|Union Assembly |
|President of the Montash||Anali Nayal, BF |
since 1 Anaris 542 TE
|Co-President of the Montash||Paron atRolan, VU |
since 1 Anaris 542 TE
|Established||Novi'enyo 160 TE|
|Preceded by||International Assembly|
|Next election||544 TE|
|Hall of the People, Ul'um Station|
The Union Assembly of the United Communes (Mavibi: Ulustash, lit. "Union's Gathering") is a legislative body of the federal government of the United Communes. Chapter One of the United Communes Charter establishes the People's Assembly as one of the five Federal Organs of the Union, alongside the Interstellar Council, Federal Court, Defence Council and the Executive Secretariats. The People's Assembly is charged with "representing the will of the people" through the passage of legislative resolutions (Socunma), which all other branches of government are constitutionally bound to execute and make law. The Assembly is also given the exclusive power to alter the Charter, and is responsible for overseeing the other four Organs.
The Ulustash works in concert with the 20,000 people's assemblies (Montash), directly democratic bodies which each send an elected delegate to the Union Assembly. While the Montash only meet for the first month of the year for their Plenary Sessions, the Ulustash is in session year-round, primarily to perform its oversight activities. Sessions of the Ulustash are held in the Hall of the People, located at the centre of Ul'um Station, the Union's official capital.
The United Communes came into being on Novi'enyo 160 TE with the unification of the planet Darya and its colonies in the Adal system. The first convocation of the Ulustash assembled the next day, Anaris 1st, 160 in the Plenary Hall of the International Assembly, which was the Ulustash's direct predecessor. The Ulustash continued to sit in the Plenary Hall until 197. As the United Communes' population grew, so did the number of local assemblies, and the fifteenth convocation in 190 had over 4,000 delegates. The Montash continued to grow ever larger, and the Plenary Hall was becoming increasingly cramped. Combined with the problems posed by Darya hosting the federal government as well as being a constituent commune, the Ulustash was pressured to create a new centre for the federal government. A petition in 192 to build a new space station for the federal government passed in a narrow majority of local assemblies, and the Ulustash thus authorised the construction of the new station. The Toplanta followed through with the resolution, ordering the station's construction that Kalleris. Ul'um Station took twenty years to complete; after the Ulustash's module, the Hall of the People, was completed five years into the construction period, the Ulustash moved into the building for the eighteenth convocation's second plenary session. Ul'um Station was officially opened on Novi'enyo 212 by then-President Mafi atRekar.
Composition and electoral systems
The Charter establishes the Assemblies (Tash) as the primary legislative bodies of the Union, including the Union Assembly and the local People's Assemblies. The People's Assemblies, participation in which is an entitlement of all citizens resident in their respective local areas. Each local assembly convenes at the start of Anaris each year to consider petitions and elect their Union Assembly delegate. Each delegate serves for one year. Elections are conducted through a series of anonymous ballots which progressively whittle down the number of candidates.
The primary duty of a delegate is to relay the decision of their home assembly to the rest of the Union Assembly, and a tally of delegate votes is what determines the passage or failure of a petition. Delegates are expected to uphold their assembly's decision; while ignoring that decision is not illegal, such action is frowned upon and carries heavy political consequences.
At the beginning of a convocation's Plenary Session, the Ulustash's presiding officers, the President and Co-President, are elected. Elections for President and Co-President are held by secret ballot. While there is no constitutional requirement for this, the President will often be from the largest party represented, while the Co-President will be from the second-largest party represented. Despite this, both are expected to oversee debate and enforce the rules in an impartial manner. Normally, the President will preside, but in the event that they are unable to attend any given meeting or are incapacitated, the Co-President will do so in their stead.
The Charter authorises the Ulustash to set the quorum. The quorum currently is one quarter of the total membership (5,000). In theory, if a quorum is not present, then the Assembly may not continue to meet. In practice, members usually agree not to notice that a quorum is not present, so that routine activities can continue without other members having to be present. Sometimes minority parties will "call a quorum" as a tactic to annoy larger parties or delay proceedings, particularly when the minority feels it has been unfairly treated. The session of the relevant body is then suspended until a quorum is present.
The Ulustash the secret ballot to determine motions: the President puts the question, and, after all members have inputted their answer into the computer, the computer will announce the result. The President may not vote unless there is a tie, in which case they may cast a deciding vote.