ACT OF THE 29th OF FEBRUARY 1920
SETTING FORTH THE CONSTITUTION AND JURISDICTION OF THE SENATE.
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE SENATE.
The Senate of the Czechoslovak Republic shall consist of 150 elected members. No one may be at the same time a member of the Chamber of Deputies and of the Senate.
If the elections to the one chamber follow within four weeks at the latest after the elections to the other, no one may stand as candidate for both chambers. The election of a candidate in defiance of this enactment is invalid.
Anyone who, in any other case than that just referred to, being a member of the Chamber of Deputies is elected senator, or vice versa, being a member of the Senate is elected to the Chamber of Deputies, shall take his seat in that chamber to which he has been last elected.
The rules of franchise laid down for elections to the Chamber of Deputies shall be applicable to elections for the Senate except in such cases as this law otherwise provides.
All citizens who have the right to vote at elections to the Chamber of Deputies are entitled to vote at elections to the Senate if they have attained on the day of the publication of the standing Lists of Voters (Law of 19th December 1919 No. 663 Code of Laws & Regulations) the age of 26 years
Citizens of the Czechoslovak Republic without regard to sex may be elected to the Senate if, on the day of election they have attained the age of 45 years, have been for at least ten years citizens of the Czechoslovak Republic and are not excluded from the franchise. For elections which shall take place up to the end of the year 1928 this condition of ten year’s citizenship shall not be required.
The Senate shall be elected for a period of eight years.
If the elections to the Senate take place within four weeks at the latest of the day on which the elections to the Chamber of Deputies took place the Polling Committees of the constituencies and the Central Polling Committee which were in charge of the elections to the Chamber of Deputies shall also take charge of the elections to the Senate.
Representatives of parties who have not put forward valid lists of candidates for the Senate may not be members of these committees; on the contrary these committees shall be composed of representatives of those parties which put forward no candidates for the Chamber of Deputies but presented valid lists of candidates for the Senate. § 9 and § 11 of the Rules of Franchise for the Chamber of Deputies are to be applied in this matter.
Except in the case stated in § 1 the Polling Committees of the constituencies and the Central Polling Committee must be constituted anew.
In every constituency which elects members to the Senate a district Polling Commitee shall be set up. The Rules of Franchise for elections to the Chamber of Deputies relating to district Polling Committees apply by analogy thereto.
A district Polling Committee for elections to the Senate has the same competence in the matter of elections to the Senate as a district Polling Committee, set up in pursuance of § 10 of the Rules of Franchise for election to the Chamber of Deputies, has in respect of elections to the Chamber of Deputies.
In the case stated in § 6 section 1 citizens who are not entitled to vote at the elections to the Senate may be members of a committee which has charge of elections, to the Senate.
The constituencies electing senators shall be composed of constituencies which elect members to the Chamber of Deputies.
(Here follows an enumeration of the electoral districts. There are in all 13 senatorial constituencies electing respectively 23, 11, 15, 14, 15, 17, 16, 10, 7, 5, 9, 4 and 4 senators.)
If the Senate be dissolved by the President of the republic or if the term for which it was elected expire, the Minister of the Interior shall cause new elections to take place within 60 days.
The Miniser of the Interior shall issue to an elected Senator a letter of credence which shall entitle him to enter the Senate and to take part in its proceedings. This right shall lapse should the election of such a senator be declared invalid by the Electoral Court.
At its first assembly which shall be opened by the Prime Minister and presided over by the senior senator, the Senate shall elect from among its own members a chairman and two deputy chairmen.
The proceedings of the Senate shall be regulated within the limits of the law relating to Rules of Procedure, by Rules of Procedure determined upon by the Senate itself. Until such Rules shall be determined upon the Rules of Procedure passed by the hitherto existing National Assembly shall remain in force.
At the ﬁrst assembly of the Senate and previous to the elections of chairman and deputy chairmen the Senators shall take the oath in the presence of the Prime Minister as provided by § 22 of the Constitutional Charter
. Refusal to take the oath or the taking of it with reservation shall entail the immediate loss by the member of his seat (§ 22 of the Constitutional Charter).
The same applies to Senators who subsequently enter the Senate; they take the oath in the presence of the chairman of the Senate.
Senators are entitled to such remuneration as shall be fixed by law.
THE JURISDICTION OF THE SENATE.
The Senate shall co-operate in the excercise of legislative authority as laid down by the Constitutional Charter.
The Senate is entitled to pass judgment where an accusation is brought by the Chamber of Deputies:
1. Against the President of the Republic for high treason (§ 67 Constitutional Charter);
2. Against members of the Government for violation of constitutional or other laws (§ 79 Constitutional Charter).
The first elections to the Senate of the Czechoslovak Republic shall take place to the exclusion of the 12th and 13th constituencies as well as to the exclusion of the district of Hlučín from the 7th constituency, the district of Vitoraz from the 5th constituency, the district of Valčice from the 6th, and to the exclusion of the territories of Spiš and Orava which are the subject of a plebiscite.
The second and third scrutinies shall take place for the other elections without regard to elections in these last mentioned districts.
The territories excluded from the first elections shall, for the first period for which the Senate is elected, elect their senators later in a manner which will be fixed by regulation.
The Government shall take steps to secure for legionaries the exercise of their franchise rights and shall assign to them seats which may happen to be superfluous in some of the electoral districts.
The execution of it shall be entrusted to the Minister of the Interior.