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2008 | 2(176) | 5-30

Article title

THE CONSTITUTIONAL DETERMINANTS OF THE POLITICAL STATUS OF THE PARLIAMENT IN POST-SOVIET SPACE: CENTRAL ASIA CASE STUDY (Konstytucyjne wyznaczniki pozycji ustrojowej parlamentu w przestrzeni poradzieckiej: casus Azji Centralnej)

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Independence of Central Asia republics proclaimed in 1991 was 'politically imported' as a consequence of USSR decomposition. The same is true for decomposition of republics' constitutions - their character and degree was determined by changes in USSR constitution. Even few months before the end of Soviet Union republics of the region did not plan a secession and their citizens were eager to sign reformed Treaty of USSR, what they showed in referendum deciding on the fate of Soviet Union. Traces of totalitarian rule can be found in outcome of systemic and legal transformation conducted by post-communist elites. Thereby it is impossible to understand contemporary processes in legal and political spheres without referring to history of statehood and constitutionalism of Central Asia republics. Process of building constitutional system is unique in each country of Central Asia. It was shaped by the oriental traditions, like clan based political mechanisms, custom and Muslim law and by the heritage of Soviet totalitarianism. Other important factor connected with process of building constitutional system in this region are different, mixed systems of government which Central Asia states established. Generally there are presidential or semi-presidential systems of government. In contemporary struggles between democracy and authoritarianism in Central Asia, for now the latter wins. The reasons of this situation could be found in peculiarities of political culture, national psychology, conservative attitude of political elites and vulgarization of democracy, even this 'regulated and controlled'. In these conditions constitutional status of the parliament in each country of Central Asia is very specific. The legal and political status of parliament belongs to the highest principles regarding the status of the legislature, i.e.: national sovereignty, representative government as the basic form of exercising supreme powers by the nation, highest role of the constitution, separation of power. Those principles which are generally accepted in most democratic regimes in Central Asia are understood in a different way. First, because organ which represents national sovereignty is not only parliament, but also the head of state. Second, because legislative functions are executed not only by parliament but also by president or government. And finally, because separation of power often is only partial. Authoritarianism in Central Asia and different presidential or semi-presidential form of government often break the principle of separation of powers.





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  • Jaroslaw Szymanek, Uniwersytet Warszawski, Wydzial Dziennikarstwa i Nauk Politycznych, ul. Krakowskie Przedmiescie 3, 00-047 Warszawa, Poland


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