Organization and the rules of the Senate of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan
Organizational forms of business of the Senate of the Oliy Majlis
The order of sessions of the Senate and its bodies
Sessions of the upper chamber are convened in Tashkent in the administrative building of the Senate of the
Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan in the plenary session hall. Each senator has his/her own seat equipped
with modern electronic means of voting in the session hall of the Senate. A specific layout of seats of senators,
which usually remain unchanged, is made available prior to the first organizational session of the upper chamber.
Under the current legislation the Senate holds a minimum of three sessions a year. However, it is stipulated by the law that, when necessary, the Senate may call an extraordinary session. The President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Senate Chairperson or at least one third of the total number of senators have a right to convene an extraordinary session.
The Senate sessions are considered valid if at least half of the total number of senators in the upper chamber are present. A quorum in the session is required for the Senate to be eligible for: consideration of laws adopted by the lower chamber and submitted to the Senate in accordance with established order; approval officials’ appointments; exercising parliamentary control and other issues in the upper chamber’s competence.
However, legislation requires a mandatory presence of a minimum of two thirds of the senators to consider issues pertaining to approval of the Constitution of Uzbekistan, constitutional laws or laws making amendments and addenda to them.
According to the Rules of the Senate its session are held, as a rule, on working days from 10.00 to 13.00 and then from 15.00 to 18.00. Sessions of the Senate are held in the official language, i.e. in Uzbek and, when necessary, a simultaneous interpretation into other languages is provided. Sessions are open to the public and covered by the mass media. In exceptional cases, the Senate has the right to hold a closed session on proposal of the President of Republic Uzbekistan, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Chairperson, the Kengash or of any one of the Senate committees. The following officials are entitled to be attend open and closed sessions of the Senate:
- The President of the Republic of Uzbekistan;
- The Speaker of the Legislative chamber;
- The Prime Minister;
- Members of the Cabinet of Ministers;
- The Chairpersons of the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court and the Supreme Economic Court;
- The General Public Prosecutor of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
Other officials are allowed to take part in closed sessions if the Senate so decides.
Meetings of committees and commissions of the Senate constitute yet another organizational form of business of the Senate. Meetings of committees and commissions of the Senate are held between plenary sessions of the Senate. It is important to emphasize that committee and commission meetings cannot be held during plenary sessions of the Senate. A committee meeting is considered valid if at least half the senators on that committee attend.
Agenda of Senate sessions. Prior to a plenary session of the upper chamber a great deal of organizational work is done. The Kengash and the Senate committees play an important and active role. A draft agenda of the Senate’s plenary session is drawn up at the Kengash meeting, which is held in between Senate. A draft agenda contains issues to be considered during the Senate’s plenary session and it lists a sequence of items for consideration, responsible committees of the chamber, rapporteur (co-rapporteur). Committees have a significant role in working out the draft agenda and they are responsible for dealing with issues in their ve competence and including them on the draft agenda. After the Senate Kengash draws up the draft agenda of the plenary session, each member of the upper chamber receives an official notice of an impending session and its agenda for joint consideration. At the beginning of the session the Senate of the Oliy Majlis approves the agenda by a resolution.
Course of the session. A general order of consideration of each issue involves hearing principal and supporting reports, debates and concluding remarks. The Rules of the Senate of the Oliy Majlis establishes a time limit for statements. As a rule, the limit is 30 minutes for a principal report, 20 minutes for a supporting report and 15 minutes for concluding remarks. About 10 minutes are allotted to senators participating in debates.
Up to 3 minutes are allotted to make a repeated statement in debates, statements on the point of order, reasons for voting, candidates, statements, questions, suggestions, messages and references. Senators may intervene on the same issue no more than twice during a debate.
Time limits established in the Rules of the upper chamber for statements are only recommendations and
the chair of the plenary session (as a rule, the Senate Chairperson or vice-chairperson) can, with the majority’s
consent, modify the time limit, of the debate as a whole as well as the question and answer sessions.
A rapporteur and supporting rapporteur have the right to make concluding remarks at the end of debates.
During the session a chair presiding over the session of the Senate makes sure the point of order is respected and, if a senator exceeds his time limit or speaks about an irrelevant issue, then the chair has the right to deprive him/her of the right to speak followed by a warning.
Voting procedure and passing a resolution. Senate resolutions are passed during its sessions by
means of open or secret voting. Voting by show of hands can be held by way of roll-calls. The senator exercises
this voting right in person, meaning nobody is entitled to vote on his/her behalf and this is his/her inalienable
right for the period of execution of powers in this capacity.
Voting at plenary sessions of the Senate, as a rule, is carried out by means of an electronic voting system.
Each member of the Senate has a special electronic voting panel on his/her seat in the session hall and each senator uses a personal electronic identification card to activate this panel. In each case, a vote is cast by pressing buttons: «In favour», «Against» or «Abstention». When voting is finished the results are displayed on a monitor on the wall. The procedure of electronic voting during Senate sessions is supervised by a group of senators elected, as a rule, during the first session.
There are voting papers available for secret voting. A decision on the form and fashion of voting is taken by the Senate by a show of hands, except for cases when the form and fashion of voting on a particular issue determined by the Constitution of Uzbekistan and other constitutional laws.
Order of holding joint sessions of the Senate and the Legislative chamber of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan The Constitution of Uzbekistan provides an opportunity for joint sessions of the two chambers. Joint sessions of the Senate and the Legislative chamber constitute a joint organizational form of business within the framework of the bicameral parliament of Uzbekistan. Such sessions are held on the occasion of special and important events in the political life of the state such as the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan taking an oath, the
President of the Republic of Uzbekistan making a statement on major social and economic, domestic and foreign policy issues, statements by heads of states of foreign countries.
The President of Uzbekistan, the Senate Chairperson, the Speaker of the Legislative chamber, as well as at least one third of deputies or senators from the respective chambers are entitled to initiate a joint session of chambers of the Oliy Majlis. Prior to deciding to call a joint session the Senate Chairperson and the Speaker of the Legislative chamber hold consultations to set a date and receive suggestions regarding the agenda.
Joint sessions of the chambers are open to the public. They are considered valid if a minimum of two thirds of the senators and deputies of those chambers attend. The Senate Chairperson and the Speaker of the Legislative Chamber take it in turns to preside over joint sessions. A joint resolution of chambers may be passed after consideration of matters examined in the joint session, as a rule, by means of separate voting.
Functions in the Senate of the Oliy Majlis Apart from the sessions of the chamber and of its bodies the Senate also devotes a great deal of time to debating fundamental social economic and political issues involving the community and also representatives of various state bodies by means of organizing conferences, workshops and round table discussions. Since this aspect of its work is so important the Senate adopted Regulations on the order of organization and conducting conferences, «round table» discussions and workshops by committees of the Senate of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan dated June 29, 2006 which contains procedures and other points of order to regulate such events. The basic objectives of conferences, «round tables» discussions and workshops organized by the Senate are as follows:
- Drawing up specific proposals and recommendations with a view to improving the legislation currently in force, and also resolving problems on issues raised in the course of these events (based on the participants’ suggestions);
- Summarizing conclusions of experts and scientists on improvement of the legislation, and also studying the experience of foreign states in legislative regulation;
- Consideration and deliberation of regional development issues and regional problems;
- Discussion of problems revealed by Senate committees regarding the overseeing of the
implementation of the laws of the Republic of Uzbekistan, resolutions of the Senate (of the Kengash
of the Senate) and of the Senate committees by executive government bodies;
- Acting on information obtained during these events conducting oversight activities by committees of the Senate;
- Wide mass media coverage of the business of Senate committees and creating public awareness;
- Furthering the theoretical knowledge and reinforcing practical skills of senators, deputies of local Kengashes of people’s deputies;
- Revealing the most pressing problems in various spheres of political and economic relations, and developing scientific bases and practical skills to solve these problems;
- Increasing participants’ legal awareness and contribution to the rule of law in the society;
- Consideration and discussion of other issues related to the business of the Senate.
A set of suggestions and recommendations made by the Senate to various state bodies and officials is drawn up at the end of each event.