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Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union (New Union)

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Supreme Soviet
Верховный Совет
16th Supreme Soviet
State Emblem of the Soviet Union (New Union)
Type
Type Bicameral
Houses Soviet of Republics
Soviet of the Union
Structure
Seats 1700
(850 deputies each)
Elections
Last election March 1, 2014
Meeting Place
Grand Kremlin Palace, Moscow
Grand Kremlin Palace, Moscow

The Supreme Soviet (Russian: Верховный Совет, Vyerkhovnyy Sovyet; lit. "Supreme Council") is the national legislature of the Soviet Union. The Supreme Soviet was established under the 1936 constitution and has remained mostly unchanged to this day. As a bicameral legislature, the Supreme Soviet consists of the Soviet of Republics (upper house) and the Soviet of the Union (lower house), both of which consists of 850 seats. Both chambers are located within the Grand Kremlin Palace within the Moscow Kremlin.

The seats of the Soviet of the Union (Совет Союза, Sovyet Soyuza) are proportioned based on the population of the subjects of the Soviet Union and are chosen through the direct election by the citizens of the USSR. Since the 1990s, a parallel voting system has been used for the Soviet of the Union, whereby half the seats are elected from single-member constituencies and the remaining half via a party-list proportional system.

Unlike the lower house, the seats of the Soviet of Republics (Совет Республик, Sovyet Ryespublik) are roughly proportioned equality among the subjects of the Soviet Union — 20 for each republic, 10 for each autonomous republic, and five for each city of union importance. Since the 1990s, all the deputies to this chamber have been appointed by the legislatures of each subject (not by the direct election of the citizens).

Elections for both chambers of the Supreme Soviet take place every five years, with the most recent election taking place on March 1, 2014. Prior to the 1990s, both chambers were exclusively held by members of the Communist Party. The Communist monopoly ended as part of the policies of Perestroika, with the first multi-party elections being held in 1992. Since the 1990s, three political parties have held domination within Soviet politics — the Communist Party, the Democratic Party, and the Liberal Party — though several minor parties continue to have representation.

As of the most recent election, both chambers are controlled by the political bloc "Our Union," which is a coalition government headed by the Communists and the Liberals. Not part of the bloc, the Democrats hold the most votes of any political party within the Soviet of the Union.


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