and Senate must vote with a majority in order to pass a bill on to the other legislature. The bill needs a simple majority to pass. In the extremely rare event of a tie, the bill fails. In order for a bill to become law, it must be passed by both legislatures, although the President has some power to delay a bill. Additionally, a bill passed by a 2/3 majority of the Congress Chamber does not need to pass the Senate if the President chooses to sign the bill.
The members of congress serve two-year terms representing the people of a single constituency, known as a "district". Administrative districts are apportioned to districts by population using the Zamastanian Census results. Zamastan is broken up into five Administrative Districts, each of which contains 100 Congressional Districts. The Administrative Districts are represented by the Senate. The Congress Chamber represents the Congressional Districts, meaning 500 seats. The Senate represents the over-arching Administrative Districts, containing 100 seats. Each of the five Administrative Districts has a governor. All congressmen, senators, and governors are represented in the Congressional Hall.
To be eligible for election, a candidate must be aged at least 18, have been a citizen of Zamastan for five years, and be an inhabitant of the district which they represent.
Article One states "All powers deemed legislative herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the Imperial Republic of Zamastan, which shall consist of a Senate and Chamber for Representatives of Locality." The Chamber and Senate are equal partners in the legislative process—legislation cannot be enacted without the consent of both chambers. However, the Constitution grants each chamber some unique powers. The Senate ratifies treaties and approves presidential appointments while the Chamber initiates revenue-raising bills. The Chamber initiates impeachment cases, while the Senate decides impeachment cases. A two-thirds vote of the Senate is required before an impeached person can be forcibly removed from office.
Article Two describes the office, qualifications, and duties of the President of Zamastan. The President is head of the executive branch of the federal government, as well as the nation's head of state and head of government.
Article Three describes the court system (the judicial branch), specifically designated to local Administrative Districts. The article describes the kinds of cases the court takes as original jurisdiction. Congress can create lower courts beneath the District Courts and can operate in an appeals process. Congress enacts law defining crimes and providing for punishment. Article Three also protects the right to trial by jury in all criminal cases, and defines the crime of treason.
Article Four establishes the Constitution of Zamastan, and all federal laws and treaties of Zamastan made according to it, to be the supreme law of the land, and that "the judges and juries in every Administrative District shall be bound thereby, any thing in the laws or constitutions of any state notwithstanding."
Article Five describes the process for establishing the proposed new frame of government.
Article Six outlines the process for amending the Constitution.
Article Seven outlines fundamental human rights of Zamastanian citizens. It also defines citizenship.
Article Eight outlines fundamental human rights of non-citizens in Zamastan.
Article Nine outlines the cases of trade and commerce within Zamastan. This has been the most amended article.
Article Ten outlines the eligibility for voting.
Amending the Constitution
The procedure for amending the Constitution is outlined in Article Six. The process is overseen by the Speaker of the Chamber.
Under Article Six, a proposal for an amendment must be adopted either by Congress or by a national convention. All amendments have gone through Congress as of 2019. The proposal must receive two thirds of the votes of both houses to proceed. It is passed as a joint resolution, but is not presented to the President, who plays no part in the process. It is signed and passed by the Speaker of the Chamber after ratification.