An upper house is one of two chambers of a bicameral legislature, the other chamber being the lower house. The house formally designated as the upper house is smaller and has more restricted power than the lower house. Examples of upper houses in countries include the Australian Senate, Brazil's Senado Federal, the Canadian Senate, France's Sénat, Germany's Bundesrat, India's Rajya Sabha, Ireland's Seanad, Malaysia's Dewan Negara, the Netherlands' Eerste Kamer, Pakistan's Senate of Pakistan, Russia's Federation Council, Switzerland's Council of States, United Kingdom's House of Lords and the United States Senate. A legislature composed of only one house is described as unicameral. An upper house is different from the lower house in at least one of the following respects: Powers: In a parliamentary system, it has much less power than the lower house. Therefore, in certain countries the Upper House votes on only limited legislative matters, such as constitutional amendments, cannot initiate most kinds of legislation those pertaining to supply/money, cannot vote a motion of no confidence against the government, while the lower house always can.
In a presidential system: It may have nearly equal power with the lower house. It may have specific powers not granted to the lower house. For example: It may give consent to some executive decisions, it may have the sole power to try impeachment cases against officials of the executive or judicial branch, following enabling resolutions passed by the lower house. It may have the sole power to ratify treaties. In a semi-presidential system, like France It may have less power than the lower house: in France, the Government can decide to legislate a normal law without the Sénat's agreement, but It may have equal power to the lower house regarding the constitution or the territorial collectivities, it may not vote a motion of no confidence against the government, but it may investigate State cases. It may make proposals of laws to the lower house. Status: In some countries, its members are not popularly elected, its members may be elected with a different voting system than that used to elect the lower house.
Less populated states, provinces, or administrative divisions may be better represented in the upper house than in the lower house. Members' terms may be for life. Members may be elected in portions, for staggered terms, rather than all at one time. In some countries, the upper house cannot be dissolved at all, or can be dissolved only in more limited circumstances than the lower house, it has fewer members or seats than the lower house. It has a higher age of candidacy than the lower house. In parliamentary systems the upper house is seen as an advisory or "revising" chamber; some or all of the following restrictions are placed on upper houses: Lack of control over the executive branch. No absolute veto of proposed legislation, though suspensive vetoes are permitted in some states. In countries where it can veto legislation, it may not be able to amend the proposals. A reduced or absent role in initiating legislation. No power to block supply, or budget measures In parliamentary democracies and among European upper houses the Italian Senate is a notable exception to these general rules, in that it has the same powers as its lower counterpart: any law can be initiated in either house and must be approved in the same form by both houses.
Additionally, a Government must have the consent of both to remain in office, a position, known as "perfect bicameralism" or "equal bicameralism". The role of a revising chamber is to scrutinise legislation that may have been drafted over-hastily in the lower house and to suggest amendments that the lower house may reject if it wishes to. An example is the British House of Lords. Under the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949, the House of Lords can no longer prevent the passage of most bills, but it must be given an opportunity to debate them and propose amendments, can thereby delay the passage of a bill with which it disagrees. Bills can only be delayed for up to one year before the Commons can use the Parliament Act, although economic bills can only be delayed for one month, it is sometimes seen as having a special role of safeguarding the uncodified Constitution of the United Kingdom and important civil liberties against ill-considered change. The British House of Lords has a number of ways to block legislation and to reject it, the House of Commons can use the Parliament Act to force something through.
The Commons will bargain and negotiate with the Lords such as wh
Léonard She Okitundu
Léonard She Okitundu Lundula is a Congolese diplomat who has served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and one of the Vice Prime Ministers of the Democratic Republic of the Congo since December 2016 until March 2019. He has held a number of other government offices in the DRC and Zaïre, being the Foreign Minister before, a Senator, chief of staff of President Joseph Kabila's administration; the son of Dovell Okitundu and Kitenge Avoki, Okitundu was a lawyer by training and worked for Caritas Development in Switzerland for quite a long while, until 1997. Okitundu replaced Abdoulaye Yerodia Ndombasi in 2000 as the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the DRC, having been minister of human rights since March 15, 1999. In December 2001, he visited Japan for a ministerial meeting of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development. From 2003 to 2006, Okitundu was chief of staff of President Joseph Kabila. On a visit to London during the 2006 general election in October 2006, he was attacked by men who were suspected of being opponents of Kabila outside the Foreign Office and was admitted to Central Middlesex Hospital.
He is a member of the Senate of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In December 2016, Okitundu replaced Raymond Tshibanda as Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation as President Kabila reshuffled the cabinet in a deal with the Congolese opposition, postponing the general election, supposed to occur that month; the next month, he represented the DRC at the Africa–France summit. In February Okitundu met with Christos Stylianides, the European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection, he met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in March 2017 and discussed a number of issues, including Democratic Republic of the Congo–Russia relations and regional issues. That July he met with Russian Ambassador to the DRC Igor Evdokimov and they discussed the two countries' cooperation within the framework of international organizations, as well as economic relations. In November 2017, Okitundu traveled to several countries, meeting with Didier Reynders, his Belgian counterpart, at an African Union–European Union summit in Ivory Coast, where they discussed the opening of Belgium's new embassy in Kinshasa and increasing Belgium–Democratic Republic of the Congo relations.
He met with Sushma Swaraj, Minister of External Affairs of India, where they spoke of increasing bilateral relations between the two countries. He stepped down as foreign minister on 7 March 2019. Europa Publications. Africa South of the Sahara 2004. Routledge. ISBN 978-1857431834
Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
The prime minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo is Congo's head of government. The current prime minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo is Vital Kamerhe; the position of prime minister was present in the first government after independence of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with the first prime minister Patrice Emery Lumumba. Over the years the position's powers and attributions have varied and there were long periods of time under Mobutu Sese Seko and the period following the First Congo War, when the position was abolished in 1966; the position was restored by Mobutu in 1977, as the title of "First State Commissioner" which, in reality, was weak in comparison to the pre-war office of Prime Minister, was occupied by several individuals who were appointed at Mobutu's whim. The office became vacant with Mobutu's forced ouster in 1997. Aside from the Lumumba Government, the Congo has known several powerful figures in the position, such as Moise Tshombe, who had led a secession of his native Katanga province, Étienne Tshisekedi, the long-time opponent of the Mobutu regime, brought to this position three times, by pressure from the people.
The position resurfaced as an institution of the Third Republic's constitution, Antoine Gizenga was appointed as the first Prime Minister of the Third Republic, on 30 December 2006. Gizenga, one of the few active and living politicians to hail from the DRC's colonial past, was Lumumba's Deputy-Prime Minister in 1960, served as Prime Minister of a rival national government in rebellion in February 1961. Under the constitution of the Third Republic, the prime minister shares the leadership of the executive branch of government with the president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo; the prime minister is appointed by the President, from the party or political group that has the majority in the National Assembly. The prime minister has a secondary role in the executive branch, when he or she is from the same party as the president, as the head of the executive is constitutionally the President. However, when there is cohabitation the prime minister's importance is enhanced because the president has little power to be exercised by himself or herself alone.
The constitution does not expressly outline any direct requirement for this position. The only litmus is the approval by the National Assembly of the government's composition and program, which leads to the investiture of the government. Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo List of heads of government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo List of heads of state of the Democratic Republic of the CongoHistorical: Colonial Heads of Congo Rulers of Katanga Rulers of Kuba Rulers of Luba Rulers of Ruund Rulers of Kasongo Luunda Rulers of Kongo Zaire
President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
The President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, is the head of state of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and commander-in-chief of the armed forces. The position of president in the DRC has existed since the first constitution – known as The Fundamental Law – of 1960; however the powers of this position have varied over the years, from a limited shared role in the executive branch, with a prime minister, to a full-blown dictatorship. Under the current constitution, the President exists as the highest institution in a semi-presidential republic; the president is protected by the Republican Guard. The constitutional mandate of the president, Joseph Kabila, was due to expire on 20 December 2016 but was extended by him until the end of 2017 and he continued to remain in post until a presidential election was held in December 2018 when Félix Tshisekedi was elected and took office on 24 January 2019; the semi-presidential system established by the constitution is borrowed from the French constitution.
Although it is the prime minister and parliament that oversee much of the nation's actual lawmaking, the president wields significant influence, both formally and from constitutional convention. The president holds the nation's most senior office, outranks all other politicians; the president's greatest power is his or her ability to choose the prime minister. However, the President must nominate the prime minister from among the parliamentary majority after consultation with the parliamentary majority, if an obvious majority exists, if it does not exist, must nominate a prime minister who has a once renewable 30 day exploratory mandate to form a coalition; the prime minister and cabinet must present their plan of action to the National Assembly, which must approve the government and the plan of action by an absolute majority. Only the National Assembly has the power to dismiss the Prime Minister's government; when the majority of the Assembly has opposite political views to that of the president, this leads to political cohabitation.
In that case, the president's power is diminished, since much of the de facto power relies on a supportive prime minister and National Assembly, is not directly attributed to the post of president. Still, the constitutional convention is that the president directs foreign policy, though he must work on that matter with the Minister of Foreign Affairs; when the majority of the Assembly sides with him, the President can take a more active role and may, in effect, direct government policy. The prime minister is de a mere "fuse" – and can be replaced if the administration becomes unpopular. Among the formal powers of the president: The president ensures respect of the constitution and ensures the proper functioning of the public authorities and institutions as well as the continuity of the State, he guarantees the independence, territorial integrity, sovereignty of the nation and ensures the observance of international treaties. The president appoints the Prime Minister and, acting on the advice of the latter and removes the other members of the government.
The president convokes and presides at meetings of the Council of Ministers, promulgates the laws, issues ordinances The president invests the elected Governors and Vice-Governors of the Provinces with their powers. The president appoints and removes, on the proposal of the government and after deliberation by the Council of Ministers:Ambassadors and other diplomatic personnel; the president chairs the High Defense Council. The president confers national honors; the president may declare a state of emergency or a state of siege "When grave circumstances constitute a present threat to the independence or the integrity of the national territory or when they provoke the disruption of the proper functioning of the institutions." The president may declare war with the authorization of both chambers of parliament, after deliberation by the Council of Ministers, after hearing the opinion of the High Defense Council. The President may reduce sentences; the President appoints and accredits ambassadors to foreign countries and international organizations, receives ambassadors accredited to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The President defines national policy in coordination with the government and is responsible, in cooperation with the government, for defense and foreign affairs. The president has a limited form of suspensive veto: when presented with a law, he or she can request another reading of it by parliament, but only once per law. Article 72 of the Congolese constitution states that the President must be a natural-born citizen – or more accurately: French: citoyen d'origine – of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, at least 30 years of age. Additionally, the President must be free of any legal constraints on their civil and political rights. Article 10 of the same constitution defines citoyen d'origine as: "anyone belonging to the ethnic groups whose persons and territory constituted what became the Congo, at
The United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo or MONUSCO, an acronym based on its French name, is a United Nations peacekeeping force in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, established by the United Nations Security Council in resolutions 1279 and 1291 of the United Nations Security Council to monitor the peace process of the Second Congo War, though much of its focus subsequently turned to the Ituri conflict, the Kivu conflict and the Dongo conflict. The mission was known as the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo or MONUC, an acronym of its French name Mission de l'Organisation des Nations Unies en République démocratique du Congo, until 2010; the initial UN presence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, before the passing of Resolution 1291, was a force of military observers to observe and report on the compliance on factions with the peace accords, a deployment authorised by the earlier Resolution 1258. Resolution 2348 provides the authority for the current MONUSCO mandate.
Since 1999, about US$8.74 billion has been spent to fund the UN peacekeeping effort in DRC. As of October 2017, the total strength of UN peacekeeping troops in DRC is 18,300. More than thirty nations have contributed military and police personnel for peacekeeping effort, with India being the single largest contributor. In June 2011, it was reported that India is preparing to scale back its military commitment to MONUSCO; the origin of this second United Nations military presence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is found in the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement on 17 July 1999 and the following United Nations Security Council Resolution 1258 of 6 August 1999, authorizing the deployment of a maximum of 90 officers. The first liaison officers arrived in the DRC on 3 September 1999. In November 1999 the number of liaison officers totaled 39, distributed in the capitals of the warring countries including 24 who were stationed in Kinshasa. In January 2000 they reached the number of 79 and they were spread over the whole territory of DRC.
Their mission was to liaise with all the warring factions, give a technical assistance and prepare the deployment of military observers. On 24 February 2000 with the resolution 1291, the U. N. Security Council authorized the deployment of a maximum of 5537 military personnel in the DRC, including 500 military observers. On 4 April 2000 the Senegalese Major General Mountago Diallo was appointed as the commander of MONUSCO's military force; the mandate is to monitor the implementation of the Ceasefire Agreement and the redeployment of belligerent forces, to develop an action plan for the overall implementation of the Ceasefire Agreement, to work with the parties to obtain the release of all prisoners of war, military captives and the return of the remains, to facilitate humanitarian assistance and to assist the Facilitator of the National Dialogue. Acting under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the U. N. Security Council authorized MONUC to take the necessary action, in the areas of deployment of its infantry battalions, to protect UN personnel, facilities and equipment, ensure the security and freedom of movement of its personnel, to protect civilians under imminent threat of physical violence.
In December 2000 there were 224 military personnel deployed, including 148 observers in 13 points around the country. The observers could only record the non-application of the Ceasefire, the violent fighting at Kisangani and in the Equateur and Katanga provinces as well as the presence of foreign troops in the DRC; the deployment of UN troops was impossible due to the security situation and the reluctance of the Congolese government. Though the beginning of 2001 was still hampered by sporadic combat, the military observers could fulfill their mission in regards with the disengagement of forces and the withdrawal of some of the Rwandan and Ugandan forces. In March 2001, the first Uruguayan guard unit arrived in Kalemie; the force was deployed in four sectors at Kananga, Kisangani and Mbandaka. In July 2001, the force strength was of 2366 soldiers, including 363 military observers distributed in 22 cities and 28 teams monitoring the disengagement of forces; the contingent soldiers totaled 1869.
They came from South Africa, Morocco and Tunisia. Guard units protected MONUC installations in Kinshasa, Kisangani, Kalemie and Mbandaka. A Uruguayan riverine unit and a South African air medical evacuation team were deployed; the deployed troops were only to protect the sites against looting and theft, the force had neither the mandate nor the strength to protect the civilian population, or to extract MONUC personnel. Following the Security Council Resolution 1355, the military observers, within their capacities, could contribute to the voluntary disarmament, demobilization and reintegration process of the armed groups. With Security Council Resolution 1376, the Security Council launched the third phase of the deployment of MONUC troops, in the East of DRC; the site for the logistical base was planned to be Kindu. In 2002, the 450 military observers, split in 95 teams, continued to monitor the Ceasefire along the ex-frontlines; the teams investigated violations of the Ceasefire. Foreign troops continued to leave the country.
The riverine units escorted the first ships on the Congo river, again open to commercial traffic. In June 2002 the UN troops' total number was 3804. Contingents from Ghana and Bolivia joined the force, of which more than a third of the soldiers were Uru
Democratic Republic of the Congo passport
The DRC passport is issued to citizens of the Democratic Republic of the Congo for international travel. On 1 January 2010, the Government invalidated all passports not of the series OB if the expiry date was beyond 1 January 2010; because passports not of the series OB were no longer considered valid travel documents from that date onwards, holders were obliged to apply for new DRC passports in order to travel. The passport costs 185 US dollars, it has been reported that the Congolese government receives a share of 65 US dollars, with the remainder going to the Belgian company Semlex and the Emirati company LRPS. The contract with these companies has not been awarded in a public tender, it has been alleged that both companies have ties to the Congolese President Joseph Kabila; as of 1 January 2017, Democratic Republic of the Congo citizens had visa-free or visa on arrival access to 40 countries and territories, ranking the Democratic Republic of the Congo passport 94th in terms of travel freedom according to the Henley visa restrictions index.
Visa requirements for Democratic Republic of the Congo citizens List of passports
A legislature is a deliberative assembly with the authority to make laws for a political entity such as a country or city. Legislatures form important parts of most governments. Laws enacted by legislatures are known as primary legislation. Legislatures observe and steer governing actions and have exclusive authority to amend the budget or budgets involved in the process; the members of a legislature are called legislators. In a democracy, legislators are most popularly elected, although indirect election and appointment by the executive are used for bicameral legislatures featuring an upper chamber. Names for national legislatures include "parliament", "congress", "diet", "assembly", depending on country; each chamber of the legislature consists of a number of legislators who use some form of parliamentary procedure to debate political issues and vote on proposed legislation. There must be a certain number of legislators present to carry out these activities; some of the responsibilities of a legislature, such as giving first consideration to newly proposed legislation, are delegated to committees made up of a few of the members of the chamber.
The members of a legislature represent different political parties. Legislatures vary in the amount of political power they wield, compared to other political players such as judiciaries and executives. In 2009, political scientists M. Steven Fish and Matthew Kroenig constructed a Parliamentary Powers Index in an attempt to quantify the different degrees of power among national legislatures; the German Bundestag, the Italian Parliament, the Mongolian State Great Khural tied for most powerful, while Myanmar's House of Representatives and Somalia's Transitional Federal Assembly tied for least powerful. Some political systems follow the principle of legislative supremacy, which holds that the legislature is the supreme branch of government and cannot be bound by other institutions, such as the judicial branch or a written constitution; such a system renders the legislature more powerful. In parliamentary and semi-presidential systems of government, the executive is responsible to the legislature, which may remove it with a vote of no confidence.
On the other hand, according to the separation of powers doctrine, the legislature in a presidential system is considered an independent and coequal branch of government along with both the judiciary and the executive. Legislatures will sometimes delegate their legislative power to administrative or executive agencies. Legislatures are made up of individual members, known as legislators. A legislature contains a fixed number of legislators. For example, a legislature that has 100 "seats" has 100 members. By extension, an electoral district that elects a single legislator can be described as a "seat", as, example, in the phrases "safe seat" and "marginal seat". A legislature may debate and vote upon bills as a single unit, or it may be composed of multiple separate assemblies, called by various names including legislative chambers, debate chambers, houses, which debate and vote separately and have distinct powers. A legislature which operates as a single unit is unicameral, one divided into two chambers is bicameral, one divided into three chambers is tricameral.
In bicameral legislatures, one chamber is considered the upper house, while the other is considered the lower house. The two types are not rigidly different, but members of upper houses tend to be indirectly elected or appointed rather than directly elected, tend to be allocated by administrative divisions rather than by population, tend to have longer terms than members of the lower house. In some systems parliamentary systems, the upper house has less power and tends to have a more advisory role, but in others presidential systems, the upper house has equal or greater power. In federations, the upper house represents the federation's component states; this is a case with the supranational legislature of the European Union. The upper house may either contain the delegates of state governments – as in the European Union and in Germany and, before 1913, in the United States – or be elected according to a formula that grants equal representation to states with smaller populations, as is the case in Australia and the United States since 1913.
Tricameral legislatures are rare. Tetracameral legislatures no longer exist, but they were used in Scandinavia. Legislatures vary in their size. Among national legislatures, China's National People's Congress is the largest with 2 980 members, while Vatican City's Pontifical Commission is the smallest with 7. Neither legislature is democratically elected: the National People's Congress is indirectly elected. Legislature size is a trade off between representation. Comparative analysis of national legislatures has found that size of a country's lower house tends to be proportional to the cube root of its population.