|National Assembly |
|President of the Montash||Anali olNa'ya, BF |
since 1 Anaris 542 TE
|Co-President of the Montash||Paron olRolan, VU |
since 1 Anaris 542 TE
|Established||Novi'enyo 160 TE|
|Preceded by||International Assembly|
|Members||5.3 million (382nd Convocation)|
|Political groups||Communalist (43%) |
Non-aligned and other minor parties (15.982%)
|Hall of the People, Ul'um Station|
The National Assembly of the United Provinces of Darya (Mavibi: Montash, lit. "People's Gathering") is the legislative branch of the federal government of the United Provinces. It is a unicameral, directly democratic body in which all citizens are entitled to participate. Chapter One of the United Provinces Charter establishes the National Assembly as one of the five Federal Organs of Darya, alongside the Interstellar Council, Federal Court, Defence Council and the eighteen Secretariats. The Charter also gives the Montash the power to create legislative resolutions, known as Socunma, and is thus responsible for setting the legislative agenda of the government, as well as overseeing its operations.
The Montash is convened on 1 Anaris every year for its Plenary Session, after which the body is adjourned; the Standing Committee, an internally elected body of 500,000 members, meet periodically for the remainder of the year to review the actions of the government in between the sessions. Each convocation of the Assembly concludes in Pavaris, and the next convocation is called at the beginning of the following year. Sessions are held in the Hall of the People, located at the centre of Ul'um Station, Darya's official capital. Plenary sessions are also broadcast live through the holonet to enable ordinary members to participate.
The United Provinces 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 Montash assembled the next day, Anaris 1st, 160. 159,062 people participated in the first convocation, which met in the Plenary Hall of the International Assembly, which was the Montash's direct predecessor. The Montash continued to sit in the Plenary Hall until 197. As the United Provinces' population grew, participation in the Montash did too, and the thirtieth convocation in 190 had over 300,000 members. 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 province, the Montash was pressured to create a new centre for the federal government. Thus, the Montash in 192 authorised the construction of a new space station to house both it and the federal government. The Toplanta followed through with the resolution, ordering the new station's construction that Kalleris. Ul'um Station took twenty years to complete; after the Montash's module, the Hall of the People, was completed five years into the construction period, the Montash moved into the building for its thirty-seventh convocation's plenary session. Ul'um Station was officially opened on Novi'enyo 212 by then-President Mafi olRekar.
By 300 TE, participation in the Montash had exceeded 1 million, and sessions became an increasingly difficult logistical challenge. With twice as many participants as the Hall was equipped to handle, the plenary chamber again became notorious for overcrowding, and media began to even satirise the Montash for this reason. As it was no longer practical to construct yet another building to house more than a million legislators, or to expand the existing Hall, it was, on the suggestion of epoa politicians, decided to create a Standing Committee to act on the Montash's behalf for most of the year. Recently discovered holonet technology would also be used to livestream plenary sessions to members not part of the Standing Committee, which would meet at the Hall of the People. This new system came into effect in 305 TE after the passage of an amendment to the United Provinces Charter, and has remained ever since.
Composition and electoral systems
The Charter establishes the National Assembly as the main legislative body of the United Provinces, consisting of the Assembly at large, and the Standing Committee.
All Darsi citizens are given the right to participate in sessions of the Montash. However, an interested citizen must register on the participatory roll by the end of Sularis, after which the membership is locked for the next convocation, and applications are closed. Registration is opened in Kalleris every year, giving citizens two seasons to register for the following year's convocation.
The Standing Committee of the National Assembly consists of 500,000 members. It meets periodically throughout the year following the end of the Plenary Session in a series of Ordinary Sessions. The Committee is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Montash, and oversees the activities of the rest of the government. The Committee is proportionally representative of the parties in the Assembly, and each party's caucus internally elects its share of Committee members. Non-aligned or independent participants are grouped together and for the purposes of the election are treated as a single party. The election for the Standing Committee takes place on the last cycle of the Plenary Session, immediately before adjournment.
Vacancies created by the deaths of Standing Committee members are filled by the executive of the party which the deceased was part of.
At the beginning of a convocation's Plenary Session, the Montash'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 President and Co-President are also the presiding officers of the Standing Committee, and as such automatically become members of it.
The Charter authorises the Montash to set the quorum for both itself and the Standing Committee. The quorum of the Standing Committee is one quarter of the total membership (125,000); that of the Montash at large is one fifth of the total membership. In theory, if a quorum is not present, then the Assembly or Committee may not continue to meet. In practice, members usually agree not to notice that a quorum is not present, so that debates on routine legislation can continue without other members having to be present. Sometimes minority parties will "call a quorum" as a tactic to annoy the majority 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.
Both the Montash and Standing Committee use 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.
Most legislation introduced into the Montash goes through a number of stages to become a full resolution. The first stage is a reading, where the proposed legislation is introduced to the Assembly. A vote is then taken on the general outlines of the bill. After amendments to the bill are proposed, debated, and/or adopted, a final reading of the bill and a final vote take place. A bill requires a simple majority vote to pass, after which it becomes a binding resolution which any laws later passed by the Toplanta must follow. Resolutions are permanent until either its purpose has been fulfilled, it is repealed by a subsequent convocation, or it is struck down by the Adalam.