Copyright © 2003-2018 The Church of Haile Selassie I, Inc. ~ All rights reserved.
Chapter V

THE LEGISLATIVE CHAMBERS

SECTION 1 - PROVISIONS APPLICABLE TO BOTH CHAMBERS

ARTICAL 76

The Parliament shall be composed of a Chamber of Deputies and a Senate. No one can
be simultaneously a member of both the Chamber of Deputies and The Senate. The
two Chambers shall meet together at the beginning and the end of each session, in
the circumstances set forth in Articals 90 and 91, upon the call of the Emperor, and
upon such other occasions as may be determined by the Chambers, The President of
the Senate shall preside at all joint meetings of the Chambers.

ARTICAL 77

The regular sessions of Parliament shall convene on the twenty-third day of the
month of Tekemt of each year in the Capital of the Empire and shall continue to the
first day of the month of Sene (8 June).

Until a new Parliament shall be elected and convened in accordance with the present
Constitution and the electoral law to be enacted, the two Chambers of Parliament, as
heretofore constituted, shall continue to sit and shall, in accordance with the
provisions and procedures established in Chapter V of the present Constitution,
exercise the perogatives and functions and fulfill the responsibilites provided for in
respect of Parliament. the first election to the Chamber of Deputies shall be
completed within two years from the entry into force of the present Constitution and
in accordance with the provisions of the electoral law.

ARTICAL 78

No meeting of either Chamber of Parliament shall be closed to the public except upon
a request by the Prime Minister, or upon a decision by a majority vote of the Chamber
of Deputies or the Senate, as the case may be, to that effect. No joint meeting of the
Chambers shall be closed to the public except upon a request by the Prime Minister
or a decision by the majority of each of the Chambers to that effect. If, after a question
has been declared to be secret, a member of either Chamber makes it known to the
public, either in a speech, or by the press, or by writings, or in any other way, he shall
be punished according to the provisions of Penal Law.

ARTICAL 79

Neither of the Chambers shall commence its deliberations on the first day of any
session without the presence of two-thirds of its members, or continue its
deliberations, or take any vote on any succeeding day of any session without the
presence of a majority of its members at joint meetings of the Chambers, the
presence of a majority of the members of each Chamber shall be required for
deliberations and for voting.

ARTICAL 80

If the quorum of Deputies and of Senators prescribed in Artical 79 is not present on
the day designed for the convening of Parliament or if, thereafter, either of the
Chambers, or the Chambers in joint meeting, cannot continue deliberations or vote
for lack of the required attendance, the members present shall take such measures as
may be authorized in the rules of procedure of the respective Chambers, to compel
the attendance of a sufficient number of the absent members.

ARTICAL 81

Every Deputy or Senator, before taking his seat in the Chamber to which he has been
elected or appointed, shall take, before the Emperor, or if directed by Him,before the
President of the Legislative Chamber concerned, an oath of loyality to the Emperor
and to the Empire, and shall swear that he will obey the Constitution and the laws of
the Empire and will perform his duties conscientiously and without fear or favour.

ARTICAL 82

Each Chamber shall determine its own rules of procedure and internal discipline.

ARTICAL 83

Members of Parliament shall receive salaries determined by law. Any law increasing
the salaries of members of Parliament shall be effective only from the date of the
election of the Next Parliament.

ARTICAL 84

No action or charge may be brought against any member of Parliament, or against
any Minister appearing by right or upon the invitation of either Chamber, for words
uttered or written statements submitted by him at any meeting of any committee of
either Chambers, or any joint meeting of  the Chambers, or any meeting of any
committee of either Chamber. Nevertheless, every member of each Chamber of
Parliament shall be obliged to respect all rules of order, conduct and procedure
adopted by such Chamber for the transaction of its business and shall be subject to
discipinary action on the part of such Chamber for violation of such rules. No action
or charge may be brought against any person or any newspaper for publication, by or
under the authority of Parliament or of either Chamber thereof, as the case may be, of
any report, paper, votes or proceedings of Parliament or either Chamber thereof, as
the case may be.

ARTICAL 85

No member of Parliament, during a session thereof, may be arrested or detained or
summoned to answer a criminal charge, unless the permission of the Chamber of
which he is a member be obtained, or he be arrested in flagrante delicto. A
comparable immunity does not apply to civil cases.

ARTICAL 86

Laws may be proposed to either, or both Chambers of Parliament:

(a) by The Emperor, or

(b) by ten or more members of either Chamber of Parliament, except that every
proposal involving an increase in governmental expenditure or a new or increased
tax shall first be presented to the Chamber of Deputies.

ARTICAL 87

All matters in either Chamber or in joint meeting of the Chambers shall be
determined by vote of the majority of the members present, except as provided in
Artical 131. In event of an equal division of votes, the presiding officer shall have a
casting vote.

ARTICAL 88

Every proposal of legislation approved by one Chamber of Parliament shall be
immediately forwarded through the President thereof to the other Chamber. If it is
approved by the other without amendments within a period of two months, it shall
be promptly communicated through the Prime Minister to the Emperor and shall
either be promulgated as law, or returned by the Emperor to the Chambers with His
observations thereon, or with a new proposal of legislation as provided in Artical 91.
All laws duly approved by both Chambers of Parliament shall be forwarded to the
Emperor through the Prime Minister, by the Presidents of Chamber of Deputies and of
the Senate. In the event that such law shall receive the approval and signature of the
Emperor, it shall be published by the Minister of the Ren in the Negarit Gazeta, with
recital of the affixing of the Signature and the Great Seal of the Emperor.
All Imperial Decrees and all ministerial decrees and orders shall be published in the
Negarit Gazeta.

ARTICAL 89

If proposal of legislation approved by one Chamber is not finally acted upon the other
within the aforesaid period of two months, the Chambers shall meet together to
discuss the said proposal. If the proposal is approved in such joint meeting, with or
without amendments, within 30 days, it shall be communicated to the Emperor for
action in accordance with Artical 88.

ARTICAL 90

If, within the aforesaid period of two months, a proposal of legislation approved by
one Chamber, is approved by the other with amendments, the said proposal shall be
returned to the first Chamber for further consideration. If, upon such consideration, it
is approved within 30 days, by the first Chamber, with the said amendments, it shall
be communicated to the Emperor for action in accordance with Artical 88. If, within
30 days, the amendments are not accepted by the first Chamber, the Chambers shall,
thereupon, shall meet together to discuss the proposal. If, in such joint meeting, the
proposal is approved, with or without amendments, within 30 days, it shall,
thereupon, be communicated to the Emperor for action in accordance with Artical 88.

ARTICAL 91

If a proposal of legislation approval in one of the Chambers is rejected by the other
within two months after its communication to it, as provided in Artical 88, or if a
proposal of legislation is not approved, with or without amendments, after
discussion in a joint meeting, as provided in Artical 89 and 90, full reports on the
situation shall be promptly communicated to the emperor by the Presidents of both
Chambers of Parliament, through the Prime Minister, and the Emperor may,
thereupon, cause to be transmitted to both Chambers of Parliament, His observations
in regard to such reports and such proposal of legislation, or cause to be transmitted
to the Chambers, a proposal of legislation on the same subject.

ARTICAL 92

In cases of emergency that arise when the Chambers are not sitting, the Emperor may
proclaim decrees consistant with the Constitution, which shall have force of law upon
publication in the Negarit Gazeta, pending a decision on the same by Parliament. To
that end, the text of each such decree shall be transmitted for consideration by both
Chambers of Parliament at their first meeting following each proclamtion. In the
event that, conformably to the provisions of Articals 88, 89, or 90, of the present
Constitution, Parliament shall approve decrees, they shall continue in force and shall
become law upon publication, in the Negarit Gazeta, of said approval. In the event
that Parliament shall disapprove any such decree, each such decree shall cease to
have force abd effect, upon the publication, in the Negarit Gazeta, of such disapproval.

SECTION II
The Chamber of Deputies

ARTICAL 93

The entire territory of the Empire, as definded in Artical 1 of the present Constitution,
shall be divided into electoral districts containing, as nearly as possible, two hundred
thousand inhabitants. The location and limits of each electoral district shall be
determined by law and each such district shall be as regular in shape as
circumstances permit. In addition, each town with a population exceeding thirty
thousand inhabitants shall be entitled to one Deputy and an additional Deputy for
each fifty thousand inhabitants in excess of thirty thousand.

ARTICAL 94

Each electoral district shall be represented by two Deputies.

ARTICAL 95

All Ethiopian subjects by birth, of twenty-one years of age or more, who are regularly
domiciled or habitually present in any electoral district and who posses the
qualifications required by the electoral law, shall have the right to vote in such
electoral district for the candidates from such district, as members of the Chamber of
Deputies. The system of voting shall be secret and direct. Details of procedure shall
be prescribed by law.

ARTICAL 96

To be eligible as a Deputy, a person must be, by birth, an Ethiopian subject who:

(a) has reached the age of twenty-five years;

(b) is a bono fide resident and owner of property in his electoral district, to the extent
required by the electoral law; and

(c) is not disqualified under any provision of the electoral law.

ARTICAL 97

Deputies shall be elected for terms of four years and shall be eligible for re-election
subject to their continual possession of the qualifications set forth in Artical 96.

ARTICAL 98

Vacancies that may occur in the membership of the Chamber of Deputies shall be
filled as provided in the electoral law.

ARTICAL 99

The President and two Vice Presidents of the Chamber of Deputies shall be elected
each year from and by members of the Chamber.

ARTICAL 100

The Chamber of Deputies shall be sole judge of the qualifications and election of its
members.

SECTION III
THE SENATE

ARTICAL 101

The Senate shall consist of the Senators appointed by the Emperor for six years.

ARTICAL 102

The Senate shall be composed of a number of persons, not exceeding one half of the
total number of Deputies, to be chosen by the Emperor from amounst those who
have, by their acts, secured the confidence and esteem of the people, and from
amongst those who have served their country and their government with distinction.

ARTICAL 103

To be eligible for appointment as a member of the Senate, a person must be, by birth,
an Ethiopian subject who:

(a) has reached the age of thirty five years;

(b) is a Prince or other dignitary, or a former high governmental official, or other
person generally esteemed for his character, judgement and public services; and

(c) is not disqualified under any provision of the electoral law.

ARTICAL 104

The Senators first appointed by the Emperor, as provided in Artical 101, shall,
immediately after their first meeting, be divided into three equal groups. The
Senators of the fisrt group shall be succeeded at the end of the second year by
Senators appointed in accordance with the provisions of Artical 101, those of the
second group, at the end of the fourth year, and those of the third group, at the end of
the sixth year, so that one third be succeeded every second year.

ARTICAL 105

Senators shall be eligible for re-appointment subject to their continued possession of
the qualification set forth in Artical 103.

ARTICAL 106

Vacancies in the membership of the Senate shall be filled by appointments in the
manner provided in Artical 101.

ARTICAL 107

The President and two Vice Presidents of the Senate shall be appointed each year by
the Emperor from amougst the Senators.