Parliamentary system

Parliamentary system

Overview


A parliamentary system is a system of government in which the ministers
Minister (government)
A minister is a politician who holds significant public office in a national or regional government. Senior ministers are members of the cabinet....

 of the executive branch get their democratic legitimacy from the legislature
Legislature
A legislature is a kind of deliberative assembly with the power to pass, amend, and repeal laws. The law created by a legislature is called legislation or statutory law. In addition to enacting laws, legislatures usually have exclusive authority to raise or lower taxes and adopt the budget and...

 and are accountable to that body, such that the executive and legislative branches are intertwined.

Students of democracy such as Arend Lijphart
Arend Lijphart
Arend d'Angremond Lijphart is a world renowned political scientist specializing in comparative politics, elections and voting systems, democratic institutions, and ethnicity and politics. He received his PhD in Political Science at Yale University in 1963, after studying at the University of...

 divide parliamentary democracies into two different systems, the Westminster and Consensus systems.

  • The Westminster system
    Westminster System
    The Westminster system is a democratic parliamentary system of government modelled after the politics of the United Kingdom. This term comes from the Palace of Westminster, the seat of the Parliament of the United Kingdom....

     is usually found in Commonwealth of Nations
    Commonwealth of Nations
    The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

    , although it is not universal within nor exclusive to Commonwealth countries.
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A parliamentary system is a system of government in which the ministers
Minister (government)
A minister is a politician who holds significant public office in a national or regional government. Senior ministers are members of the cabinet....

 of the executive branch get their democratic legitimacy from the legislature
Legislature
A legislature is a kind of deliberative assembly with the power to pass, amend, and repeal laws. The law created by a legislature is called legislation or statutory law. In addition to enacting laws, legislatures usually have exclusive authority to raise or lower taxes and adopt the budget and...

 and are accountable to that body, such that the executive and legislative branches are intertwined.

Background


Students of democracy such as Arend Lijphart
Arend Lijphart
Arend d'Angremond Lijphart is a world renowned political scientist specializing in comparative politics, elections and voting systems, democratic institutions, and ethnicity and politics. He received his PhD in Political Science at Yale University in 1963, after studying at the University of...

 divide parliamentary democracies into two different systems, the Westminster and Consensus systems.

  • The Westminster system
    Westminster System
    The Westminster system is a democratic parliamentary system of government modelled after the politics of the United Kingdom. This term comes from the Palace of Westminster, the seat of the Parliament of the United Kingdom....

     is usually found in Commonwealth of Nations
    Commonwealth of Nations
    The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

    , although it is not universal within nor exclusive to Commonwealth countries. These parliaments tend to have a more adversarial style of debate and the plenary session of parliament is more important than committees. Some parliaments in this model are elected using a plurality voting system
    Plurality voting system
    The plurality voting system is a single-winner voting system often used to elect executive officers or to elect members of a legislative assembly which is based on single-member constituencies...

     (first past the post), such as the United Kingdom
    United Kingdom
    The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

    , Canada
    Canada
    Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

    , and India
    India
    India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

    , while others use proportional representation
    Proportional representation
    Proportional representation is a concept in voting systems used to elect an assembly or council. PR means that the number of seats won by a party or group of candidates is proportionate to the number of votes received. For example, under a PR voting system if 30% of voters support a particular...

    , such as Ireland
    Ireland
    Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

     and New Zealand
    New Zealand
    New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

    . The Australian House of Representatives
    Australian House of Representatives
    The House of Representatives is one of the two houses of the Parliament of Australia; it is the lower house; the upper house is the Senate. Members of Parliament serve for terms of approximately three years....

     is elected using instant-runoff voting
    Instant-runoff voting
    Instant-runoff voting , also known as preferential voting, the alternative vote and ranked choice voting, is a voting system used to elect one winner. Voters rank candidates in order of preference, and their ballots are counted as one vote for their first choice candidate. If a candidate secures a...

     while the Senate
    Australian Senate
    The Senate is the upper house of the bicameral Parliament of Australia, the lower house being the House of Representatives. Senators are popularly elected under a system of proportional representation. Senators are elected for a term that is usually six years; after a double dissolution, however,...

     is elected using proportional representation through single transferable vote
    Single transferable vote
    The single transferable vote is a voting system designed to achieve proportional representation through preferential voting. Under STV, an elector's vote is initially allocated to his or her most preferred candidate, and then, after candidates have been either elected or eliminated, any surplus or...

    . Regardless of which system is used, the voting systems tend to allow the voter to vote for a named candidate rather than a closed list
    Closed list
    Closed list describes the variant of party-list proportional representation where voters can only vote for political parties as a whole and thus have no influence on the party-supplied order in which party candidates are elected...

    .

  • Western European parliamentary model
    Western European parliamentary model
    The Western European parliamentary model, also known as the West German model , is a form of parliamentary system in which greater emphasis is placed upon consent between the wide number of sitting parties in the parliament The Western European parliamentary model, also known as the West German...

     (e.g., Spain
    Spain
    Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

    , Germany
    Germany
    Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

    ) tend to have a more consensual debating system, and usually have semi-cyclical debating chambers. Consensus systems have more of a tendency to use proportional representation
    Proportional representation
    Proportional representation is a concept in voting systems used to elect an assembly or council. PR means that the number of seats won by a party or group of candidates is proportionate to the number of votes received. For example, under a PR voting system if 30% of voters support a particular...

     with open party lists than the Westminster Model legislatures. The committees of these Parliaments tend to be more important than the plenary chamber. A specific example is sometimes called the West German
    West Germany
    West Germany is the common English, but not official, name for the Federal Republic of Germany or FRG in the period between its creation in May 1949 to German reunification on 3 October 1990....

     Model since its earliest exemplar in its final form was in the Bundestag
    Bundestag
    The Bundestag is a federal legislative body in Germany. In practice Germany is governed by a bicameral legislature, of which the Bundestag serves as the lower house and the Bundesrat the upper house. The Bundestag is established by the German Basic Law of 1949, as the successor to the earlier...

     of West Germany (which became the Bundestag of Germany upon the absorption of the GDR by the FRG
    German reunification
    German reunification was the process in 1990 in which the German Democratic Republic joined the Federal Republic of Germany , and when Berlin reunited into a single city, as provided by its then Grundgesetz constitution Article 23. The start of this process is commonly referred by Germans as die...

    ). Unlike in Germany however, some West European countries' parliaments (e.g., the Netherlands and Sweden
    Parliament of Sweden
    The Riksdag is the national legislative assembly of Sweden. The riksdag is a unicameral assembly with 349 members , who are elected on a proportional basis to serve fixed terms of four years...

    ) implement the principle of dualism
    Dualism (politics)
    In Dutch politics the term dualism is used to refer to the separation of powers between the Dutch cabinet and parliament. In this respect, the way the Dutch cabinets function is somewhere in between the USA and UK systems of government...

     as a form of separation of powers. In countries using this system, Members of Parliament have to resign their place in Parliament upon being appointed (or elected) minister. However, ministers in those countries usually actively participate in parliamentary debates - the main difference being their inability to vote.


There also exists a Hybrid Model, the semi-presidential system
Semi-presidential system
The semi-presidential system is a system of government in which a president and a prime minister are both active participants in the day-to-day administration of the state...

, drawing on both presidential systems and parliamentary systems, for example the French Fifth Republic
French Fifth Republic
The Fifth Republic is the fifth and current republican constitution of France, introduced on 4 October 1958. The Fifth Republic emerged from the collapse of the French Fourth Republic, replacing the prior parliamentary government with a semi-presidential system...

.

Implementations of the parliamentary system can also differ on whether the government needs the explicit approval of the parliament to form, rather than just the absence of its disapproval, and under what conditions (if any) the government has the right to dissolve the parliament, like Jamaica and many others.

A Parliamentary system may consist of two styles of Chambers of Parliament one with two chambers (or houses): an elected lower house, and an upper house or Senate which may be appointed or elected by a different mechanism from the lower house. This style of two houses is called bicameral system. Legislatures with only one house are known as unicameral system
Unicameralism
In government, unicameralism is the practice of having one legislative or parliamentary chamber. Thus, a unicameral parliament or unicameral legislature is a legislature which consists of one chamber or house...

.

Parliamentarianism may also be for governance in local government
Local government
Local government refers collectively to administrative authorities over areas that are smaller than a state.The term is used to contrast with offices at nation-state level, which are referred to as the central government, national government, or federal government...

s. An example is the city of Oslo
Oslo
Oslo is a municipality, as well as the capital and most populous city in Norway. As a municipality , it was established on 1 January 1838. Founded around 1048 by King Harald III of Norway, the city was largely destroyed by fire in 1624. The city was moved under the reign of Denmark–Norway's King...

, which has an executive council (Byråd) as a part of the parliamentary system.

Advantages of parliamentary systems


One of the commonly attributed advantages to parliamentary systems is that it's faster and easier to pass legislation
Legislation
Legislation is law which has been promulgated by a legislature or other governing body, or the process of making it...

. This is because the executive branch is dependent upon the direct or indirect support of the legislative branch and often includes members of the legislature
Legislature
A legislature is a kind of deliberative assembly with the power to pass, amend, and repeal laws. The law created by a legislature is called legislation or statutory law. In addition to enacting laws, legislatures usually have exclusive authority to raise or lower taxes and adopt the budget and...

. Thus, this would amount to the executive (as the majority party or coalition of parties in the legislature) possessing more votes in order to pass legislation. In a presidential system, the executive is often chosen independently from the legislature. If the executive and legislature in such a system include members entirely or predominantly from different political parties
Political Parties
Political Parties: A Sociological Study of the Oligarchical Tendencies of Modern Democracy is a book by sociologist Robert Michels, published in 1911 , and first introducing the concept of iron law of oligarchy...

, then stalemate can occur. Former US President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

 often faced problems in this regard, since the Republicans
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 controlled Congress for much of his tenure. Accordingly, the executive within a presidential system might not be able to properly implement his or her platform/manifesto. Evidently, an executive in any system (be it parliamentary, presidential or semi-presidential) is chiefly voted into office on the basis of his or her party's platform/manifesto. It could be said then that the will of the people is more easily instituted within a parliamentary system.

In addition to quicker legislative action, Parliamentarianism has attractive features for nations that are ethnically, racially, or ideologically
Ideology
An ideology is a set of ideas that constitutes one's goals, expectations, and actions. An ideology can be thought of as a comprehensive vision, as a way of looking at things , as in common sense and several philosophical tendencies , or a set of ideas proposed by the dominant class of a society to...

 divided. In a unipersonal presidential system, all executive power is concentrated in the president. In a parliamentary system, with a collegial executive, power is more divided. In the 1989 Lebanese
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

 Taif Agreement
Taif Agreement
The Taif Agreement was an agreement reached to provide "the basis for the ending of the civil war and the return to political normalcy in Lebanon." Negotiated in Taif, Saudi Arabia, it was designed to end the decades-long Lebanese civil war, politically accommodate the demographic...

, in order to give Muslims
Islam in Lebanon
Islam in Lebanon is divided between four Muslim sects; Shias, Sunnis, Alawites, and Ismailis including the Druze.Muslims account for 59.7% of the total population of Lebanon, where 39% are Christians. About 25% of the Lebanese population is Sunni, concentrated largely in coastal cities...

 greater political power, Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

 moved from a semi-presidential system
Semi-presidential system
The semi-presidential system is a system of government in which a president and a prime minister are both active participants in the day-to-day administration of the state...

 with a strong president to a system more structurally similar to classical parliamentarianism. Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 similarly disdained a presidential system out of fears that such a system would be tantamount to Shiite domination; Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

's minorities refused to go along with a presidency as strong as the Pashtuns
Pashtun people
Pashtuns or Pathans , also known as ethnic Afghans , are an Eastern Iranic ethnic group with populations primarily between the Hindu Kush mountains in Afghanistan and the Indus River in Pakistan...

 desired.

It can also be argued that power is more evenly spread out in the power structure of parliamentarianism. The prime minister seldom tends to have as high importance as a ruling president, and there tends to be a higher focus on voting for a party and its political ideas than voting for an actual person.

In The English Constitution
The English Constitution
The English Constitution is a book by Walter Bagehot. Written in 1867, it explores the constitution of the United Kingdom, specifically the functioning of Parliament and the British monarchy and the contrasts between British and American government...

, Walter Bagehot
Walter Bagehot
Walter Bagehot was an English businessman, essayist, and journalist who wrote extensively about literature, government, and economic affairs.-Early years:...

 praised parliamentarianism for producing serious debates, for allowing the change in power without an election, and for allowing elections at any time. Bagehot considered the four-year election rule of the United States to be unnatural.

There is also a body of scholarship, associated with Juan Linz
Juan Linz
Juan José Linz is a Spanish sociologist and political scientist. He is Sterling Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Yale University and an honorary member of the Scientific Council at the Juan March Institute...

, Fred Riggs
Frederick Charles Riggs
Frederick Charles Riggs VC MM was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.-Details:...

, Bruce Ackerman
Bruce Ackerman
Bruce Arnold Ackerman is an American constitutional law scholar. He is a Sterling Professor at Yale Law School and one of the most frequently cited legal academics in the United States....

, and Robert Dahl that claims that parliamentarianism is less prone to authoritarian collapse. These scholars point out that since World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, two-thirds of Third World
Third World
The term Third World arose during the Cold War to define countries that remained non-aligned with either capitalism and NATO , or communism and the Soviet Union...

 countries establishing parliamentary governments successfully made the transition to democracy. By contrast, no Third World presidential system successfully made the transition to democracy without experiencing coups and other constitutional breakdowns.

A recent World Bank
World Bank
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programmes.The World Bank's official goal is the reduction of poverty...

 study found that parliamentary systems are associated with lower corruption.

Criticisms of parliamentarianism



One of the main criticisms of many parliamentary systems is that the head of government is in almost all cases not directly elected. In a presidential system, the president is usually chosen directly by the electorate, or by a set of electors directly chosen by the people, separate from the legislature (see Electoral college
Electoral college
An electoral college is a set of electors who are selected to elect a candidate to a particular office. Often these represent different organizations or entities, with each organization or entity represented by a particular number of electors or with votes weighted in a particular way...

). However, in a parliamentary system the prime minister is elected by the legislature, often under the strong influence of the party leadership. Thus, a party's candidate for the head of government is usually known before the election, possibly making the election as much about the person as the party behind him or her.

Some constituencies may have a popular local candidate under an unpopular leader (or the reverse), forcing a difficult choice on the electorate. Mixed member proportional representation
Mixed member proportional representation
Mixed-member proportional representation, also termed mixed-member proportional voting and commonly abbreviated to MMP, is a voting system originally used to elect representatives to the German Bundestag, and nowadays adopted by numerous legislatures around the world...

 (where voters cast two ballots) can make this choice easier by allowing voters to cast one vote for the local candidate but also cast a second vote for another party.

Although Walter Bagehot
Walter Bagehot
Walter Bagehot was an English businessman, essayist, and journalist who wrote extensively about literature, government, and economic affairs.-Early years:...

 praised parliamentarianism for allowing an election to take place at any time, the lack of a definite election calendar can be abused. In some systems, such as the British, a ruling party can schedule elections when it feels that it is likely to do well, and so avoid elections at times of unpopularity. Thus, by wise timing of elections, in a parliamentary system a party can extend its rule for longer than is feasible in a functioning presidential system. This problem can be alleviated somewhat by setting fixed dates for parliamentary elections, as is the case in several of Australia's state parliaments. In other systems, such as the Dutch and the Belgian, the ruling party or coalition has some flexibility in determining the election date. Conversely, flexibility in the timing of parliamentary elections avoids having periods of legislative gridlock that can occur in a fixed period presidential system.

Critics of the Westminster parliamentary system point out that people with significant popular support in the community are prevented from becoming prime minister if they cannot get elected to parliament since there is no option to "run for prime minister" like one can run for president under a presidential system. Additionally, prime ministers may lose their positions solely because they lose their seats in parliament, even though they may still be popular nationally. Supporters of parliamentarianism can respond by saying that as members of parliament, prime ministers are elected firstly to represent their electoral constituents and if they lose their support then consequently they are no longer entitled to be prime minister. This is, however, a moot point if proportional representation is used.

In history, King Charles I of England famously rejected parliamentarianism during the 17th century, because he saw it as interfering with the "Divine Right of Kings
Divine Right of Kings
The divine right of kings or divine-right theory of kingship is a political and religious doctrine of royal and political legitimacy. It asserts that a monarch is subject to no earthly authority, deriving his right to rule directly from the will of God...

 to rule. He was tried and beheaded for treason
High Court of Justice for the trial of Charles I
The High Court of Justice is the name given to the court established by the Rump Parliament to try King Charles I of England. This was an ad hoc tribunal created specifically for the purpose of trying the king, although the same name was used again for subsequent courts.Neither the involvement of...

 by supporters of the parliamentarian Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell was an English military and political leader who overthrew the English monarchy and temporarily turned England into a republican Commonwealth, and served as Lord Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland....

 in 1649. Cromwell in turn became a dictator and the parliament restored constitutional monarchy in the 1660s. The Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

 included several critiques of parliamentarianism in his book Mein Kampf
Mein Kampf
Mein Kampf is a book written by Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. It combines elements of autobiography with an exposition of Hitler's political ideology. Volume 1 of Mein Kampf was published in 1925 and Volume 2 in 1926...

, writing that the Nazi movement was "anti-parliamentarian" because it rejects "a principle of majority rule in which the leader is degraded to the level of mere executant of other people's wills and opinion" and further that "By rejecting the authority of the individual and replacing it by the numbers of some momentary mob, the parliamentary principle of majority rule sins against the basic aristocratic principle of Nature"

Countries with a parliamentary system of government






Unicameral system


This table shows countries with parliament consisting of a single house.
Country Parliament
Albania
Albania
Albania , officially known as the Republic of Albania , is a country in Southeastern Europe, in the Balkans region. It is bordered by Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast, the Republic of Macedonia to the east and Greece to the south and southeast. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea...

 
Kuvendi
Assembly of Albania
The Parliament of Albania , formerly the People's Parliament is the unicameral parliament of the Republic of Albania.It has 140 members, elected for four-year terms. The electoral system is closed list proportional representation. There are 12 multi-member constituencies, corresponding to the...

Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

 
Jatiyo Sangshad
Jatiyo Sangshad
Jatiya Sangsad or National Assembly is the national parliament of Bangladesh. The current parliament of Bangladesh contains 345 seats including 45 women reserved seats distributed on elected party position in the parliament, the occupants of which are called Members of Parliament or MPs...

Bulgaria
Bulgaria
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

 
National Assembly
National Assembly of Bulgaria
The National Assembly of Bulgaria is the unicameral parliament and body of the legislative of the Republic of Bulgaria.The National Assembly of Bulgaria was established in 1879 with the Constitution of Bulgaria.-Ordinary National Assembly:...

Botswana
Botswana
Botswana, officially the Republic of Botswana , is a landlocked country located in Southern Africa. The citizens are referred to as "Batswana" . Formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted its new name after becoming independent within the Commonwealth on 30 September 1966...

 
Parliament
Parliament
A parliament is a legislature, especially in those countries whose system of government is based on the Westminster system modeled after that of the United Kingdom. The name is derived from the French , the action of parler : a parlement is a discussion. The term came to mean a meeting at which...

Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso – also known by its short-form name Burkina – is a landlocked country in west Africa. It is surrounded by six countries: Mali to the north, Niger to the east, Benin to the southeast, Togo and Ghana to the south, and Côte d'Ivoire to the southwest.Its size is with an estimated...

 
National Assembly
National Assembly of Burkina Faso
The unicameral National Assembly of Burkina Faso is the country's legislative body. In 1995, it became the lower house of a bicameral Parliament, but the upper house was abolished in 2002.-Past composition:...

Croatia
Croatia
Croatia , officially the Republic of Croatia , is a unitary democratic parliamentary republic in Europe at the crossroads of the Mitteleuropa, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean. Its capital and largest city is Zagreb. The country is divided into 20 counties and the city of Zagreb. Croatia covers ...

 
Sabor
Parliament of Croatia
The Parliament of Croatia or the Sabor is the unicameral representative body of the citizens of the Republic of Croatia and legislature of the country. Under the terms of the Croatian Constitution, represents the people and is vested with the legislative power...

Denmark
Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

 
Folketing
Folketing
The Folketing , is the national parliament of Denmark. The name literally means "People's thing"—that is, the people's governing assembly. It is located in Christiansborg Palace, on the islet of Slotsholmen in central Copenhagen....

Dominica
Dominica
Dominica , officially the Commonwealth of Dominica, is an island nation in the Lesser Antilles region of the Caribbean Sea, south-southeast of Guadeloupe and northwest of Martinique. Its size is and the highest point in the country is Morne Diablotins, which has an elevation of . The Commonwealth...

 
House of Assembly
House of Assembly of Dominica
The House of Assembly is the legislature of Dominica. It is established by Chapter III of the Constitution of Dominica, and together with the President of Dominica constitutes Dominica's Parliament. The House is unicameral, and consists of twenty-one Representatives, nine Senators, and an...

Estonia
Estonia
Estonia , officially the Republic of Estonia , is a state in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia , and to the east by Lake Peipsi and the Russian Federation . Across the Baltic Sea lies...

 
Riigikogu
Riigikogu
The Riigikogu is the unicameral parliament of Estonia. All important state-related questions pass through the Riigikogu...

Finland
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

 
Eduskunta/Riksdag
Parliament of Finland
The Eduskunta , is the parliament of Finland. The unicameral parliament has 200 members and meets in the Parliament House in Helsinki. The latest election to the parliament took place on April 17, 2011.- Constitution :...

Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 
Hellenic Parliament
Hellenic Parliament
The Hellenic Parliament , also the Parliament of the Hellenes, is the Parliament of Greece, located in the Parliament House , overlooking Syntagma Square in Athens, Greece....

Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

 
National Assembly
National Assembly of Hungary
The National Assembly or Diet is the parliament of Hungary. The unicameral body consists of 386 members elected to 4-year terms. Election of members is based on a complex system involving both area and list election; parties must win at least 5% of the popular vote in order to enter list members...

Iceland
Iceland
Iceland , described as the Republic of Iceland, is a Nordic and European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Iceland also refers to the main island of the country, which contains almost all the population and almost all the land area. The country has a population...

 
Althing
Althing
The Alþingi, anglicised variously as Althing or Althingi, is the national parliament of Iceland. The Althingi is the oldest parliamentary institution in the world still extant...

Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 
Knesset
Knesset
The Knesset is the unicameral legislature of Israel, located in Givat Ram, Jerusalem.-Role in Israeli Government :The legislative branch of the Israeli government, the Knesset passes all laws, elects the President and Prime Minister , approves the cabinet, and supervises the work of the government...

Kosovo
Kosovo
Kosovo is a region in southeastern Europe. Part of the Ottoman Empire for more than five centuries, later the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija within Serbia...

 
Kuvendi
Assembly of Kosovo
The Assembly of Kosovo was originally established by the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo in 2001 to provide 'provisional, democratic self-government'....

Kuwait
Kuwait
The State of Kuwait is a sovereign Arab state situated in the north-east of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south at Khafji, and Iraq to the north at Basra. It lies on the north-western shore of the Persian Gulf. The name Kuwait is derived from the...

 
National Assembly of Kuwait
National Assembly of Kuwait
The National Assembly of Kuwait, known as the Majlis Al-Umma , is the legislature of Kuwait. The current speaker of the Assembly is Jassem Al-Kharafi. The Emir unconstitutionally dissolved the National Assembly in 1986 and restored it after the Gulf War in 1992...

Latvia
Latvia
Latvia , officially the Republic of Latvia , is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by Estonia , to the south by Lithuania , to the east by the Russian Federation , to the southeast by Belarus and shares maritime borders to the west with Sweden...

 
Saeima
Saeima
Saeima is the parliament of the Republic of Latvia. It is a unicameral parliament consisting of 100 members who are elected by proportional representation, with seats allocated to political parties which gain at least 5% of the popular vote. Elections are scheduled to be held once every four years,...

Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

 
Assembly of Deputies
Parliament of Lebanon
The Parliament of Lebanon is the national parliament of Lebanon. There are 128 members elected to a four-year terms in multi-member constituencies, apportioned among Lebanon's diverse Christian and Muslim denominations. Lebanon has universal adult suffrage...

Lithuania
Lithuania
Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the biggest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the west lie Sweden and Denmark...

 
Seimas
Seimas
The Seimas is the unicameral Lithuanian parliament. It has 141 members that are elected for a four-year term. About half of the members of this legislative body are elected in individual constituencies , and the other half are elected by nationwide vote according to proportional representation...

Luxembourg
Luxembourg
Luxembourg , officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg , is a landlocked country in western Europe, bordered by Belgium, France, and Germany. It has two principal regions: the Oesling in the North as part of the Ardennes massif, and the Gutland in the south...

 
Chamber of Deputies
Chamber of Deputies of Luxembourg
The Chamber of Deputies , abbreviated to the Chamber, is the unicameral national legislature of Luxembourg. 'Krautmaart' is sometimes used as a metonym for the Chamber, after the square on which the Hôtel de la Chambre is located....

Macedonia
Republic of Macedonia
Macedonia , officially the Republic of Macedonia , is a country located in the central Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. It is one of the successor states of the former Yugoslavia, from which it declared independence in 1991...

 
Sobranie
Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia
The Parliament of the Republic of Macedonia, the Assembly , has 123 members, elected for a four year term, by proportional representation from 6 electoral districts, each contributing 20 MPs.- Result :...

Malta
Malta
Malta , officially known as the Republic of Malta , is a Southern European country consisting of an archipelago situated in the centre of the Mediterranean, south of Sicily, east of Tunisia and north of Libya, with Gibraltar to the west and Alexandria to the east.Malta covers just over in...

 
House of Representatives
House of Representatives of Malta
The House of Representatives is the unicameral legislature of Malta and a component of the Parliament of Malta.The House is composed of an odd number of members elected for a five year term...

Mauritius
Mauritius
Mauritius , officially the Republic of Mauritius is an island nation off the southeast coast of the African continent in the southwest Indian Ocean, about east of Madagascar...

National Assembly
National Assembly of Mauritius
The National Assembly is Mauritius's unicameral parliament, which was called the Legislative Assembly until 1992, when the country became a republic...

Moldova
Moldova
Moldova , officially the Republic of Moldova is a landlocked state in Eastern Europe, located between Romania to the West and Ukraine to the North, East and South. It declared itself an independent state with the same boundaries as the preceding Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1991, as part...

 
Parliament
Parliament of the Republic of Moldova
The Parliament of the Republic of Moldova is a unicameral assembly with 101 seats. Its members are elected by popular vote every 4 years. The parliament then elects a president, who functions as the head of state...

Mongolia
Mongolia
Mongolia is a landlocked country in East and Central Asia. It is bordered by Russia to the north and China to the south, east and west. Although Mongolia does not share a border with Kazakhstan, its western-most point is only from Kazakhstan's eastern tip. Ulan Bator, the capital and largest...

 
State Great Khural
Montenegro
Montenegro
Montenegro Montenegrin: Crna Gora Црна Гора , meaning "Black Mountain") is a country located in Southeastern Europe. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea to the south-west and is bordered by Croatia to the west, Bosnia and Herzegovina to the northwest, Serbia to the northeast and Albania to the...

 
Parliament
Parliament of Montenegro
The Parliament of Montenegro is the unicameral legislature of Montenegro. The Parliament currently has 81 members, each elected for a four-year term. The current Speaker of the Parliament is Ranko Krivokapić, while the deputy speakers are Željko Šturanović and Rifat Rastoder...

Nepal
Nepal
Nepal , officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked sovereign state located in South Asia. It is located in the Himalayas and bordered to the north by the People's Republic of China, and to the south, east, and west by the Republic of India...

 
Nepalese Constituent Assembly
Nepalese Constituent Assembly
The Nepalese Constituent Assembly is a unicameral body of 601 members formed as a result of the Constituent Assembly election that was held on April 10, 2008. The Constituent Assembly is tasked with writing a new constitution, and it will act as the interim legislature for a term of two years...

New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

 
Parliament
Parliament of New Zealand
The Parliament of New Zealand consists of the Queen of New Zealand and the New Zealand House of Representatives and, until 1951, the New Zealand Legislative Council. The House of Representatives is often referred to as "Parliament".The House of Representatives usually consists of 120 Members of...

Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

 
Stortinget
Palestinian Authority  Parliament
Palestinian Legislative Council
The Palestinian Legislative Council, the legislature of the Palestinian Authority, is a unicameral body with 132 members, elected from 16 electoral districts in the West Bank and Gaza...

Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea , officially the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, is a country in Oceania, occupying the eastern half of the island of New Guinea and numerous offshore islands...

 
National Parliament
National Parliament of Papua New Guinea
The National Parliament of Papua New Guinea is the unicameral national legislature in Papua New Guinea. It was first created in 1964 as the House of Assembly of Papua and New Guinea, but gained its current name with the granting of independence in 1975....

Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 
Assembly of the Republic
Assembly of the Republic
The Assembly of the Republic is the Portuguese parliament. It is located in a historical building in Lisbon, referred to as Palácio de São Bento, the site of an old Benedictine monastery...

Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Kitts and Nevis
The Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis , located in the Leeward Islands, is a federal two-island nation in the West Indies. It is the smallest sovereign state in the Americas, in both area and population....

 
National Assembly
National Assembly of Saint Kitts and Nevis
The National Assembly is the parliament of Saint Kitts and Nevis. The Assembly has 14 or 15 members , 11 of whom are elected for a five year term in single-seat constituencies and are known as Representatives. The remaining four are called Senators; three are appointed by the governor-general and...

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is an island country in the Lesser Antilles chain, namely in the southern portion of the Windward Islands, which lie at the southern end of the eastern border of the Caribbean Sea where the latter meets the Atlantic Ocean....

 
House of Assembly
House of Assembly of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
The House of Assembly of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is a unicameral legislature that serves as the legislative body for Saint Vincent and the Grenadines....

Samoa
Samoa
Samoa , officially the Independent State of Samoa, formerly known as Western Samoa is a country encompassing the western part of the Samoan Islands in the South Pacific Ocean. It became independent from New Zealand in 1962. The two main islands of Samoa are Upolu and one of the biggest islands in...

 
Fono
Fono
The Legislative Assembly is the Parliament of Samoa based in the capital Apia where the country's central administration is situated.In the Samoan language, the Legislative Assembly of Samoa is sometimes referred to as the Samoan Fono while the government of the country is referred to as the...

Serbia
Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

 
National Assembly
Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

 
Parliament
Parliament of Singapore
The Parliament of the Republic of Singapore and the President jointly make up the legislature of Singapore. Parliament is unicameral and is made up of Members of Parliament who are elected, as well as Non-constituency Members of Parliament and Nominated Members of Parliament who are appointed...

Slovakia
Slovakia
The Slovak Republic is a landlocked state in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about . Slovakia is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south...

 
National Council
National Council of the Slovak Republic
The National Council of the Slovak Republic , abbreviated to NR SR, is the national parliament of Slovakia. It is unicameral, and consists of 150 MPs, who are elected by universal suffrage under proportional representation every four years....

Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

 
Parliament
Parliament
A parliament is a legislature, especially in those countries whose system of government is based on the Westminster system modeled after that of the United Kingdom. The name is derived from the French , the action of parler : a parlement is a discussion. The term came to mean a meeting at which...

Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

 
Riksdag
Parliament of Sweden
The Riksdag is the national legislative assembly of Sweden. The riksdag is a unicameral assembly with 349 members , who are elected on a proportional basis to serve fixed terms of four years...

Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 
Grand National Assembly
Grand National Assembly of Turkey
The Grand National Assembly of Turkey , usually referred to simply as the Meclis , is the unicameral Turkish legislature. It is the sole body given the legislative prerogatives by the Turkish Constitution. It was founded in Ankara on 23 April 1920 in the midst of the Turkish War of Independence...

Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

 
Verkhovna Rada
Verkhovna Rada
The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine is Ukraine's parliament. The Verkhovna Rada is a unicameral parliament composed of 450 deputies, which is presided over by a chairman...

Vanuatu
Vanuatu
Vanuatu , officially the Republic of Vanuatu , is an island nation located in the South Pacific Ocean. The archipelago, which is of volcanic origin, is some east of northern Australia, northeast of New Caledonia, west of Fiji, and southeast of the Solomon Islands, near New Guinea.Vanuatu was...

 
Parliament
Parliament of Vanuatu
The Parliament is the unicameral legislative body of the Republic of Vanuatu.It was established by chapter 4 of the 1980 Constitution, upon Vanuatu's independence from France and the United Kingdom....

Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan , officially the Kyrgyz Republic is one of the world's six independent Turkic states . Located in Central Asia, landlocked and mountainous, Kyrgyzstan is bordered by Kazakhstan to the north, Uzbekistan to the west, Tajikistan to the southwest and China to the east...

 
Jogorku Kenesh

Bicameral system


This table shows organisations and countries with parliament consisting of two houses.
Organisation or Country Parliament Upper chamber Lower chamber
Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 
Parliament
Parliament of Australia
The Parliament of Australia, also known as the Commonwealth Parliament or Federal Parliament, is the legislative branch of the government of Australia. It is bicameral, largely modelled in the Westminster tradition, but with some influences from the United States Congress...

 
Senate
Australian Senate
The Senate is the upper house of the bicameral Parliament of Australia, the lower house being the House of Representatives. Senators are popularly elected under a system of proportional representation. Senators are elected for a term that is usually six years; after a double dissolution, however,...

 
House of Representatives
Australian House of Representatives
The House of Representatives is one of the two houses of the Parliament of Australia; it is the lower house; the upper house is the Senate. Members of Parliament serve for terms of approximately three years....

Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

 
Parliament
Parliament of Austria
In the Parliament of Austria is vested the legislative power of the Republic of Austria. The institution consists of two chambers,* the National Council and* the Federal Council ....

 
Federal Council
Federal Council of Austria
The Federal Council of Austria or Bundesrat is the second chamber of the Austrian parliament, representing the nine States of Austria on federal level. As part of a bicameral legislature alongside of the National Council of Austria , it can be compared with an upper house or a senate...

 
National Council
National Council of Austria
The National Council is one of the two houses of the Austrian parliament. According to the constitution, the National Council and the complementary Federal Council are peers...

Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua and Barbuda is a twin-island nation lying between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. It consists of two major inhabited islands, Antigua and Barbuda, and a number of smaller islands...

 
Parliament
Parliament of Antigua and Barbuda
The Parliament of Antigua and Barbuda consists of:*HM Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Antigua and Barbuda*The Senate *The House of Representatives -External links:**...

 
Senate
Senate of Antigua and Barbuda
The Senate is the Upper House of Parliament of Antigua and Barbuda. It consists of 17 members appointed by the Governor General. Ten Members are appointed on the advice of the Prime Minister, four on the advice of the Leader of the Opposition, one on the advice of the Barbuda Council, one resident...

 
House of Representatives
House of Representatives of Antigua and Barbuda
The House of Representatives of Antigua and Barbuda is the lower chamber of the country's bicameral parliament.The current House of Representatives, formed following elections held on 12 March 2009, has a total of 19 members. 17 members are directly elected to five year terms from single member...

The Bahamas
The Bahamas
The Bahamas , officially the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, is a nation consisting of 29 islands, 661 cays, and 2,387 islets . It is located in the Atlantic Ocean north of Cuba and Hispaniola , northwest of the Turks and Caicos Islands, and southeast of the United States...

 
Parliament
Parliament of the Bahamas
The Parliament of The Bahamas is the bicameral national parliament of Commonwealth of The Bahamas. The parliament is formally made up by the Queen , an appointed Senate, and an elected House of Assembly...

 
Senate  House of Assembly
Barbados
Barbados
Barbados is an island country in the Lesser Antilles. It is in length and as much as in width, amounting to . It is situated in the western area of the North Atlantic and 100 kilometres east of the Windward Islands and the Caribbean Sea; therein, it is about east of the islands of Saint...

 
House of Assembly
Parliament of Barbados
The Parliament of Barbados is the national legislature of Barbados. It is accorded legislative supremacy by Chapter V of the Constitution of Barbados. The Parliament is bicameral in composition and is formally made up of: HM Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Barbados The Parliament of Barbados is the...

 
Senate
Senate of Barbados
The Senate is the name given to the Upper House of the bicameral legislature the Parliament of Barbados. The Senate is accorded legitimacy by Chapter V of the Constitution of Barbados. It is the smaller of both chambers and also includes HM Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Barbados...

 
House of Assembly
Barbados House of Assembly
The House of Assembly is the lower house of the bicameral Parliament of Barbados. It has 30 Members of Parliament , MPs are directly elected in single member constituencies using the simple-majority system for a term of five years....

Belarus
Belarus
Belarus , officially the Republic of Belarus, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered clockwise by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital is Minsk; other major cities include Brest, Grodno , Gomel ,...

 
National Assembly  Council of the Republic  House of Representatives
House of Representatives of the Republic of Belarus
Under the 1996 Constitution, the House of Representatives is the lower house of the parliament of Belarus.It consists of 110 deputies elected on the basis of universal, equal, free, and direct electoral suffrage by secret ballot . It is a majoritarian system, with the outcome decided by overall...

Belize
Belize
Belize is a constitutional monarchy and the northernmost country in Central America. Belize has a diverse society, comprising many cultures and languages. Even though Kriol and Spanish are spoken among the population, Belize is the only country in Central America where English is the official...

 
National Assembly
National Assembly of Belize
The National Assembly of is the bicameral legislature of Belize. It is divided into the House of Representatives, with 29 members, and the Senate, with 13 members.- History :...

 
Senate
Senate of Belize
The Senate is one of the chambers of the National Assembly. It has 12 members appointed for a five year term by the Governor General.- Establishment and appointment :Senators are appointed by the Governor General in the following manner:...

 
House of Representatives
House of Representatives of Belize
The House of Representatives of Belize is one of two chambers of the National Assembly, the other being the Senate. It was created under the 1981 constitution....

Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

 
Federal Parliament
Belgian Federal Parliament
The Belgian Federal Parliament is a bicameral parliament. It consists of the Chamber of Representatives and the Senate . It sits in the Palace of the Nation .- Chamber of Representatives :...

 
Senate
Belgian Senate
The Belgian Senate is one of the two chambers of the bicameral Federal Parliament of Belgium, the other being the Chamber of Representatives. It is considered to be the "upper house" of the Federal Parliament.-History and future:...

 
Chamber of Representatives
Bhutan
Bhutan
Bhutan , officially the Kingdom of Bhutan, is a landlocked state in South Asia, located at the eastern end of the Himalayas and bordered to the south, east and west by the Republic of India and to the north by the People's Republic of China...

 
Parliament
Parliament of Bhutan
The Parliament of Bhutan consists of the King of Bhutan together with a bicameral parliament.Constitution: Art. 1, § 3; Art. 10 This bicameral parliament is made up of an upper house, the National Council and a lower house, the National Assembly.Constitution: Art. 11; Art...

 
National Council
National Council of Bhutan
The National Council is the upper house of Bhutan's new bicameral Parliament, which also comprises the Druk Gyalpo and the National Assembly. It is the subordinate house, and cannot author monetary or budget-related bills...

 
National Assembly
National Assembly of Bhutan
The National Assembly is the elected lower house of Bhutan's new bicameral Parliament which also comprises the Druk Gyalpo and the National Council. It is the more powerful house.- Current National Assembly :...

Cambodia
Cambodia
Cambodia , officially known as the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia...

 
Parliament
Parliament of Cambodia
The Parliament of Cambodia is the bicameral legislature of the Government of Cambodia, consisting of the Senate and the National Assembly . The Parliament is composed of 181 members, 123 MPs and 58 Senators. The Constitution established the Kingdom of Cambodia as a constitutional monarchy based...

 
Senate
Senate of Cambodia
The Senate of Cambodia is the upper house of the Parliament of Cambodia.According to the , The Senate is a body that has legislative power and performs its duties as determined in the constitution and law. The Senate consists of 58 members that the number of which does not exceed half of all of...

 
National Assembly
National Assembly of Cambodia
The National Assembly of Cambodia or Radhsphea is the lower house of the Parliament of Cambodia.It has 123 members, elected for five year terms by proportional representation, using provinces as constituencies of 1 to 18 members, and the D'Hondt method of seat distribution.-Elections:Summary of the...

Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 
Parliament
Parliament of Canada
The Parliament of Canada is the federal legislative branch of Canada, seated at Parliament Hill in the national capital, Ottawa. Formally, the body consists of the Canadian monarch—represented by her governor general—the Senate, and the House of Commons, each element having its own officers and...

 
Senate  House of Commons
Canadian House of Commons
The House of Commons of Canada is a component of the Parliament of Canada, along with the Sovereign and the Senate. The House of Commons is a democratically elected body, consisting of 308 members known as Members of Parliament...

Czech Republic
Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

 
Parliament
Parliament of the Czech Republic
The Parliament of the Czech Republic is the legislative body of the Czech Republic, based in Prague. It consists of two chambers, both elected in direct elections:* the Lower House: Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic...

 
Senate
Senate of the Czech Republic
The Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic , usually referred to as Senát, is the upper chamber of the Parliament of the Czech Republic...

 
Chamber of Deputies
Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Republic
The Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic is the lower house of the bicameral Parliament of the Czech Republic. The seat of the Chamber of Deputies is situated in palaces in Malá Strana, Prague....

Ethiopia
Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

 
Federal Parliamentary Assembly
Federal Parliamentary Assembly
The Parliament of Ethiopia consists of two chambers:*The House of Federation *The House of People's Representatives...

 
House of Federation
House of Federation
The House of Federation is the upper house of the bicamerial Parliament of Ethiopia of Ethiopia. It has 112 members....

 
House of People's Representatives
House of People's Representatives
The Federal Parliamentary Assembly of Ethiopia has two chambers. The lower house is the House of Peoples' Representatives with 547 members , elected for five-year terms in single-seat constituencies.-Speakers of the House of Peoples'...

European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 
Council of the European Union
Council of the European Union
The Council of the European Union is the institution in the legislature of the European Union representing the executives of member states, the other legislative body being the European Parliament. The Council is composed of twenty-seven national ministers...

 
European Parliament
European Parliament
The European Parliament is the directly elected parliamentary institution of the European Union . Together with the Council of the European Union and the Commission, it exercises the legislative function of the EU and it has been described as one of the most powerful legislatures in the world...

Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 
Federal Legislature  Bundesrat (Federal Council)
Bundesrat of Germany
The German Bundesrat is a legislative body that represents the sixteen Länder of Germany at the federal level...

 
Bundestag (Federal Diet)
Bundestag
The Bundestag is a federal legislative body in Germany. In practice Germany is governed by a bicameral legislature, of which the Bundestag serves as the lower house and the Bundesrat the upper house. The Bundestag is established by the German Basic Law of 1949, as the successor to the earlier...

Grenada
Grenada
Grenada is an island country and Commonwealth Realm consisting of the island of Grenada and six smaller islands at the southern end of the Grenadines in the southeastern Caribbean Sea...

 
Parliament
Parliament of Grenada
The Parliament of Grenada is composed of the Monarch and two chambers:*The House of Representatives has 15 members, elected for a five year term in single-seat constituencies.*The Senate has 13 appointed members....

 
Senate
Senate of Grenada
The Senate is the upper house of the Parliament of Grenada. It has 13 appointed members; 10 are appointed by the government of Grenada, and three by the leader of the opposition. The current president is Joan Purcell, elected in 2008.-See also:...

 
House of Representatives
House of Representatives of Grenada
The House of Representatives is the lower house of the Parliament of Grenada. It has 15 members, elected for a five year term in single-seat constituencies. The members are, for each seat and party, listed below:-Summary 2008 election:...

India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

Parliament (Sansad)
Parliament of India
The Parliament of India is the supreme legislative body in India. Founded in 1919, the Parliament alone possesses legislative supremacy and thereby ultimate power over all political bodies in India. The Parliament of India comprises the President and the two Houses, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha...

 
Rajya Sabha
Rajya Sabha
The Rajya Sabha or Council of States is the upper house of the Parliament of India. Rajya means "state," and Sabha means "assembly hall" in Sanskrit. Membership is limited to 250 members, 12 of whom are chosen by the President of India for their expertise in specific fields of art, literature,...

 (Council of States)
Lok Sabha
Lok Sabha
The Lok Sabha or House of the People is the lower house of the Parliament of India. Members of the Lok Sabha are elected by direct election under universal adult suffrage. As of 2009, there have been fifteen Lok Sabhas elected by the people of India...

 (House of the People)
Ireland
Republic of Ireland
Ireland , described as the Republic of Ireland , is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. Ireland, which had a population of 4.58 million in 2011, is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy,...

 
Oireachtas
Oireachtas
The Oireachtas , sometimes referred to as Oireachtas Éireann, is the "national parliament" or legislature of Ireland. The Oireachtas consists of:*The President of Ireland*The two Houses of the Oireachtas :**Dáil Éireann...

 
Seanad Éireann
Seanad Éireann
Seanad Éireann is the upper house of the Oireachtas , which also comprises the President of Ireland and Dáil Éireann . It is commonly called the Seanad or Senate and its members Senators or Seanadóirí . Unlike Dáil Éireann, it is not directly elected but consists of a mixture of members chosen by...

 
Dáil Éireann
Dáil Éireann
Dáil Éireann is the lower house, but principal chamber, of the Oireachtas , which also includes the President of Ireland and Seanad Éireann . It is directly elected at least once in every five years under the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote...

Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 
National Assembly
National Assembly of Iraq
The Council of Representatives of Iraq is the main elected body of representatives in Iraq. It is currently composed of 325 seats and meets in Baghdad inside the International Zone . It is governed by bylaws that can be found -The monarchy:...

 
Council of Union Council of Representatives
Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 
Parliament
Parliament of Italy
The Parliament of Italy is the national parliament of Italy. It is a bicameral legislature with 945 elected members . The Chamber of Deputies, with 630 members is the lower house. The Senate of the Republic is the upper house and has 315 members .Since 2005, a party list electoral law is being...

 
Senate of the Republic
Italian Senate
The Senate of the Republic is the upper house of the Italian Parliament. It was established in its current form on 8 May 1948, but previously existed during the Kingdom of Italy as Senato del Regno , itself a continuation of the Senato Subalpino of Sardinia-Piedmont established on 8 May 1848...

 
Chamber of Deputies
Italian Chamber of Deputies
The Italian Chamber of Deputies is the lower house of the Parliament of Italy. It has 630 seats, a plurality of which is controlled presently by liberal-conservative party People of Freedom. Twelve deputies represent Italian citizens outside of Italy. Deputies meet in the Palazzo Montecitorio. A...

Jamaica
Jamaica
Jamaica is an island nation of the Greater Antilles, in length, up to in width and 10,990 square kilometres in area. It is situated in the Caribbean Sea, about south of Cuba, and west of Hispaniola, the island harbouring the nation-states Haiti and the Dominican Republic...

 
Parliament
Parliament of Jamaica
The Parliament of Jamaica is the legislative branch of the government of Jamaica. It is a bicameral body, composed of an appointed Senate and an elected House of Representatives....

 
Senate House of Representatives
Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 
Diet
Diet of Japan
The is Japan's bicameral legislature. It is composed of a lower house, called the House of Representatives, and an upper house, called the House of Councillors. Both houses of the Diet are directly elected under a parallel voting system. In addition to passing laws, the Diet is formally...

 
House of Councillors
House of Councillors
The is the upper house of the Diet of Japan. The House of Representatives is the lower house. The House of Councillors is the successor to the pre-war House of Peers. If the two houses disagree on matters of the budget, treaties, or designation of the prime minister, the House of Representatives...

 
House of Representatives
House of Representatives of Japan
The is the lower house of the Diet of Japan. The House of Councillors of Japan is the upper house.The House of Representatives has 480 members, elected for a four-year term. Of these, 180 members are elected from 11 multi-member constituencies by a party-list system of proportional representation,...

Malaysia  Parliament
Parliament of Malaysia
The Parliament of Malaysia is the national legislature of Malaysia, based on the Westminster system. The bicameral parliament consists of the House of Representatives and the Senate. The King as the Head of State is the third component of Parliament....

 
Dewan Negara
Dewan Negara
The Dewan Negara is the upper house of the Parliament of Malaysia. The Dewan Negara consists of 70 members, of which 26 are indirectly elected by the states, with two senators for every state in the Federation, and the other 44 being appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong .The Dewan Negara...

 (Senate)
Dewan Rakyat
Dewan Rakyat
The Dewan Rakyat is the lower house of the Parliament of Malaysia. All bills must usually be passed by both the Dewan Rakyat and the Dewan Negara , before they are given Royal Assent by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong...

 (House of Representatives)
Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 
Staten-Generaal (States-General)
States-General of the Netherlands
The States-General of the Netherlands is the bicameral legislature of the Netherlands, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The parliament meets in at the Binnenhof in The Hague. The archaic Dutch word "staten" originally related to the feudal classes in which medieval...

 
Eerste Kamer (Senate)  Tweede Kamer (House of Representatives)
Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

 
Parliament  Senate Secretariat
Senate of Pakistan
The Senate of Pakistan is the upper house of the bicameral Parliament of Pakistan. Elections are held every three years for one half of the senate and each senator has a term of six years...

 
National Assembly Secretariat
National Assembly of Pakistan
The National Assembly of Pakistan is the lower house of the bicameral Majlis-e-Shura, which also compromises the President of Pakistan and Senate . The National Assembly and the Senate both convene at Parliament House in Islamabad...

Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 
Parliament  Senate
Senate of Poland
The Senate is the upper house of the Polish parliament, the lower house being the 'Sejm'. The history of the Polish Senate is rich in tradition and stretches back over 500 years, it was one of the first constituent bodies of a bicameral parliament in Europe and existed without hiatus until the...

 
Sejm
Sejm
The Sejm is the lower house of the Polish parliament. The Sejm is made up of 460 deputies, or Poseł in Polish . It is elected by universal ballot and is presided over by a speaker called the Marshal of the Sejm ....

Saint Lucia
Saint Lucia
Saint Lucia is an island country in the eastern Caribbean Sea on the boundary with the Atlantic Ocean. Part of the Lesser Antilles, it is located north/northeast of the island of Saint Vincent, northwest of Barbados and south of Martinique. It covers a land area of 620 km2 and has an...

 
Parliament
Parliament of Saint Lucia
The Parliament of Saint Lucia has two chambers.*the House of Assembly has 17 members, elected for a five year term in single-seat constituencies.*the Senate has 11 appointed members....

 
Senate
Senate of Saint Lucia
The Legislature has two chambers. The upper house is the Senate with 11 appointed members.The Government Senators are:* Allen Chastanet* Guy Mayers* Gale T. C. Rigobert* Charlotte Mangal* Lorenzo FrancisThe Opposition Senators are:* Emma Hippolyte...

 
House of Assembly
House of Assembly of Saint Lucia
The Parliament of Saint Lucia has two chambers. The House of Assembly is the popular elected chamber of the Legislature. It has 17 members, elected for a five year term in single-seat constituencies.-Current Composition:...

Slovenia
Slovenia
Slovenia , officially the Republic of Slovenia , is a country in Central and Southeastern Europe touching the Alps and bordering the Mediterranean. Slovenia borders Italy to the west, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north, and also has a small portion of...

 
Parliament
Slovenian Parliament
The Slovenian Parliament is the informal designation of the general representative body of the Slovenian nation and the legislative body of the Republic of Slovenia....

 
National Council
National Council (Slovenia)
The National Council is according to the Constitution of Slovenia the representative of social, economic, professional and local interest groups in Slovenia and has a legislative function working as a corrective mechanism of the National Assembly, although it does not itself pass acts. It may be...

 (only partially)
National Assembly
National Assembly (Slovenia)
The National Assembly is the general representative body of the Slovenian nation. According to the Constitution of Slovenia and the Constitutional Court of Slovenia, it is the major part of the distinctively incompletely bicameral legislative branch of the Republic of Slovenia. It is unicameral...

South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

 
Parliament
Parliament of South Africa
The Parliament of South Africa is South Africa's legislature and under the country's current Constitution is composed of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces....

 
National Council of Provinces
National Council of Provinces
The National Council of Provinces is the upper house of the Parliament of South Africa under the constitution which came into full effect in 1997...

 
National Assembly
National Assembly of South Africa
The National Assembly is the lower house of the Parliament of South Africa, located in Cape Town, Western Cape Province. It consists of no fewer than 350 and no more than 400 members...

Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

Cortes Generales
Cortes Generales
The Cortes Generales is the legislature of Spain. It is a bicameral parliament, composed of the Congress of Deputies and the Senate . The Cortes has power to enact any law and to amend the constitution...

 
Senate
Spanish Senate
The Senate of Spain is the upper house of Spain's parliament, the . It is made up of 264 members: 208 elected by popular vote, and 56 appointed by the regional legislatures. All senators serve four-year terms, though regional legislatures may recall their appointees at any time.The last election...

 
Congress of Deputies
Spanish Congress of Deputies
The Spanish Congress of Deputies is the lower house of the Cortes Generales, Spain's legislative branch. It has 350 members, elected by popular vote on block lists by proportional representation in constituencies matching the Spanish provinces using the D'Hondt method. Deputies serve four-year terms...

Thailand
Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

 
National Assembly
National Assembly of Thailand
The National Assembly of Thailand or the Parliament of Thailand is the legislative branch of the government of Thailand. The National Assembly of Thailand is a bicameral body, consisting of two chambers: the upper house, , and the lower house,...

 
Senate
Senate of Thailand
The Senate of the Kingdom of Thailand is the upper house of the National Assembly of Thailand, . In accordance with the 2007 Constitution of Thailand, the Senate is a non-partisan legislative chamber, composed of 150 members...

 
House of Representatives
House of Representatives of Thailand
The House of Representatives of the Kingdom of Thailand is the lower house of the National Assembly of Thailand, the legislative branch of the Thai Government. The system of government of Thailand is that of a Constitutional Monarchy and a Parliamentary Democracy. The system of the Thai...

Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago officially the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is an archipelagic state in the southern Caribbean, lying just off the coast of northeastern Venezuela and south of Grenada in the Lesser Antilles...

Parliament
Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago
The Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago is the legislative branch of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago. The Parliament is bicameral. It consists of the elected House of Representatives, which has 43 members elected for a five year term in single-seat constituencies, and the Senate which has 31...

 
Senate
Senate of Trinidad and Tobago
The Senate of Trinidad and Tobago is the appointed Upper House of the bicameral Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago. The Senate sits in the Red House in Port of Spain...

 
House of Representatives
House of Representatives of Trinidad and Tobago
The House of Representatives is the elected Lower House of the bicameral Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago. The House of Representatives sits in the Red House in Port of Spain. It has 41 members, each elected to represent single-seat constituencies...

United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 
Parliament
Parliament of the United Kingdom
The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the supreme legislative body in the United Kingdom, British Crown dependencies and British overseas territories, located in London...

 
House of Lords
House of Lords
The House of Lords is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster....

 
House of Commons

See also

  • Legal reform
  • Parliamentary leader
    Parliamentary leader
    A parliamentary leader is political title given in various countries to lead a caucus in a legislative body, whether it be the countries respective parliaments or provincial legislature...

  • Rule of law
    Rule of law
    The rule of law, sometimes called supremacy of law, is a legal maxim that says that governmental decisions should be made by applying known principles or laws with minimal discretion in their application...

  • Rule according to higher law
    Rule according to higher law
    The rule according to a higher law means that no written law may be enforced by the government unless it conforms with certain unwritten, universal principles of fairness, morality, and justice...