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PARLIAMENTARY GUIDE

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Podgorica, 2006

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Publication Parliamentary guide Publisher Center for Democratic Transition st. Bratstva i jedinstva 65/II, 81 000 Podgorica, Crna Gora tel/fax: + 381 60 10 50 e-mail: cdtmn@cg.yu www.cdtmn.org Representative Marko ^anovi} Editors of the second updated edition Dragan Koprivica, Milena Jovanovi} i Milica Kova~evi} Photography Bo`o Todorovi} Translation Ana Kova~evi} - Kadovi} Layout and design Bla`o Crvenica Printing house Stefani '91 Circulation 1500 copies 2

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

PREFACE ..........................................5 1. CENTER FOR DEMOCRATIC TRANSITION ................................6 1.1. Our ID Card ..................................8

2. HISTORY OF MONTENEGRIN PARLIAMENTARISM ..................10 2.1. Montenegrin Parliament before 1905 ................................12 2.2. Montenegrin Parliament from 1905....................................13 2.3. Montenegrin Parliament from 1906 until 1915 ................14 2.4. The Period between Two World Wars ........................16 2.5. Montenegrin Parliament after World War II ......................16 2.6. The Building of the Parliament of the Republic of Montenegro in Podgorica ................................19

3. CITIZENS AND PARLIAMENT ..22 3.1. The Influence of Citizens and Civil Sector over the Work of Legislative Bodies ........................24 3.2. Reforms of the Parliament of the Republic of Montenegro ............25 3.3. CDT's Parlamentary Program ......27

ƒ Entrance to the Montenegrin Parliament CENTER

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4. CONSTITUTION ON THE PARLIAMENT ....................30 4.1. Parliamentary procedures regulated by the Constitution ............................32

5. INTERNAL ORGANIZATION OF THE PARLIAMENT ..............34 5.1. Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Parliament ........................36 5.2. Working Bodies of the Parliament ............................37 5.3. Party Caucuses ............................41

6. PARLIAMENT AND GOVERNMENT ..........................42 6.1. Parliamentary Oversight over the Executive ......................44

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PREFACE

Dear reader, We would like to present you the second updated edition of the "Parliamentary Guide" by the Center for Democratic Transition (CDT). This publication is a product of the work of our coordinators, our partners from the Parliament, colleagues from the National Democratic Institute's (NDI) office based in Podgorica and donors Slovak Aid and East-West Parliamentary Practice Project. The purpose of this guide is to provide the public-at-large with the most important information on the leadership, organization and work of the Parliament of the Republic of Montenegro, party caucuses, history of Montenegrin parliamentarism and other significant issues regarding the work of this significant institution as well. We would also like to improve the communication between the citizens and the Parliament by informing citizens about different possibilities to visit the Parliament of the Republic of Montenegro or to contact elected MPs directly. Furthermore, we would like to give our assessment on the current level of reforms in the Parliament of the Republic of Montenegro and to point out further steps in its development. We are especially pleased that the second notably updated edition of this publication will be published in the year when we celebrate the 100-year anniversary of Montenegrin constitutionality and parliamentarism. At the end, we would like to express our gratitude to all those who, directly or indirectly, helped us to publish this edition of the Parliamentary Guide, as well as the previous one. We remain open to all your suggestions and proposals aimed at improving this publication.

Respectfully, CDT

Podgorica, 2006

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ƒ Civic election monitoring ƒ Parliamentary program ƒ Legislature and citizens ƒ I vote for the first time ƒ The "Action" network CENTER

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1.1. OUR ID CARD

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he Center for Democratic Transition is a nongovernmental organization founded in cooperation with the National Democratic Institute in 2000 with the aim to influence positively the implementation of democratic standards and improvement of democratic processes in Montenegrin society through monitoring and evaluation of elections and promoting positive values and principles of Western developed democracies. Non-democratic atmosphere during elections pointed out the necessity to involve the civil sector in the election process and its demystification. For this reason and due to the particular political situation, we decided that CDT should primarily focus its attention on election monitoring. Besides our efforts aimed at conducting democratic elections, we stand for the improvement of human and national minority rights, increasing transparency of the legislative process, and involving the public-at large in exercising their political and civil rights. In September 2000, CDT conducted the first project of civic election monitoring by monitoring regularity of Federal elections. Since then, CDT has conducted campaigns of civic monitoring of all elections in Montenegro. Here is the list: - Parliamentary Elections (April 2001); - Local Elections (May 2002); - Parliamentary Elections (October 2002); - Presidential Elections (22 December 2002 - 11 May 2003); - Monitoring all extraordinary local elections in Montenegrin municipalities in 2004 and 2005.

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CDT election monitoring activities are coordinated by the staff from the central headquarters in Podgorica, while the operational part of the work is performed by six regional and 30 municipal coordinators and over a 1,000 trained volunteers. The Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT) is a statistical method used by CDT for projection of both the turnout and final results of elections based on a random representative sample. We achieved the biggest success (with 0.5% error) at the parliamentary election held in October 2002 when we announced the election results only 55 minutes after closing the polling stations. We used this method in monitoring all other elections in Montenegro. We made all findings and analysis public and presented them to all relevant national and international institutions and representatives. In cooperation with the National Democratic Institute (NDI) from Washington, we participated as observers in general elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina in April 2000. In addition, our representatives observed regularity of parliamentary elections in Serbia in 2000. As a part of OSCE monitoring missions, CDT representatives observed presidential elections in Belarus in 2002, parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan in 2003, and presidential elections in Macedonia in 2004.

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CDT is one of the founders of the European Network of Election Monitoring Organizations (ENEMO). Within the ENEMO observation missions, we observed presidential elections in Ukraine in 2004. The ENEMO mission was the largest international observation mission in Ukraine, and it evaluated the election process in accordance with international standards for democratic elections. CDT representatives also participated in ENEMO monitoring missions in Kyrgyzstan in 2005 (parliamentary and presidential elections) and in Albania in 2005 (parliamentary elections). Since 2005, CDT has conducted the project "I vote for the first time" with the aim to contribute to a democratic, free and fair election process in Montenegro through education of new voters on the election system and voting procedure, to increase the active participation of the youth in political processes and social life of Montenegro and to promote education concerning political rights in Montenegrin schools. Since July 2001, in cooperation with the Parliament of the Republic of Montenegro and the National Democratic Institute (NDI), CDT has realized the program "Open Parliament." The purpose of the "Open Parliament" program is to inform the citizens about the work of the Parliament of the Republic of Montenegro, increase transparency in its work, and encourage participation of the citizens in parliamentary activities as well.

ƒ Operators in the CDT PVT Center CENTER

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"Legislative Bodies and Citizens: Strengthening of Democratic Institutions and Civil Society in Western Balkans" is a program aimed at helping parliaments and NGOs from Western Balkan countries to improve functioning of democratic institutions and participation of civil society in decision making processes. MPs and parliamentary staffers, representatives of NGOs from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro and Kosovo, and members of the Dutch Parliament and Parliaments of other European countries are participants in this program. CDT is the local partner for the implementation of the East-West Parliamentary Practice Project in Montenegro The Center for Democratic Transition is a member of Montenegrin Network of NonGovernmental Organizations called "Action," which, through a series of actions, programs and projects, encourages public support to reforms in Montenegro, including intensifying legislative changes and implementation of reform regulations.


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2. HISTORY OF MONTENEGRIN PARLIAMENTARISM

ƒ Zetski dom ƒ Constitution of Principality of Montenegro ƒ Government Building ƒ CASNO ƒ Montenegrin National Parliament ƒ Architecture ƒ "Sutjeska" by Petar Lubarda CENTER

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2.1. MONTENEGRIN PARLIAMENT BEFORE 1905

ver the history, the general conventions of Montenegrins, or councils of clan-chiefs,1 were bodies of a representative character, i.e., a kind of National Assembly, which had been held since the XVII century. It is considered that National Assemblies, i.e., general conventions of Montenegrins, were from the time of Vladika Danilo's governance (1697-1735) held once a year on 12 July (St. Peter's Day) according to some unwritten rules.2 In Montenegrin tribal society, the assemblies were a significant factor in solving common issues. However, by its decisions, the assemblies almost never established a strong inter-tribal unity for undertaking any important actions or becoming an organ of the state in an institutional sense.

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After passing the first Montenegrin law (Zakonik) in 1798, Metropolitan Petar Petrovi} I3 established state organs, among which there was the Administrative Court of Montenegro and the hills4. The Administrative Court of Montenegro and the hills represented the first institution with elements of a state organ. Above all, this organ exercised judicial power but also some other forms of administrative power. Thus, according to its basic characteristics, it did not represent a classic parliamentary body. However, given that it was elected on a tribal basis and as such consisted of tribal chiefs, it can be considered as having a parliamentary character. At the end of 1831, during the reign of Petar Petrovi} Njego{ II (1830-1851), the Senate was established in significant state reforms made with the support of Russian delegates Ivan Vukoti} and Mateja Vu~i}evi}. As the highest state organ, the Senate exercised judicial and administrative power representing a principal support in strengthening the entire

state system. However, neither at its creation nor later did the Senate have the character of supreme state organ. The supreme authority was concentrated in the hands of the prince-bishop - and later the prince. The Senate is considered to be the first institution in Montenegro that formally and factually had a character of state institution. The Senate was reformed in 1837. Pero Tomov, brother of the reigning prince-bishop, was elected Chairman of the Senate, and \uro Savov Petrovi} was elected Deputy Chair. At that time, the Senate had 14 members and it was "holder and executor of the three highest powers," i.e., legislative, executive and judicial power. With the 1879 reforms, the affairs that had been run by the Senate up to that period were transferred to three newly established bodies: a State Council, a Ministry, and a Supreme Court. The State Council was composed of ministers, the metropolitan and other high officials appointed by the prince. Apart from its advisory function, its primary function incorporated legislative activities including drafting basic laws and discussion of certain legislative proposals submitted by certain ministers, which were finally passed and proclaimed by the prince. In its new concept, the State Council should have been the legislative body and the highest state authority. After the 1876-1878 war, the size of the Montenegrin territory was more than doubled. Nik{i}, Kola{in, Spu`, Podgorica, Bar and Ulcinj were liberated towns, giving Montenegro access to the Adriatic Sea. Significant legislative activity developed at the end of the XIX century and beginning of the XX century.

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The Chief was the head of the clan. Translator's note: From 1696, the position of vladika, or prince-bishop, became hereditary in the Petrovi} family with sovereign power descending from uncle to nephew because, as members of the order of the black clergy, vladikas were forbidden to marry. During the reign of Danilo II Petrovi} Njego{ (1826-1860), Montenegro became a secular state, i.e., a lay principality rather than a bishopric-principality, and Danilo II served as a secular prince from 1851-1860. 3 Translator's note: Petar I Petrovi} Njego{ (St. Peter of Cetinje) was ruler of Montenegro and bishop of the Serb Orthodox Church from 1747 to 1830. He was the most popular spiritual and military leader of the Petrovi} Dynasty. 4 Translator's note: 'Montenegro and the hills' refers to Old Montenegrin territory which consisted of nowadays Montenegro and several hills. 2

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Written laws replaced the Common Law. Among the adopted laws, the lawyer Valtazar Bogi{i} wrote the General Property Code for the Principality of Montenegro, which was translated into many languages and serves as an extraordinary example of established harmony between traditional and modern times.

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At that time, Russia, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, France, England, Italy, Serbia, Turkey, Germany and the United States opened their legations in Cetinje.

2.2. MONTENEGRIN PARLIAMENT FROM 1905

n 1905, many internal and external factors caused Prince Nikola to introduce the Constitution of the Principality of Montenegro. In his Luka's Day Proclamation, he addressed the people and said among other things: "When one is a member of the enlightened humanity, he has to be a free citizen, as well. In order to achieve that, we will follow the examples of the enlightened and modern nations. Thus, whatever they prove to be better in their political life than in our patriarchal regime, we will apply slowly to our society."

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ƒ Zetski dom in Cetinje

ZETSKI DOM IN CETINJE "On Wednesday, 31 October 1906, at 9:00, the first National Parliament of Montenegro elected according to the Constitution, met in Cetinje in Zetski dom." "I hope, that the National Parliament will meet the requests of My Government and fullfil these tasks in order to build up the reputation of our beloved country, to become even more professional in fullfilling the tasks prescribed by history." (King Nikola, 6 November 1906, at the first regular solemn session of the National Parliament) The building of Zetski dom was not planned to be the seat of the Montenegrin Parliament. It was built from 1884 until 1888 as a "huge building where theatre, museum and library were situated." Construction was completed in 1896. The architect Josip Slade designed it in a neoclassical style. Skillful craftsmen from Boka Kotorska built it. The Montenegrin Parliament had been meeting in Zetski Dom until 1910.


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The Elections for the National Parliament were held on 14 (27) November 1905. Sixtytwo (62) members of the Parliament were elected indirectly, while 14 MPs entered the Parliament due to their positions. As there were no political parties at the time, those with personal and family merits would win the elections. Very often, winners were also those whose clan or tribe was larger. A significant number of young and educated people were also elected. The National Parliament was unicameral. Only a Montenegrin citizen with permanent residence in Montenegro and having reached the age of 30 could be elected a Member of Parliament. The term of office of a Member of Parliament was four years; the National Parli-

ament was renewed either upon the expiry of its mandate or after the dissolution before the expiry of its mandate. The National Parliament would elect the President by secret ballot, for each sitting. The Prince would call the National Parliament. The Prince could dissolve the National Parliament, but the state was not allowed to operate without a Parliament for more than six months. The Parliament was not the holder of the constitutional power - instead, constitutional power belonged entirely to the Prince.

2.3. MONTENEGRIN PARLIAMENT FROM 1906 UNTIL 1915

n 27 September 1906, elections were held in Montenegro in accordance with the Constitution and the Law on Election of Members of Parliament. The Duke [ako Petrovi} was elected President of the National Parliament. The first session of the parliament was held on 31 October 1906.

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The Club of People's Representatives, which served as a basis for forming the People's Party, the first political party in Montenegro, was founded in the National Parliament. The President of the National Parliament, the Duke [ako Petrovi} was elected President of the Club. The Parliament, elected for the period from 1906 to 1909, was dissolved on 9 July 1907.

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The next elections were held on 31 October 1907. The People's Party did not participate in the elections. The National Parliament met on 21 November 1907. At the next session held on 27 November, the Parliament verified the mandates. The eminent lawyer Labud Gojni} was elected President of the Parliament. At the sitting held on 14 December 1908, the engineer Marko \ukanovi} was elected President of the Parliament and was re-elected on 1 December 1909. The lawyer Milo Do`i} was elected President of the National Parliament on 1 December 1910.

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ƒ The Government building in Cetinje The work of the Parliament from 19071911 was closed on 12 February 1911. The election for a new mandate of Parliament was held on 27 September 1911. The first session of the newly elected National Parliament was held on 1 December 1911. At the second session, Jovan Plamenac, who was already Minister of Education and Interior Affairs and later would be the President of the Government in Exile, regent and leader of the Christmas Rebellion, was elected President of the National Parliament. Although the National Parliament was elected for the period from 1911-1914, it did not meet again after 1912 because of the Balkan Wars. A decree of King Nikola on 25 October 1913 dissolved parliament, and the election for the 1914-1917 Parliament was called for 11 January 1914. The first session of the Montenegrin National Parliament, elected on 11 January 1914, was held on 28 January. At the second session, the report of the Verification Committee was adopted, and Milo Do`i} was elected President of the Parliament.

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THE G OVERNMENT BUILDING G IN CETINJE The Italian architect Cesare Augusto Koradini constructed the Government Building in Cetinje. The foundation stone was laid on 7 June 1909, and the opening celebration took place on 15 August 1910 when Montenegro was proclaimed a Kingdom. The Government Building was purposely designed for "the principality government and other institutions in Cetinje." At the time when it was built, the Government Building was the largest object and the first building in Montenegro to be made of reinforced concrete. Craftsmen from abroad constructed it in a neo-Baroque style. There is a large clock on the frontside, and, beside it, there are figures of a man (Day) and a woman (Night), following the example of Michelangelo's Tomb of the Medicis in Florence. Under the clock, there are figures of the Goddesses Flora and Minerva. The last sitting of the Parliament of the Montenegrin Kingdom was held in the Government Building in December 1915. Since 1918, it was known as the House of Freedom.

When the Austro-Hungarian Empire declared war against Serbia, the Montenegrin National Parliament convened an extraordinary session on 1 August 1914. Montenegro declared the war against the AustroHungarian Empire on 6 August.

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During the war, the Montenegrin National Parliament was not convened until 25 December 1915, when, in an already critical situation for Montenegro, an extraordinary session was convened. At the secret session held on 26 December, the Government asked for full freedom of action for its future work. However, the government fell in non-confidence vote and consequently resigned. A new Government was elected on 2 January 1916.

At the session on 4 January 1916, the Parliament adopted the resolution in which it was emphasized that it would endure "in combat until the final victory, in which we never doubted". The Montenegrin National Parliament was dissolved on the very same day, and it did not sit again because Montenegro was occupied.

2.4. THE PERIOD BETWEEN TWO WORLD WARS n November 1918, the so-called Podgorica Assembly was held. At this session, two decisions were made: (1) deposing the Montenegrin dynasty of Petrovi}i, and (2) unification of Montenegro with Serbia in the joint state, called the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes under the Serbian Kara|or|evi}i dynasty.

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Since the foundation of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes on 1 December 1918 (on 5 October 1929, the Kingdom of Yugoslavia was proclaimed), Montenegro did not exist as a separate administrative unit instead it was a part of the Zeta territory, which later became Zetska banovina (a region ruled by a Ban). In the Yugoslav Parliament, which had over 300 MPs, eight to 10 MPs from different parties were delegated from Montenegro.

2.5. MONTENEGRIN PARLIAMENT AFTER WORLD WAR I I

he first elections in Montenegro after World War II were held on 3 November 1946, when the Constituent Assembly was elected and later, on 31 December 1946, passed the Constitution of the National Republic of Montenegro, and continued exercising its mandate as the National Parliament until the following election in 1950.

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THE MONTENEG G RIN NATIONAL PARLIAMENT The fourth sitting of the Montenegrin AntiFascist Parliament of National Liberation (CASNO) was held in Cetinje from 15-17 April 1945 in the building of the Zetska banovina. At this sitting, CASNO was turned into the Montenegrin National Parliament - "the highest organ of people's authority and legislative organ of Federal Montenegro".

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In one of the halls of the Hotel Crna Gora, which was arranged and adapted for the needs of the National Parliament, the first session of the Republic Council of the newly elected National Parliament was held on 15 December 1953.

ƒ Titograd in 1950s

Until the election of the Constituent Assembly, the function of the people's representative organ (Skup{tina) was performed by the National Parliament of the National Republic of Montenegro, composed of councilors of ZAVNO from Montenegro and Boka5 and constituted in Kola{in in November 1943. In July 1944, ZAVNO was turned into CASNO. In April 1945, CASNO was turned into the Montenegrin National Parliament and, in 1946, into the National Parliament of the National Republic of Montenegro (NR CG). The parliamentary system in Montenegro, established by its Constitution and the constitutions of the federation and the other five republics, had two forms in the XX Century: (1) from 1946-1974,

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the parliamentary political representative system; and (2) from 1974-1992, the parliamentary delegate system. From 1945 to 1990, the Montenegrin Parliament was single-party. The first multi-party elections in Montenegro after the World War II were held in 1990. In the period after the World War II until the parliamentary elections in October 2002, there were 19 elections for the Montenegrin Parliament. From 1963 to 1967, one half of the MPs were elected every second year (1965 and 1967).

Translator's Note: ZAVNO was the sitting of the Anti-Fascist Council of National Liberation with representatives from throughout Yugoslavia.

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MANDATES OF THE MONTENEGRIN PARLIAMENT AFTER WORLD WAR II 1) Until November 1946 Montenegrin National Parliament National Parliament NR CG

10) May 1982 - April 1986 Parliament of Socialist Republic of Montenegro (tri-ccameral)

2) November 1946 - October 1950 Constitutional - National Assembly (unicameral)

11) May 1986 - June 1989 Parliament of Socialist Republic of Montenegro (tri-ccameral)

3) November 1950 - November 1953 National Parliament (unicameral)

12) June 1989 - December 1990 Parliament of Socialist Republic of Montenegro (tri-ccameral)

4) December 1953 - March 1958 National Parliament (bicameral)

13) December 1990 - December 1992 Parliament of the Republic of Montenegro (multi-p party, unicameral)

5) April 1958 - June 1963 National Parliament (bicameral)

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14) January 1993 - November 1996 Parliament of the Republic of Montenegro (multi-p party, unicameral)

6) June 1963 - April 1969 Parliament of the Socialist Republic of Montenegro (SR CG) (with five chambers); half of the MPs were elected every second year (i.e., 1965 and 1967)

15) November 1996 - May 1998 Parliament of the Republic of Montenegro (multi-p party, unicameral)

7) May 1969 - April 1974 Parliament of Socialist Republic of Montenegro (with five chambers)

16) June 1998 - April 2001 Parliament of the Republic of Montenegro (multi-p party, unicameral)

8) May 1974 - April 1978 Parliament of Socialist Republic of Montenegro (tri-ccameral)

17) May 2001 - October 2002 Parliament of the Republic of Montenegro (multi-p party, unicameral)

9) May 1978 - April 1982 Parliament of Socialist Republic of Montenegro (tri-ccameral)

18) October 2002 Parliament of the Republic of Montenegro (multi-p party, unicameral)

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2.6. THE BUILDING OF THE PARLIAMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF MONTENEGRO IN PODGORICA

Architecture The building of the Parliament of the Socialist Republic of Montenegro was designed by the architect Ivan Zdravkovi}. The construction works were finished in 1954. It was constructed in the architectural style of socialist-realism. Having in mind that the building of the Montenegrin Parliament was build more than 50 years ago, nowadays its space does not respond to all the needs of a modern parliament.

Interior of the Parliament A modern library with a research center is planned for the basement of the building, which is under reconstruction these days. There is also a restaurant with a bar in this part of the building. The plenary hall where sittings of the Montenegrin Parliament take place, the Red Salon for meetings - primarily of parliamentary working bodies, and the party caucus offices are on the ground floor of the building.

ƒ Image of Skup{tina's interior


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The "EU Info Counter" opened on 16 December 2003 is also on the ground floor. It was founded in cooperation with the European Union with the aim to provide the MPs with easier and better access to information about the European Union, its institutions and its member states, as well. The Speaker's offices, Secretary General's office, and the offices of the parliamentary service are on the first floor of the Parliament.

ƒ Sutjeska, Oil on canvass, 1955, 209 x 504 cm

The offices of the Deputy Speaker, Blue Salon for meetings, and a renovated conference room with up-to-date equipment for holding conferences and seminars are located on the second floor. The premises of the Republic Election Commission are also on the second floor.


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The Works of Art in the Parliament In the premises of the Parliament, there are paintings done by P. Lubarda, D. Karad`i}, V. Tatar, and other eminent Montenegrin painters. The most significant work of art in the Parliament is the painting by Petar Lubarda (1907-1974) called "Sutjeska", which is in the plenary hall. This artistically successful composition symbolically represents the resistance of Montenegrin people against Fascism and its century-long fight for freedom.

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In 2003, in the main hall, a plaque of St. Peter Cetinjski was installed. There is also another plaque installed in the main hall in 2005 on the occasion of the 100year anniversary of Montenegro's constitution.


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ƒ Parliamentary reforms ƒ www.skupstina.cg.yu ƒ Town hall meetings "Citizens ask" ƒ Parliamentary tours ƒ Internship program CENTER

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3.1. THE INFLUENCE OF CITIZENS AND CIVIL SECTOR OVER THE WORK OF LEGISLATIVE BODIES

n countries which are in the process of transition and building of democratic institutions, free elections and indirect participation of citizens in exercising power through their elected representatives, are rarely sufficient to exercise the rule of law. The demand for the implementation of democratic governance of the majority requires the improvement of the political culture together with the active participation of citizens and non-governmental organizations in gradual building of democratic governance institutions.

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According to the Article 2 of the Constitution of the Republic of Montenegro, it is prescribed that sovereignty belongs to the citizens and that citizens exercise their power indirectly and through their elected representatives. The right to exercise power indirectly is also guaranteed by the Article 85 of the Constitution which stipulates that beside the Government and MPs, at least 6000 voters have the right to propose the law or some other regulation or general act. This provision gives citizens the right to legislative initiative and the right to submit the law proposal, because the government and institutions in democratic societies get legitimacy from the people's will.

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In most of the cases, the Government of the Republic of Montenegro uses the right to propose laws and other acts; however, most recently the legislative initiatives come from 6000 voters or MPs who prepare the texts in cooperation with the non-governmental organizations. Recently, several acts entered the parliamentary procedure in this way, while some of them were adopted in the Parliament. This mechanism of law-proposing is easier to implement in practice with the support of non-governmental organizations which have necessary experiences and human resources for exercising procedures of collecting signatures, preparations of legal texts and their elaboration in the committees and plenary sessions of the Parliament. Demands for respecting and improving principles of good governance, as a precondition for the state institutions to respond efficiently to the citizens' needs, point out to the necessity of strengthening of the civil society and the role of non-governmental organizations in the democratic world. Good governance relies on non-governmental organizations and uses their capacities in the society. The cooperation in non-governmental sector implies the usage of advantages of new knowledge and skills that NGOs have thanks to their flexibility and significant experience in the field, as well as the possibility to apply them in an adequate way where necessary.

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3.2. REFORMS OF THE PARLIAMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF MONTENEGRO

n last several years, the Parliament of the Republic of Montenegro has been in the process of reforms which led to significant changes and progress. These reform activities are aimed at rationalization and making the legislative process more effective; promoting the importance and role of parliamentary committees and party caucuses, improving the oversight function of the parliament and achieving more transparency in the work of the parliament as well as improving the communication between the Parliament and the citizens.

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Having in mind the above mentioned goals, in March 2003, the Parliament of the Republic of Montenegro formed the Working Group for Drafting the Rules of Procedure of the Montenegrin Parliament (ad hoc committee), that made a new improved version of the parliamentary rules of procedure. In this process, the Parliament has cooperated closely with the National Democratic Institute (NDI), in gathering and using precious comparative experiences. Unfortunately, the Parliament delays with the passage of this document and in that way it postpones positive effects that the new rules of procedure will bring to the supreme legislative body.

ƒ Home page of Skup{tina's website (www.skupstina.cg.yu)

On the HOME PAGE you can find the review of the INFORMATION on the latest activities of the Parliament. On the left side, there is a menu, through which you can access sections SPEAKER and SECRETARY GENERAL with their biographies. In the section PARTY CAUCUSES, you can get the information on the number of MPs by parties and contact information of parliamentary parties as well. The names of MPs and their party affiliation you can find in the section MPs. The list of sessions you can find in the section SESSIONS and information on working bodies, number of members and contact information of working bodies you can find in the section WORKING BODIES. Within this menu, there are also sections PROPOSAL OF LAWS and ADOPTED LAWS where you can download in word format law proposals and all adopted laws since 12 November 2002 up to now. In the section DOCUMENTS you will find the Constitution of the Republic of Montenegro, the Rules of Procedure of Montenegrin Parliament, Law on Election of Deputies and MPs, as well as other documents which can be useful. On the right side, there are sections ANNOUNCMENTS, CURRENT INFORMATION and STATEMENTS where the information are updated on daily basis so you can be timely informed about the events in the Parliament.

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Apart from the above mentioned, a functional computer and communication network is also installed in the Parliament with the aim to enhance research activities and improve the information flow in the parliament. This project enabled parliamentary staffers to perform their daily duties by using computers more often, which contributes to the efficiency of work, in general. The Parliament also got a modern website www.skupstina.cg.yu in order to provide citizens with better access to draft laws and adopted laws, and other documents and information regarding the work of the parliament. It is important to mention that the Montenegrin Parliament also made progress in the field of parliamentary cooperation and parliamentary diplomacy, first of all through regular organization of the "Cetinje's Parliamentary Forum" whose participants are representatives of European Union countries and countries which are on the road to European integration. Apart form this, the Montenegrin Parliament hosted autumn conference of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, the biggest international conference ever held in Montenegro, where more than 200 parliamentarians participated from 55 OSCE member countries. Through comparative analysis of the budget of European parliaments, and representative bodies in the region, it is evident that the Parliament of the Republic of Montenegro has significantly less financial, spatial, and human resources. For example, the budget of the Parliament of Croatia is ten times bigger than the budget of the Montenegrin Parliament, and in comparison with the number of MPs, each MP has at its disposal five times bigger sum of money at annual level. The situation is similar, or even with more obvious differences in other European parliaments, ranging from almost four times more money per an MP in Czech

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Republic up to 30 times more in Italy. Comparative analysis of the number of staffers in European parliaments, who are technical and professional support to MPs in performing their daily duties, also shows that Montenegrin MPs in comparison to their colleagues from Europe and region perform the same duties with less staffers and equipment. According to the comparative data, MPs usually have from one to five staffers and assistants at their disposal, while in the Montenegrin Parliament the number of staffers in comparison to the number of MPs is 0,78. There is a similar situation only in Parliament of Spain where the number of staffers per an MP is 0.93 and in Luxemburg that numerical relation varies from 0.73 staffers per MP up to 1.73 because of the possibility of an MP to hire additional assistants for the researches using the financial assets approved by the budget of the parliament. Despite the above mentioned limiting factors, the initiated reforms could have been faster, and in the previous period it should have been done more. The Montenegrin Parliament has not only to endure in the process of reforms but also to undertake the upcoming tasks with more intensive engagement in order to reach the aspired standards. International and domestic non-governmental organizations participated in a significant number of projects with the aim to reform the Parliament, organizing study missions, seminars, consultations and activities for MPs. Cooperation of the Parliament with nongovernmental organizations is especially intensified in last years and it was initiated in 2001 with the "Open Parliament" Program by the Center for Democratic Transition. With this program, the Parliament has become more opened to the citizens in a real sense of the word.

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3.3. CDT'S PARLAMENTARY PROGRAM

ince July 2001, in cooperation with the Parliament of the Republic of Montenegro and the National Democratic Institute (NDI), CDT has realized the program "Open Parliament". The purpose of the program "Open Parliament" is to inform the citizens about the work of the Parliament of the Republic of Montenegro, increase transparency in its work and encourage participation of the citizens in parliamentary activities.

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In the first phase of realization of this program, main activities included town hall meetings "Citizens ask" and citizens' tours in the Parliament of the Republic of Montenegro. Town hall meetings "Citizens ask" were organized in order to improve the communication between voters and their elected representatives, not only in pre-election period but also during their entire mandate. Town hall meetings were organized in all bigger municipalities in Montenegro where Montenegrin MPs talked to the citizens on different topicalities and responded to their questions.

Citizens' tours to the Montenegrin Parliament have been organized by CDT since the beginning of the Parliamentary program in order to introduce the citizens with the organization, work and history of the Montenegrin Parliament. The visit-tours are organized by CDT coordinators who provide citizens with the information on the history of Montenegrin parliamentarism, data on the current composition of the Montenegrin Parliament, its work, rules, organization and all technical issues important for the functioning of the Parliament as well. If a parliamentary session is ongoing, the visitors have chance to feel the atmosphere of a parliamentary debate from journalists' boxes. During the tour-visits the participants are given the possibility to meet and talk with MPs and parliamentary staffers. All citizens who visit the parliament in the organization of CDT get a copy of "Parliamentary guide".

ƒ Orphans and abandoned children from asylum Mladost in Bijela touring Skup{tina


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ƒ Coordinators and participants in the Internship program with the leadership of the Montenegrin Parliament

In September 2003, the project "Open Parliament" is enriched with the new activity called the "Internship program. Besides good cooperation with the National Democratic Institute and the Parliament of the Republic of Montenegro, in realization of the Internship program we also have a new very important partner - University of Montenegro. This program enables students to learn a lot on this important institution through direct contact, and to gain practical knowledge necessary for their future professional engagement. At the same time, this program provides them with the pos-

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sibility to contribute to the work of the Parliament through performance of administrative duties including preparing minutes, reports, amendments and working on comparative analyses and researches. Since the beginning of the project, 30 students in their final university year from the Law, Economic and Electro-technical Faculties have taken part in the Program so far, and had chance to apply their theoretical knowledge by working as interns in Montenegrin Parliament. The fourth generation includes ten students doing their internship in the Parliament since November 2005.

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ƒ Images of Skup{tina's interior

Within its activities in the Parliamentary program, CDT publishes a newsletter with the information on legislative activities of the Montenegrin Parliament. The newsletter is distributed periodically depending on the activities of the Parliament Apart from the cooperation through the "Open Parliament", CDT has cooperation with the Parliament of the Republic of Montenegro as the local partner of the East-West Parliamentary Practice Project, through the program of "Legislation and Citizens". The program includes cooperation and exchange of experiences between parliaments on the Balkans through mutual visits, roundtables, and annual regional conferences.

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4. CONSTITUTION ON THE PARLIAMENT

ƒ Competencies of the Parliament ƒ Election of MPs ƒ MP immunity ƒ Sittings ƒ Dissolution of Parliament ƒ Introduction of bills CENTER

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4.1. PARLIAMENTARY PROCEDURES REGULATED BY THE CONSTITUTION

ompetencies of the Parliament, as the organ of the legislative power, are established by the Constitution of the Republic of Montenegro.

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Thus, according to the Article 81 of the Constitution of the Republic of Montenegro, the Parliament of the Republic of Montenegro shall: 1. pass the Constitution; 2. enact laws, other regulations and general acts; 3. enact Physical plan of Montenegro, budget and annual balance sheet; 4. determine principles for organization of the state administration; 5. ratify international treaties within the competences of the Republic; 6. call for a republican referendum; 7. float public loans and decide on entering into indebtness of Montenegro; 8. elect and recall President and members of the government, president and judges of the Constitutional Court, president and judges of all courts; 9. appoint and dismiss the State Prosecutor and other officials; 10. grant amnesty for criminal offences prescribed by the republican law; 11. perform other duties as prescribed by the Constitution.

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The Parliament shall consist of the MPs elected by citizens in direct and secret ballot, on the basis of a general and equitable voting right. An MP shall be elected for every six thousand voters. Each MP shall decide and vote according to his own belief and may not be recalled. Term of office of the Parliament shall last four years. In case of the state of war the term of office of the Parliament shall be extended for as long as peace is not established. At the proposal of not less than 25 MPs, the Government or the President of the Republic, the Parliament may decide to shorten its term of office. An MP shall enjoy his/her immunity. An MP shall not be called to account for a speech delivered in the Parliament. No MP may be subject to criminal proceedings nor detained without prior approval of the Parliament. An MP may be detained without the approval of the Parliament if he is apprehended during a criminal offence for which the penalty prescribed exceeds five years of prison sentence. The President of the Republic, members of the Government, judges, judges of the Constitutional Court and the State Prosecutor shall also enjoy the immunity as MPs.

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Besides the above mentioned regulations, the Constitution of the Republic of Montenegro also regulates the following issues regarding the work of the Montenegrin Parliament.

Sittings The Parliament shall operate in regular and extraordinary sessions. Regular sessions of the Parliament shall be convened twice a year, in accordance with the Rules of Procedure of the Parliament. The first regular session shall begin on the first working day in March and the second session on the first working day in October. The Parliament shall convene on the extraordinary session at the request of not less than one third of the total number of MPs, or at the request of the President of the Republic and of the Prime Minister.

Decision making

ƒ Electronic voting device and MP card

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Dissolution of the Parliament The Parliament shall be dissolved if it should fail to elect the Government within 60 days from the date when the President of the Republic nominates candidates for the Prime Minister. The Parliament may not be dissolved during the state of war, in case of an imminent danger of war or the state of emergency. If the Parliament should cease to perform its duties as prescribed by the Constitution for a considerable period of time, the Government may dissolve the Parliament, after hearing the opinion of the Speaker of the Parliament and the Chiefs of the party caucuses. The Government shall not be entitled to dissolve the Parliament if a procedure for the vote of no-confidence to the Government had been initiated. The President of the Republic shall pass the decree on the dissolution of the Parliament and set the date for the election of the new Parliament.

Introduction of bills

The Parliament shall vote if more than one half of the total number of MPs attend the session, and the decision shall be made by a majority of votes of the MPs present, if not otherwise prescribed by the Constitution. The Parliament shall make decisions by a majority of votes of the total number of MPs on the laws regulating the manner in which the freedoms and rights are exercised, the electoral system, the material obligations of the citizens, the state symbols, the dismissal of the President of the Republic and the election of the Government and the vote of confidence to the Government, a referendum, shortening of the term of office and its Rules of Procedure.

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The right to introduce bills, other regulations and general acts shall be vested in the Government, MPs and at least six thousand voters.


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5. INTERNAL ORGANIZATION OF THE PARLIAMENT

ƒ Speaker and Deputy Speaker ƒ Working bodies ƒ Competencies of commissions and committees ƒ Party caucuses CENTER

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5.1. SPEAKER AND DEPUTY SPEAKER OF THE PARLIAMENT The Speaker of the Parliament shall: ƒ convene sessions of the Parliament and preside over them; ƒ take care of the application of the Rules of Procedure of the Parliament; ƒ take care of the organization of the procedure of the Parliament and take initiatives for its improvement; ƒ take care of timely and coordinated work of the working bodies of the Parliament; ƒ sign acts of the Parliament, except laws; ƒ also perform other duties prescribed by the Rules of Procedures of the Montenegrin Parliament The number of vice-presidents of the Parliament shall be determined by the Parliament on the occasion of their election. Vice-Presidents of the Parliament shall assist the President of the Parliament in performing duties in his/her sphere of action. In case of temporary absence, the Speaker of the Parliament shall be replaced by the Deputy Speaker he had chosen.

Election and Recall of Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Parliament A candidate for the Speaker of the Parliament may be proposed by at least 10 MPs. A MP may participate in proposing one candidate only. A proposal contains: the name and surname of the candidate, short biography, party affiliation and explanation. The Speaker of the Parliament shall be elected shall be elected in an open vote. If more than one candidate for the Speaker of the Parliament has been proposed, election shall be performed by secret ballot. Deputy Speaker of the Parliament shall be proposed and elected according to the procedure prescribed for the election of the Speaker of the Parliament. The Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Parliament shall take an oath on the day of elections. The text of the oath shall be: "I swear that I will fulfill my duties conscientiously and responsibly and in compliance with the Constitution and Law". The term of office of the Speaker of the Parliament, i.e. Vice President shall cease before its expiry in the event of his/her resignation or recall.

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5.2. WORKING BODIES OF THE PARLIAMENT Formation and composition For considering and discussing issues from the jurisdiction of the Parliament, for proposing acts and performing other tasks from the jurisdiction of the Parliament, the Parliament shall form commissions and committees, as its standing working bodies. The Parliament may, through a special decision, form some other standing and temporary working bodies for performance of duties from its jurisdiction. A working body shall have a president and a certain number of members, to be elected from among the MPs. Composition of a working body shall correspond to the number of MPs in the Parliament. The Parliament may elect some experts as consultants within a certain working body, without right to decision-making. President and members of a working body shall be elected for the term of office of four years. A working body shall operate in sessions. President of a working body shall convene the working body for session, propose the agenda and preside over a session. President of a working body is obliged to convene the working body for session at the request of the President of the Parliament or at the proposal of one third of the members of the working body, with their listing of issues to be placed on the agenda of the session. President of a working body shall organize work of the working body. A working body shall operate in sessions attended by a majority of members of the working body, and make decisions by a majority of votes of the members present.

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Representatives of the proposers of an act being discussed in the session shall participate in the work of the working body. Government representatives, may, on invitation, participate in the work of a working body, without right to decision-making. When performing tasks within its scope of activity, a working body, through its president, may request data and pieces of information relevant to their work from a state organ.

Commissions and committees of the Parliament Working bodies of the Parliament are formed as commissions and committees which are listed bellow: ƒ Committee for Constitutional Affairs; ƒ Legislative Committee; ƒ Committee for Political System, Administration of Justice and Government; ƒ Committee of Economy, Finance and Environmental Protection; ƒ Committee of Education, Science, Culture, Health Services, Work and Social Services; ƒ International Relations Committee; ƒ Human Rights and Freedoms Committee; ƒ Committee for Security and Defence i Committe for European Integration; ƒ Commission for Election and Appointments; ƒ Commission for Mandates and Immunity Issues; ƒ Commission for Monitoring of Privatization Procedure; ƒ Commission for Allocation of Funds to the NGOs.

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Competencies (sphere of action) of commissions and committees ƒ Committee for Constitutional Affairs shall: examine a proposal for amending the Constitution; determine the text of a draft and a proposal of amendments to the Constitution; examine amendments to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (nowadays Constitutional Charter), which shall be made on the grounds of consent of the Parliaments of the member Republics and examine general issues related to enforcement of the Constitution. Committee for Constitutional Affairs shall have a president and 12 members ƒ Legislative Committee shall examine: - proposals of laws and other acts which are passed by the Parliament from the standpoint of their compliance with the Constitution and legal system, as well as in regard to their legal interpretation; - proposals for providing authentic interpretation of law; - acts on initiation of procedures for evaluation of constitutionality of laws or constitutionality and legality of other regulations; - take care of a unified legislative methodology, as well as a unified legal and technical processing of acts passed by the Parliament; - define a proposal for an authentic interpretation of law; - define an amended text of a law and other regulation if authorized thereof by the law, or the other regulation. Legislative Committe shall have a president and eight members ƒ Committee for Political System, Administration of Justice and Government shall examine proposals of laws and other acts, as well as other issues referring to:

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- the foundation, organization and competencies of the governing bodies and procedures before the bodies; - defense and security; - system of local self-management; - state symbols; - the use of national symbols and state holidays; - Republican citizenship; - electoral system and referendum; - territorial organization of the Republic; - organization and position of the administrative centre and the capital city; - Exercise of special rights for members of national and ethnic groups; - the press and other modes of public information; - criminal and other acts, responsibility and penalties and amnesty, pardoning and legal assistance. Committee for Political System, Administration of Justice and Government shall have a president and eight members. ƒ Committee for Economy, Finance and Environmental Protection shall examine proposals of laws and other acts as well as other issues related to: -

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property and ownership relations; natural resources; earning and entrepreneurship; energetic, mining industry, industry, maritime affairs and transport; agriculture, forestry; water resources management; tourism, trade, regional plan of the Republic and physical planning, housing issues, construction land; commodity goods; the Budget of the Republic and annual balance sheet; financing state functions; taxes and other fees; property-legal and obligation relations; public debts and loans of the Republic, banks, property and life insurance; lotteries;

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- protection and improvement of the environment, nature and natural resources, protection against dangerous and harmful substances; protection against other sources of threats to the environment. Committee for Economy, Finance and Environmental Protection shall have a president and eight members. ƒ Committee for Education, Science, Culture, Health Services, Work and Social Services shall examine proposals of law and other acts as well as other issues related to: - pre-school, primary and secondary education; - university education; - science, culture, art, sport, physical and technical education; - protection of scientific, cultural, artistic and historical values; - health care, protection of disabled persons, mothers and children; - marriage and family; employment, work and rights of employees. Committee for Education, Science, Culture, Health Services, Work and Social Services shall have a president and eight members. ƒ International Relations Committee shall examine international contracts which are confirmed by the Parliament and other acts and issues falling within the competence of the Parliament in this area. International Relations Committee shall have a president and six members.

ƒ Cabinet of Secretary General of the Montenegrin Parliament

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ƒ Human Rights and Freedoms Committee shall examine proposals of laws and other acts related to the manner of exercise of freedoms and rights of a human being, as well as general and specific issues from the area of exercise, improvement and protection of human rights and freedoms. Human Rights and Freedoms Committee shall have a president and six members. ƒ Committee for Gender Equality shall examine and follow the exercise of freedoms and rights of a human being and a citizen prescribed by the Constitution referring to gender equality, and especially: examine proposals of laws and other acts important for exercising of gender equality principles, encourage application and realization of this principle in the republic Laws; encourage and propose signing of international documents on gender equality and follow the implementation of those documents in the Republic; propose measures and activates for gender equality improvement especially in the field of education, health system, public information, social policy, employment, entrepreneurship, family relations, decision-making process and other things; participate in preparation and drafting documents and harmonization of legislation in this field with the standards in legislation and programs of European Union; cooperate with NGOs which deal with gender equality issues. Committee for Gender Equality shall have a president and ten members.


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ƒ Committee for Security and Defense shall exercise parliamentary control over the work of the police and the Agency for National Security; examine exercise of freedoms and rights of a human being and a citizen prescribed by the Constitution in application of authorization of the police and Agency for National Security; examine law proposals, other regulations and general acts passed by the Parliament, strategy and other issues from the field of security and defense of the Republic and its citizens; examine proposals for appointment of heads of the police and Director of the Agency for National Security.

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Committee for Security and Defense shall have a president and 12 members. ƒ Committee for European Integration shall follow and when needed initiate harmonization of the legal system of the Republic with the European Law, examine exercise of rights and duties of the Republic of Montenegro stemming from international treaties related to the Council of Europe, examine international treaties ratified by the Parliament or which are approved by the Parliament and given to the Parliament of Serbia and Montenegro for ratification. The Committee shall examine other acts and issues falling within the competence of the Parliament in this area, cooperate and exchange experiences with appropriate working bodies of other parliaments and international organizations. Committee for European Integration shall have a president and 12 members. ƒ Commission for Election and Appointments shall: - submit to the Parliament proposals for election, appointments and dismissals, except proposals which, in compliance with the Constitution and law, are submitted by other proposers; - propose regulations which regulate issues concerning exercise of rights and duties of MPs

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and officials elected or appointed by the Parliament and, on the basis of authorizations, pass additional regulations for their implementation; determine a proposal for providing funds in the Budget of the Republic for functioning of the Parliament and its administration and take care for the funds to be used accordingly; pass individual acts of issues related to the status of MPs and officials elected or appointed by the Parliament; give consent to the act of organization and classification of working positions in the Administration of the Parliament; appoint, within the Administration of the Parliament and on the proposal of the Secretary General of the Parliament, persons to work posts established by the Act of Organization and Classification of Working Positions and in relation to the Administration of the Parliament and staffers in the Administration perform tasks which in relation to state organs and staffers in these organs are performed by the Government; determine reimbursements and remunerations for work to scientists and researchers for their engagement in the working bodies of the Parliament; perform other tasks stipulated by law or some other regulation.

Commission for Election and Appointments shall have a president and 12 members. ƒ Commission for Mandates and Immunity Issues shall: discuss reasons for termination of mandate of a certain MP and submit a report thereof to the Parliament accompanied by a proposal for filling the parliamentary vacancy; report of the Republican Electoral Commission on filling the parliamentary vacancy; issues of exercise or denial of an MP's immunity and other issues related to mandates and immunity rights of MPs. Commission for mandates and immunity issues shall have a president and four members.

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ƒ Commission for Monitoring of Openness and Transparency of Privatization Procedure shall follow implementation of openness and transparency of privatization procedure by: - informing the public with the privatization process and procedures, - examining objections of participants in privatization procedure referring to the violation of the principal of openness and transparency, - monitoring of annual plans of privatization passed by the Government, - monitoring of the work of the Council for Privatization, - examining information provided by the carrier of privatization process, - proposing of regulations and amendments to the regulations by which the principles of openness and transparency are exercised and the procedure privatization process improved, - initiating discussion in the Parliament on the issues of openness and transparency of privatization process, - giving out recommendations to the state organs - careers of the privatization process in terms of ensuring openness and transparency of the privatization process, - pointing out to violations of the principles of openness and transparency, - initiating and proposing the procedure of accountability of the institutions and individuals for breaches of openness and transparency of the privatization process.

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The Commission, at least once a year, shall submit the report on openness and transparency of the privatization process. Commission for Monitoring of Openness and Transparency of Privatization Procedure shall have a president and nine members. ƒ Commission for Allocation of Funds to the NGOs based on the public competition announced each year, shall perform the allocation of funds for giving financial assistance to the NGOs provided in the Budget of the Republic. Commission for Allocation of Funds to the NGOs shall have a president and six members. ƒ Ad hoc working bodies operating in the Parliament of the Republic of Montenegro are the following: Council for Constitutional Affairs, Working Group for Drafting Rules of Procedures of the Parliament of the Republic of Montenegro, Working Group for Preparation of the Law on Property on Former Social Political Organizations.

5.3. PARTY CAUCUSES arty caucuses (hereinafter: club of MPs) shall be established in the Parliament. A club of MPs shall contain at least two MPs, and one MP may be a member of only one club of MPs. As a rule, a club of MPs is constituted at the first session of the Parliament, by submitting a list of members of the club signed by each member of the club to the President.

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6.1. PARLIAMENTARY OVERSIGHT OVER THE EXECUTIVE

arliamentary oversight over the executive is one of the basic parliament's functions in a parliamentary system.

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The most efficient tool of parliamentary oversight over the executive is the right of the parliament to pass the budget. Without the budget, i.e. financies, the government is not able to perform its function, so that non-passing the budget in the parliament is equal to the fall of the government. All other tools used by the parliament to oversight the government can be divided into two groups: the first group consists of tools used by the parliament to get informed on the work of the government, and the second group consists of the tools for questioning political responsibility of the government in the parliament. Tools used by the parliament to get informed on the work of government can be permanent and temporary. Permanent tools for parliamentary oversight over the work of government are standing parliamentary commissions/committees. Temporary tools of the parliamentary oversight of government are the following: inquiry committees, parliamentary questions and interpellation. From the tools for questioning political responsibility of the government, a motion of no-confidence vote is a typical tool in parliamentarism.

Inquiry committees Inquiry committees are formed in order to examine an important issue related the work of the government.

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Parliamentary questions A parliamentary question is a concrete question posed by an MP to a member of the government or to the government as a state organ in oral or written form. It has to be posed clearly and it may not be of an argumentative nature or contain comments referred to other people and events. A response to the MP question is given at the same sitting when it was posed by an MP or at the following sitting of the parliament, in any case during the same sitting. An MP may pose the maximum of three questions at each sitting. After the response to the MP's question, there is no debate in the parliament. After s/he has been given the answer, an MP who posed the question may comment the answer in the time limit of three minutes and pose an additional question. It means that the member of the government who gave the answer can take floor once more, but with this, the entire procedure regarding the parliamentary question has to be finished. As you can see, when it is about the parliamentary question, we have an MP who asks and a member of the government who answers the question. There is no debate or voting on parliamentary questions. The purpose of parliamentary questions is the information which could discredit the government or be of significance for the eventual questioning of political responsibility of the government in the parliament.

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ƒ Rostrum in the Parliamentary hall

PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS Parliamentary questions - a mechanism by which legislators can request information from executive leaders and call them to account on policy actions - are the traditional form of oversight in parliamentary systems. Although originally developed in the British House of Commons, this practice can now be found around the world. Parliamentary questions are the best known in their oral form, when opposition members interrogate government leaders on policy issues during a forum known as "question time". Question time is generally a dynamic and very public process. Question time serves essentially two purposes. One purpose is oversight. Forcing parliamentary leaders to answer questions allows ordinary MPs and the public at large to examine (and eventually pass judgment on) government policies and measures. The second purpose is political. Parliamentary questions offer a forum to both governing and opposition parties to engage in partisan debate, often for the benefit of an interested public. Ăƒ

From parliamentary practice of other countries

Interpellation The interpellation is a qualified question submitted to a member of the Government or the entire Government. At least one quarter of the total number of MPs may submit the interpellation for a debate on certain political issues connected with the work of the Government. The interpellation shall be submitted to the Speaker of the Parliament in a written form, and the issue to be discussed must be concisely formulated and explained.

The Speaker of the Parliament shall deliver the interpellation to MPs and to the Government. If some MPs decide to give up on interpellation so that the number of submitters goes below 1/4 of the total number of MPs it shall be considered that the interpellation was withdrawn. The debate on the interpellation may be closed by making a decision on issues in the interpellation, but may also be closed without making a decision. In comparison to parliamentary questions, in the interpellation, the emphasis is put on the debate, while the parliamentary question is asked concretely and it requires response without possibility to open a debate.

To interpelate means to ask, but ask and protest

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THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE INTERPELLATION AND PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS One of the differences between the interpellation and parliamentary questions is the debate. In interpellation the debate is conducted because the government is asked to explain and justify its procedure which MPs tend to deny in the parliament. The question in the interpellation, is usually an important issue of national interest. While in parliamentary questions we have an MP who poses a question and a memeber of government who responds, in interpellation all the MPs and all government members can take part in the debate. In comparison to parliamentary quesitons, the interpellation usually ends with voting. The purpose of the interpellation is not the information as it is in parliamentary questions, but discussion and debate, which could be followed by sanctions to the government. Ã

From parliamentary practice of other countries

ƒ Plenary Hall

Vote of no confidence A motion of no confidence vote to the Government must contain the reasons why the vote of no confidence is proposed. A debate on the motion is opened at the session of the Parliament. Before the debate opens, a representative of the proposer has the right to justify the motion, and the Prime Minister to answer them. Upon the conclusion of the debate, MPs shall conduct a no confidence vote.

The Government itself can also initiate a vote of confidence in the Parliament. The question of the vote of confidence may be asked and explained by the Prime Minister on behalf of the Government. Upon the conclusion of the debate, MPs shall vote on confidence vote.

One of the most frequent tools for questioning political responsibility of the government in parliamentarism is a motion of no confidence vote. Such motion is posed by a certain number of MPs in the parliament. For the recall of the government, it is necessary that the same proposal is adopted by the same majority of MPs needed for the government's election. The government is obliged to resign in case of a successful no-confidence vote. Ã

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LEGISLATIVE HEARINGS Parliamentary practice in some developed countries includes the instrument of legislative hearings which can be defined as a mechanism for gathering of information used by parliamentary committees. Legislative hearings can be conducted on the issues such as lack of some legal solutions, but more frequently legislative hearings are organized on already proposed laws and other acts. The purpose of legislative hearing is to track the level of implementation of government's policies and activities. Legislative hearings give possibility to the citizens to participate in the process of defining opinions on certain issues and thus help in raising public awereness on certain measures or issues. We believe that this instrument will be included in the text of the new Rules of Procedure of the Parliament of Montenegro. Ăƒ

ƒ One of the committee rooms in the Montenegrin Parliament.

From parliamentary practice of other countries


PARLIAMENTARY

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SOURCES

We used the following sources for the development of "Parliamentary guide" 1. The Constitution of the Republic of Montenegro; 2. The Rules of Procedure of the Parliament of the Republic of Montenegro, 3. The Rules of Procedure of the Government of the Republic of Montenegro, 4. Montenegrin Constitutions, Organizations and Composition of State Organs, MPs and Ministers from 1946-1998 - by Slobodan Dragovi}, 5. Constitutional Law, PhD R. Markovi}, 6. Website of the Parliament of Montenegro, www.skupstina.cg.yu, 7. NDI website www.ndicrnagora.org, 7. Website of Podgorica www.podgorica.cg.yu. We want to thank the Speaker of the Montenegrin Parliament, Mr. Ranko Krivokapi} and members of his cabinet and Secretary General of the Montenegrin Parliament, Mr. Milan Radovi} and members of the Parliamentary administration for giving support in drafting the second updated edition of the "Parliamentary guide". We would also like to thank PhD Radoslav Raspopovi} and Tatjana Koprivica for their support and censorship they provided us in drafting the second part of this guide. We owe special gratitude to Lisa C McLean, Zuzana Dzurikova and Nata{a Bulatovi} from the National Democratic Institute and Deputy Secretary General, Mr. Slobodan Dragovi} for their suggestions and support given in drafting of the "Parliamentary guide". At the end we would like to thank all the participants of all generations of the Internship Program in the Parliament of the Republic of Montenegro and all those who helped us in any other way in order to publish this guide.

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Parliamentary guide