C O N S T I T U TI O N OF THE REPUBLIC OFABKHAZIA 0
C O N S T I T U TI O N
OF THE REPUBLIC OFABKHAZIA
Adopted by the 12-th session of the SupremeCouncil of the Republic of Abkhazia on the 26-th of November 1994 andapproved by the national voting on the 3-rd of October 1999 with amendmentadopted by the national voting (referendum) on the 3-rd of October 1999.
City of Sukhum
We, the people of Abkhazia, exercising our rightto self-determination, aspiring to promote general welfare, internaltranquillity, respecting human rights and freedoms, establishing civil peaceand harmony, solemnly proclaim and institute the Constitution of theRepublic of Abkhazia.
PRINCIPLES OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL SYSTEM
ARTICLE I. The Republic of Abkhazia (Apsny) is asovereign, democratic state, established historically under the right of apeople to free self-determination, and functioning in accordance with law.
The names "The Republic of Abkhazia" and "Apsny" are interchangeable.
ARTICLE 2. Democracy shall be the basis of state authority in the Republicof Abkhazia.
The bearer of sovereignty and the only source of authority in the Republicof Abkhazia shall be its people - the citizens of the Republic of Abkhazia.The people shall exercise authority directly or through theirrepresentatives.
ARTICLE 3. The Republic of Abkhazia which is subject of international law,enters into treaty-based relations with other states. The rules ofconclusion, promulgation, ratification and denunciation of internationaltreaties shall be established by the law.
ARTICLE 4. The Republic of Abkhazia consists of the historical provinces ofSadz, Bzyp, Guma, Dal-Tsabal, Abzhywa, Samyrzakan which are the present dayGagra, Gudauta, Sukhum, Gulrypsh, Ochamchyra, Tkwarchal and Gal districtswithin which the cities of Gagra, Gudauta, New Afon, Sukhum, Ochamchyra,Tkwarchal and Gal are located.
The territory of the Republic of Abkhazia is indivisible, inviolable andinalienable.
ARTICLE 5. In the Republic of Abkhazia the land and other natural resourcesare the property of the people and shall be used and protected as a basisfor life and activity of the citizens of the Republic of Abkhazia.
The issues of ownership, use and disposal of natural resources shall begoverned by the laws of the Republic of Abkhazia.
ARTICLE 6. The official language of the Republic of Abkhazia is Abkhazian.The Russian language as well as the Abkhazian language shall be recognizedas the language of the government, public and other institutions. The stateshall guarantee all ethnic groups living in Abkhazia the right to use freelytheir own languages.
ARTICLE 7. The state exercises its authority on the basis of a separation oflegislative, executive and judicial powers. The legislative, executive andjudicial branches of power shall be independent.
ARTICLE 8. In the Republic of Abkhazia, local governments, independentwithin their jurisdiction, shall be recognized and ensured. These localgovernments shall not be part of the system of state administration.
ARTICLE 9. The present Constitution shall have supreme legal authority. Thelaws and other legal instruments, adopted in the Republic of Abkhazia, shallcomply with this Constitution.
ARTICLE 10. The Republic of Abkhazia shall have its own symbols: the stateflag, national emblem and national anthem. The description of these symbolsshall be established by constitutional law.
The capital of the Republic of Abkhazia is the city of Sukhum (Akwa) .
HUMAN RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS OF A CITIZEN
ARTICLE 11. The Republic of Abkhazia shall recognize andguarantee the rights and freedoms proclaimed in the Universal Declaration ofHuman Rights, the International covenants of economic, social, cultural,civil and political rights and other universally recognized internationallegal instruments.
ARTICLE 12. Basic rights and freedoms are the birthright of human beings.Everyone is born free. All are equal before the law and the court withoutdistinction of race, nationality, sex, language, origin, property status orposition, domicile, religion, beliefs, ideology or other considerations.
ARTICLE 13. Inalienable human rights and freedoms are the right to life,freedom, immunity and to ownership of private property.
ARTICLE 14. Everyone has the right to freedom of private life, personal andfamilial confidentiality, freedom to protect one's honour and dignity,freedom of conscience, of religion, creativity, thought, speech and belief.
ARTICLE 15. No-one can be subjected to torture, violence or other cruel ordegrading treatment or punishment.
ARTICLE 16. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of movement and choiceof domicile, confidentiality of correspondence and other forms ofcommunication.
ARTICLE 17. All people shall have the right to freedom of association and tohold peaceful rallies, assemblies, marches and demonstrations.
ARTICLE 18. Prohibited shall be the formation and activities of non-governmentalassociations, parties and movements whose aims and operations include theforceful transformation of the constitutional system, the undermining ofstate security, the creation of armed groups, the incitement of social,racial, ethnic and religious discord.
ARTICLE 19. Everyone shall have the right to a home, economic freedom, andfreedom of labour, the right to education and leisure, medical care andsocial welfare.
ARTICLE 20. A person's home is inviolable. No-one shall have the right toenter a person's home against his will, except in cases prescribed by thelaw or on the basis of a court order.
ARTICLE 21. Everyone shall be guaranteed state and judicial protection ofhis rights and freedoms.
ARTICLE 22. In the Republic of Abkhazia the principle of presumed innocenceshall hold sway. All accused persons shall be presumed innocent until provenguilty and their offence established by a judicial verdict having the forceof law.The accused shall not be obliged to prove his innocence.
ARTICLE 23. Every person detained or arrested shall be entitled to theassistance of a lawyer from the moment of detention or arrest and shall havethe right not to make any statements in the absence of a defence lawyer.
ARTICLE 24. No-one shall be tried a second time for an act for which he hasalready been found guilty by a final court judgement.
ARTICLE 25. Laws which establish or aggravate guilt shall have noretrospective effect.
ARTICLE 26. Everyone shall be entitled to reimbursement by the state fordamage caused by illegal actions of state organs and their officials.
ARTICLE 27. No citizen of the Republic of Abkhazia shall be deprived of hiscitizenship, expelled from the country or extradited to another state.
The Republic of Abkhazia shall guarantee its citizens protection and supportbeyond its frontiers.
ARTICLE 28. Any citizen of the Republic of Abkhazia having reached 18 yearsof age shall be entitled to all rights and be subject to all obligations setforth in this Constitution and the laws of the Republic of Abkhazia.
ARTICLE 29. All citizens and residents of the Republic of Abkhazia must paytaxes as required by the law.
ARTICLE 30. Everyone who happens to be in the territory of the Republic ofAbkhazia must abide by its Constitution and its legislation.
ARTICLE 31. Everyone shall respect the rights and freedoms of others.
ARTICLE 32. Everyone shall respect and protect the environment.
ARTICLE 33. Defence of the Motherland is the duty and responsibility of eachcitizen of the Republic of Abkhazia.
ARTICLE 34. The listing of certain rights in this Constitution shall not beinterpreted as a denial or impairment of other rights universally recognizedby international legal instruments.
ARTICLE 35. No law abolishing or impairing human rights and freedoms shallbe adopted or promulgated in the Republic of Abkhazia. Certain limitationsof rights and freedoms can be introduced only by the constitutional lawswhenever this might be necessary for the protection of the constitutionalsystem, for security and public order, protection of health and morality aswell as in the event of natural disasters, a state of emergency or martiallaw.
ARTICLE 36. All legislative authority established by thisConstitution shall be exercised by the People's Assembly - the Parliament ofthe Republic of Abkhazia.
ARTICLE 37. The Parliament of the Republic of Abkhazia shall consist of 35elected members, called Deputies. Parliamentary elections shall be universal,equal, direct and shall be conducted by secret ballot.
The term of office of the Parliament is limited to five years. The procedurefor the election of Deputies shall be established by constitutional law.
ARTICLE 38. Any citizen of the Republic of Abkhazia who has reached 25 yearsof age and has the right to vote shall qualify to be elected as a Deputy.
Holding office as President of the Republic of Abkhazia or as a member ofthe Cabinet, being employed in state organs and in the judicial system, aswell as the holding of any other paid job, apart from teaching, scientificresearch and artistic pursuits, shall be incompatible with the membership inthe Parliament of the Republic of Abkhazia.
For their work, Deputies shall receive a monetary remuneration paid by theRepublic of Abkhazia.
ARTICLE 39. Deputies shall enjoy personal immunity for the whole term oftheir office. They shall not be detained, arrested or searched unless theyare caught in crime and shall not be examined, except in instances when thisis prescribed by law, for the purpose of guaranteeing the security of otherpeople. The issue of divesting a Deputy of his immunity is within thecompetence of the Parliament.
ARTICLE 40. Deputies shall not be bound by an imperative mandate.
ARTICLE 41. The first session of the newly-elected Parliament shall becalled by the President of the Republic of Abkhazia within a month from theday of election.
ARTICLE 42. The Parliament shall elect from among its members the Speaker,the Speaker's deputies and other officers and form parliamentary commissionsand committees.
The Speaker shall preside over parliamentary sessions, assist Deputies inthe discharge of their duties, provide them with necessary information andsign Parliamentary resolutions .
Before the Speaker is elected, the first session of the newly electedParliament shall be presided over by its eldest Deputy.
ARTICLE 43. From the moment the newly elected Parliamentstarts its work, the term of office of the preceding Parliament shall expire.
The Parliament shall hold its sessions not less than twice a year (springsession and autumn session).
The order of work of the Parliament shall be determined by regulation.
ARTICLE 44. Any decision by the Parliament shall require a quorum. Theadoption of legislative acts, with the exception of cases specificallyprovided for by the Constitution, shall require a simple majority of all theDeputies. For the adoption of Constitutional Law and when a qualifiedmajority is necessary two-thirds of all the Deputies' votes shall berequired.
ARTICLE 45. Each Bill passed by the Parliament shall be submitted to thePresident of the Republic of Abkhazia. If the Bill is signed by thePresident it shall be promulgated within fifteen days from the date of itsapproval by the Parliament. The law shall come into effect from the momentof its promulgation, except in cases where a later date is specified by thelaw itself.
In the event that the Bill is not approved by the President, it shall bereturned, with the President's objections, to the Parliament. If on secondconsideration thereof the Bill is passed by a qualified majority, thePresident shall be obliged to sign and promulgate it.
If the Bill is not returned by the President within ten days aftersubmission, the Bill shall become a law, as it would if it had been signedby the President. The Bill shall not become a law if, due to the adjournmentof a meeting, it could not be returned to the Parliament.
ARTICLE 46. The right to initiate legislation in the Parliament of theRepublic of Abkhazia belongs to its Deputies, the President of the Republic,the Supreme Court and the General Prosecutor of the Republic of Abkhazia.
ARTICLE 47. The Parliament of the Republic of Abkhazia shall:
I) adopt the Constitution and the laws of the Republic of Abkhazia;
2) decide upon changes in administrative-territorial divisions;
3) hear the President's address on the situation in the country, theprincipal aspects of domestic and foreign policy of the state and methods oftheir implementation;
4) consider and approve the state budget and exercise control over itsexecution;
5) adopt a criminal code and criminal judicial procedure, corrective labourlaw, civil code and civil judicial procedure, arbitration and otherlegislation, as well as laws on the judicial system and prosecution laws;
6) provide the interpretation of the Constitution and the laws of theRepublic of Abkhazia;
7) establish state decorations, honourable titles and army ranks of theRepublic of Abkhazia;
8) ratify and denounce the interstate treaties and agreements of theRepublic of Abkhazia;
9) elect the Speaker of the Parliament of the Republic of Abkhazia and theSpeaker's deputies;
10) dismiss or appoint, on the nomination of the President the GeneralProsecutor, the Chairman of the National Bank and other officials inaccordance with the law;
11) take decisions on any vote of no-confidence in individual Cabinetmembers;
12) impeach the President of the Republic of Abkhazia with a view to hisdismissal;
13) grant amnesties;
14) decide upon the declaration of war and the conclusion of peace;
15) determine the immunities of Deputies of the Parliament of the Republicof Abkhazia;
16) decide upon the legality of the imposition of a state of emergency andmartial law;
17) exercise other powers entrusted to it by the Constitution and the lawsof the Republic of Abkhazia.
ARTICLE 48. The Executive Power in the Republic ofAbkhazia shall be vested in the President of the Republic of Abkhazia.
The President of the Republic of Abkhazia shall be the Head of State.
ARTICLE 49. The election of the President shall be universal, direct, equaland secret ballot. He shall hold office for a term of five years.
Any person of Abkhazian nationality who is a citizen of the Republic ofAbkhazia and who is not younger than 35 years and not older than 65 yearsand has the right to vote, is eligible to be elected President of theRepublic of Abkhazia.
The same person shall not hold office as President for more than twoconsecutive terms.
ARTICLE 5O. The President of the Republic of Abkhazia shall assume hisduties the moment he is sworn in and cease the discharge of his duties uponthe expiry of his term of office, the moment a newly elected President ofthe Republic of Abkhazia is sworn in.
The order and terms of presidential elections in the Republic of Abkhaziashall be established by constitutional law.
ARTICLE 51. On assuming office, the President of the Republic of Abkhaziashall in the presence of the members of the Supreme Court in the Parliamenttake the oath approved by the Parliament of the Republic of Abkhazia.
ARTICLE 52. Throughout the term of his office, the President of the Republicof Abkhazia shall suspend his membership of political parties and non-governmentalorganizations.
The President of the Republic of Abkhazia shall not be a Deputy or hold anyother position in state organs, non-governmental organizations or businessstructures.
At the appointed time the President shall receive an emolument, allocated bythe Republic of Abkhazia, for his services.
ARTICLE 53. The President of the Republic of Abkhazia shall:
I) ensure the observance of human rights and freedoms, of the Constitutionand laws of the Republic of Abkhazia and its international obligations;
2) determine the principal direction of domestic and foreign policy;
3) officially represent the state in international affairs;
4) sign international instruments and interstate treaties;
5) take measures to ensure the security and territorial integrity of theRepublic of Abkhazia, form and head the Security Council, the status ofwhich shall be determined by law;
6) approve the military doctrine of the Republic of Abkhazia;
7) serve as Commander- in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Republic ofAbkhazia;
8) appoint and recall diplomatic representatives of the Republic of Abkhaziain foreign states and international organizations;
9) approve programmes in the field of state, economic, social, cultural andnational development;
10) ensure the implementation, in the territory of the Republic of Abkhazia,of the financial and credit policy as well as policy in the fields ofscience, education, culture, health-care, environmental protection andsocial welfare;
11) ensure consistency in the legislative regulation of issues ofcitizenship, property, budget and financial system, taxation, environmentalprotection and civil service;
12) have the right to attend sessions of the Parliament and be given thefloor at any time on his demand;
13) impose in accordance with the law a state of emergency or martial law inthe Republic of Abkhazia in the interests of the security of its citizens,with the subsequent approval of Parliament;
14) present in accordance with his powers, to the Parliament of the Republicof Abkhazia nominations for the election to the posts of the Chairman of theNational Bank, General Prosecutor and other officials, as well as submit tothe Parliament his proposals for their dismissal;
15) set dates for Parliamentary elections;
16) appoint and dismiss heads of executive authorities in the cities anddistricts of the Republic of Abkhazia;
17) consider issues of organizational structure and the work of executiveauthorities;
18) abrogate any orders, instructions or regulations of ministries anddepartments, heads of executive authorities of cities and districts, as wellas of organs of local government which contradict the Constitution and thelegislation of the Republic of Abkhazia;
19) call a referendum on his own initiative, or on the demand of theParliament, or on the demand of the Supreme Court of the Republic, inaccordance with the rules and procedures established by the law;
20) address the Parliament with annual reports on the situation in thecountry, on the principal direction of state domestic and foreign policy,present the draft of the state budget and report on its execution;
21 ) have the right to demand extraordinary sessions of the Parliament;
22) resolve in accordance with the law, the issues of citizenship of theRepublic of Abkhazia;
23) grant pardons;
24) award state decorations, confer honourable titles, military and specialranks;
25) establish standards, units of weights and measures;
26) discharge other duties and responsibilities entrusted to him under theConstitution and laws of the Republic of Abkhazia.
ARTICLE 54. The Vice-President of the Republic ofAbkhazia shall be elected simultaneously with the President of the Republic.The nomination of the Vice-President is made by the nominee for thePresidential post.
Any citizen of the Republic of Abkhazia, not younger than 35 and not olderthan 65, having the right to vote, can be elected Vice-President.
Throughout his term of office, the Vice-President of the Republic ofAbkhazia shall suspend his membership of political parties and non-governmentalorganizations.
The Vice-President of the Republic of Abkhazia shall not be a Deputy, norhold any other posts in state, non-governmental organizations, or businessstructures.
At the appointed time the Vice-President shall receive an emolument,allocated by the Republic of Abkhazia, for his services.
ARTICLE 55. The Vice-President of the Republic of Abkhazia shall carry outon the instruction of the President his assignments, deputize in the eventof the President's absence or his inability to discharge his duties.
ARTICLE 56. To provide general guidance for the executive branch, throughoutthe country, the President of the Republic of Abkhazia shall direct theCabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Abkhazia.
The Cabinet shall be formed by the President of the Republic and shall beaccountable to him.
The Cabinet shall consist of Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Ministers,Ministers, and other officials as provided for by the law.
ARTICLE 57. The Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Abkhazia shall havethe right to resign either collectively or individually.
The resignation shall be submitted to the President of the Republic, whoshall have the right to accept or to decline it.
ARTICLE 58. The Parliament of the Republic of Abkhazia can express its lackof confidence in an individual Cabinet member and refer it to the Presidentof the Republic, whose decisions on such issues shall be final.
The organization and order of work of the Cabinet of Ministers of theRepublic of Abkhazia shall be determined by Constitutional Law.
ARTICLE 59. The authority vested in the President of the Republic shall notbe used to alter the constitutional system, or to dismiss other legitimatelyelected institutions of state power or suspend their function.
ARTICLE 60. Within his powers the President of the Republic on the basis andin pursuance of the laws in force, shall issue orders and edicts which shallbe mandatory throughout the territory of the Republic of Abkhazia.
ARTICLE 61. Decisions of the President which do not comply with theConstitution and laws of the Republic of Abkhazia can be abrogated bydecision of the Supreme Court of the Republic.
ARTICLE 62. During a state of emergency, natural disaster or hostilities thePresident of the Republic shall have the right to issue mandatory decreeswith full legislative force for immediate execution with simultaneousnotification of the Parliament of the Republic of Abkhazia thereof.
ARTICLE 63. The President shall enjoy personal immunity. His dignity andhonour shall be protected by law.
ARTICLE 64. Should the President violate his oath or breach the Constitutionand the laws of the Republic of Abkhazia, he can be relieved of his duties.Such decisions are taken by the Parliament of the Republic of Abkhazia - onthe basis of Supreme Court findings - by a two-thirds majority of itsDeputies voting by secret ballot.
ARTICLE 65. The President of the Republic of Abkhazia may tender hisresignation at any time. The question of his resignation shall be resolvedby the Parliament of the Republic of Abkhazia. The decision shall be takenby a qualified majority.
ARTICLE 66. If the President is relieved of his duties, dies, resigns orbecomes incapable of discharging the President's duties, hisresponsibilities shall be assumed by the Vice-President of the Republic. Inthe event that both the President and the Vice-President are relieved oftheir duties, die, resign or become incapable of discharging the President'sduties, they shall be assumed by the Prime-Minister of the Republic ofAbkhazia. Should none of the above be capable of attending to thePresident's duties they shall be taken over by the Speaker of the Parliament.
ARTICLE 67. The authority of the Acting President shall remain in effectuntil the reasons for the President's inability to discharge his duties areremoved, or a new President is elected.
The election of a new President shall be conducted within a three monthperiod.
The Acting President shall have no right to hold a referendum or to suggestamendments or revisions of clauses and provisions of the Constitution of theRepublic of Abkhazia.
ARTICLE 68. In the Republic of Abkhazia justice shall beadministered only through the courts. Economic disputes shall be settled bythe Court of Arbitration. The judicial system in the Republic of Abkhaziashall be stablished by Constitutional Law.
ARTICLE 69. Citizens of the Republic of Abkhazia, 27 years of age and above,with higher legal education and no less than five years experience in thelegal profession can qualify as judges.
The Chairman and members of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Abkhazia,judges of lower level courts, the Chairman and judges of the ArbitrationCourt shall be elected by the Parliament on the nomination of the Presidentof the Republic.
ARTICLE 70. The discharge of a judge's duties is incompatible with any otherofficial post in state institutions as well as any other paid job, apartfrom teaching, scientific research and artistic pursuits.
For their work, judges will receive a monetary remuneration paid by theRepublic of Abkhazia at the appointed time.
ARTICLE 71. Judges shall be elected for a term of five years. Judges areinviolable, independent and subordinate only to the Constitution and laws ofthe Republic of Abkhazia.
Criminal proceedings against a judge cannot be instituted other than underthe procedure established by law. A judge's term of office can be terminatedor suspended only under the procedure of, and on grounds established by, law.
ARTICLE 72. Court examinations in all courts shall be open to the publicexcept in cases established by the law. The legal procedure shall beadversarial with both sides having equal rights.
ARTICLE 73. The Supreme Court of the Republic of Abkhazia shall be thehighest judicial authority.
The Supreme Court of the Republic of Abkhazia shall:
I) examine cases of all issues concerning the compliance of decisions takenby the President, the Parliament and other organs of state power or localadministration with the Constitution;
2) examine cases of disputes between the state and local governments;
3) examine cases concerning the results of elections and electoralprocedures;
4) have the right to settle any disputes concerning the Constitution orexpress its opinion thereon;
5) execute legal proceedings in criminal, civil and administrative actions;
6) supervise the legality of the settlement of cases by all the courts inthe Republic of Abkhazia;
7) provide all courts with guiding clarification on the issues of judicialproceedings.
ARTICLE 74. The courts of the Republic of Abkhazia shall pronouncejudgements in the name of the Republic of Abkhazia.
ARTICLE 75. The General Prosecutor of the Republic of Abkhazia and localProsecutors subordinate to him, shall supervise the legality of criminalinvestigations, support the public prosecutor in court proceedings, bringsuits to protect the interests of the Republic and its citizens, appealagainst unlawful decisions and acts of state institutions, local governmentsand officials.
The prosecuting institutions in the Republic of Abkhazia constitute a singlesystem and shall discharge their duties independently of any governmentbodies whatsoever.
ARTICLE 76. The General Prosecutor of the Republic of Abkhazia shall beappointed and dismissed by the Parliament at the proposal of the President.
Other Prosecutors shall be appointed by the General Prosecutor of theRepublic of Abkhazia.
ARTICLE 77. The authority, organizational structure and the functions of theprosecuting offices shall be established by law.
ARTICLE 78. Local governments shall be established indistricts, cities and other settlements.
ARTICLE 79. Local government shall be exercised by citizens by way of directexpression of their will and through the elected institutions of localgovernment.
Heads of executive authorities in the cities and districts of the Republicof Abkhazia shall by appointed by the President of the Republic from amongthe members of local government institutions.
The composition, organizational structure and powers of local governmentinstitutions shall be established by the law.
ARTICLE 80. Local governments shall approve the local budget, local taxesand dues; own, use and manage municipal property; ensure the maintenance ofpublic order; establish their own internal structures and settle economic,social and other matters that are not excluded from their competence orrelegated to state organs.
ARTICLE 81. State institutions shall not curtail the rights of localgovernments established by this Constitution and the laws. Any interferencein the legitimate activities of local governments shall be inadmissible.
ARTICLE 82. Local governments shall have the right to a legal defence toensure free and unimpeded discharge of their duties.
CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS AND REVISION PROCEDURE
ARTICLE 83. Suggestions concerning the amendments andrevision of the Constitution of the Republic of Abkhazia can be made by thePresident of the Republic, the Parliament, the Supreme Court and the GeneralProsecutor of the Republic of Abkhazia.
ARTICLE 84. Amendments to the Constitution of the Republic of Abkhazia shallbe adopted by a two-thirds vote of the total number of Deputies.
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW OF THE REPUBLIC OF ABKHAZIA ON THE PROCEDURE OFBRINGING THE CONSTITUTION INTO EFFECT
The Supreme Council of the Republic of Abkhazia resolves that:
I. The Constitution of the Republic of Abkhazia shallcome into effect on the day it is adopted, except for Article 44, whichshall take effect after the election of a new Parliament of the Republic ofAbkhazia.
2. Laws and other enactments, which have been in force in the territory ofthe Republic until this Constitution comes into effect shall be applied inthe parts that do not contradict the Constitution of the Republic ofAbkhazia.
3. From the day the Constitution comes into effect, the Supreme Council ofthe Republic of Abkhazia and its officers shall be called according to theConstitution of the Republic of Abkhazia as follows:
Supreme Council of the Republic of Abkhazia - People's Assembly - Parliamentof the Republic of Abkhazia;
Chairman of the Supreme Council - Speaker of the Parliament of the Republicof Abkhazia;
First Deputy Chairman of the Republic of Abkhazia - First Deputy of theSpeaker;
Deputy Chairmen of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Abkhazia -Parliament Speaker's Deputies;
Commissions of the Supreme Council - Commissions of the Parliament of theRepublic of Abkhazia.
4. The Parliament of the Republic of Abkhazia shall discharge its duties inaccordance with the Constitution of the Republic until a new Parliament iselected. Any decisions of the Parliament shall be taken by a majority voteof the Deputies.
5. The first President of the Republic of Abkhazia andthe first Vice-President shall be elected by the Parliament of the Republic.
6. The Council of Ministers (the Government) of the Republic of Abkhazia andall other functioning structures of power shall continue to discharge theirduties until new institutions are established in accordance with thisConstitution.
7. Under this Constitution the election of a new Parliament of the Republicof Abkhazia shall be conducted on the basis of the appropriate law in 1995.
8. Once the Constitution of the Republic of Abkhazia comes into effect alltypes of courts shall retain their authority until the expiry of the termfor which they were elected. All vacancies shall be filled in accordancewith the procedures established by this Constitution.
9. This law shall come into effect on the day of its adoption.
Chairman of the Supreme Council
of the Republic of Abkhazia