Legislative Branch

Legislative Branch

- Constitution of Haiti

Legislative Branch

Chapter II
The Legislative Branch
Article 88:

Legislative power shall be vested in two (2) representative Houses. One (1) House of Deputies and one (1) Senate, comprising the Legislature or Parliament.

Section A
The House of Deputies
Article 89:

The House of Deputies is a body composed of members elected by direct suffrage by the citizens and is responsible for exercising, on their behalf and in concert with the Senate, the functions of the legislative branch.

Article 90:

Each Municipal Authority comprises an electoral district and elects one (1) Deputy.

The law sets up to three (3) the number of Deputies at the level of large built-up areas.

Pending application of the above subparagraphs, the number of Deputies may not be fewer than seventy (70).

Article 90-1:

Deputies are elected by an absolute majority of votes cast in the Primary Assemblies, according to the conditions and in the manner prescribed by the Electoral Law.

Article 91:

To be elected a member of the House of Deputies, a person must:

1. Be a native Haitian and have never renounced his nationality;

2. Have attained twenty-five (25) years of age;

3. Enjoy civil and political rights and never have been sentenced to death, personal restraint or penal servitude or the loss of civil rights for any crime of ordinary law;

4. Have resided at least two (2) consecutive years prior to the date of the elections in the electoral district he is to represent;

5. Own at least one real property in the district and practice a profession or trade;

6. Have been relieved, if need be, of his responsibilities as a manager of public funds.

Article 92:

Deputies are elected for four (4) years and may be reelected an indefinite number of times.

Article 92-1:

The take office on the second Monday of January, and sit in two (2) annual meetings. The duration of their term comprises a legislative session.

Article 92-2:

The first session runs from the second Monday of January to the second Monday of May; the second session, from the second Monday of June to the second Monday of September.

Article 92-3:

The House of Deputies is completely replaced every four (4) years.

Article 93:

Beside the duties conferred upon it by the Constitution as a branch of the Legislature, the House of Deputies has the duty of arraigning the Chief of State, the Prime Minister, the Ministers and the Secretaries of State before the High Court of Justice, by a majority of two-thirds (2/3) of this members. The other powers of the House of Deputies are assigned by the Constitution and by law.

Section B
The Senate
Article 94:

The Senate is a body composed of members elected by direct suffrage of the citizens and charged with exercising on their behalf, in concert with the House of Deputies, the duties of the Legislative Branch.

Article 94-1:

The number of Senators is set at three (3) per Department.

Article 94-2:

A Senator of Republic is elected by universal suffrage by an absolute majority of votes in the Primary Assemblies held in the geographic Departments, under the terms prescribed by the Electoral Law.

Article 95:

Senators are elected for six (6) years and may be reelected an indefinite number of times.

Article 95-1:

The Senate is permanently session.

Article 95-2:

The Senate may however adjourn, but not during the Legislative Section. When it adjourns, it leaves a permanent, committee charged with handling current business. The committee may not make any decisions, except to convene the Senate.

In emergencies, the Executive may also convene the Senate before the end of the adjournment period.

Article 95-3:

One-third (1/3) of the Senate is replaced every two (2) years.

Article 96:

To be elected to the Senate, a person must:

1. Be a native-born Haitian and never have renounced his nationality;

2. Have attained thirty (30) years of age;

3. Enjoy civil and political rights and never have been sentenced to death, personal restraint or penal servitude or the loss of civil rights for a crime of ordinary law;

4. Have resided in the Department he will represent, at least four (4) consecutive years prior to the date of the elections;

5. Own at least one (1) real property in the Department and practice a profession or trade there;

6. Have been relieved, if need be, of his responsibilities as a manager of public funds.

Article 97:

In addition to the responsibilities incumbent upon it as a branch of the Legislature, the Senate shall have the following powers:

1. To propose to the Executive the list of Supreme Court (Cour de Cassation) justices according to the provisions of the Constitution;

2. Constitute itself as a High Court of Justice;

3. Exercise all other powers assigned to it by this Constitution and by law.

Section C
The National Assembly
Article 98:

The meeting in a single Assembly of the two (2) branches of the Legislature constitutes the National Assembly.

Article 98-1:

The National Assembly meets to open and close each session and in all cases provided for by the Constitution.

Article 98-2:

The powers of the National Assembly are limited and may not be extended to matters other than those especially assigned to it by the Constitution.

Article 98-3:

The Assembly's powers are:

1. To receive the constitutional oath of the President of the Republic;

2. To ratify any decision to declare war when all efforts at conciliation have failed;

3. To approve or reject international treaties and conventions;

4. To amend the Constitution according to the procedure indicated herein;

5. To ratify decisions of the Executive to move the seat of the Government in cases determined by the first article of this Constitution;

6. To decide on when a state of siege shall be declared, to order with the Executive that Constitutional guarantees shall be suspended, and to decide on any request to renew that measure;

7. To contribute to selecting members of the Permanent Electoral Council, pursuant to article 92 of this Constitution;

8. To receive at the opening of each session the report on the Government's activities.

Article 99:

The National Assembly is presided over by the President of the Senate, assisted by the President of the House of Deputies acting as Vice President. the Secretaries of the Senate and the House of Deputies are the Secretaries of the National Assembly.

Article 99-1:

In the event the President of the Senate is unable to discharge his duties, the National Assembly shall be presided over by the President of the House of Deputies, and the Vice President of the Senate shall then become Vice President of the National Assembly.

Article 99-2:

In the event the two (2) Presidents are unable to discharge their duties, the two (2) Vice-Presidents shall replace them, respectively.

Article 100:

Sessions of the National Assembly are public. However, they may be held in closed session at the request of five (5) members, and the resumption of public sessions shall then be decided by an absolute majority.

Article 101:

In emergencies, when the Legislature is not in session, the Executive Branch may call a special session of the National Assembly.

Article 102:

The National Assembly may not meet or take decisions and pass resolutions without a majority of each of the two (2) Houses being present.

Article 103:

The Legislature has its seat in Port-au-Prince. However, depending on the circumstances, this seat may be transferred elsewhere to the same place and at the same time as that of the Executive Branch.

Section D
Exercise of Legislative Power
Article 104:

A session of the Legislature dates from the opening of the two (2) Houses meeting as the National Assembly.

Article 105:

In the interval between regular sessions and in emergencies, the President of the Republic may call a special session of the Legislature.

Article 106:

The Chief of the Executive Branch reports on that measure by a message.

Article 107:

In the event the Legislature is convened in special session, it may not decide on any matter other than that for which it was called.

Article 107-1:

However, any Senator or Deputy may introduce a matter of general interest in an Assembly of which he is a member.

Article 108:

Each House checks and validates the credentials of its members and is the final judge of any disputes that may arise in this regard.

Article 109:

The members of each House shall take the following oath:

"I swear to discharge my duties, to maintain and safeguard the rights of the people, and to be faithful to the Constitution".

Article 110:

Meetings of the two (2) Houses are public. Each House may meet in closed session at the request of five (5) members, and the decision to resume public meetings shall then be taken by a majority vote.

Article 111:

The Legislature takes the laws on all matters of public interest.

Article 111-1:

Laws may be initiated by each of the two (2) Houses as well as by the Executive Branch.

Article 111-2:

However, only the Executive Branch may initiate budget laws, laws concerning the assessment, percentage and manner of collecting taxes and contributions, and laws designed to generate revenues or to increase revenues and expenditures of the Government, Bills introduced on these matters must be voted on first by the House of Deputies.

Article 111-3:

In the event of disagreement between the two (2) Houses regarding the laws mentioned in the preceding paragraph, each House shall appoint, by voting on a list of an equal number of members, a parliamentary committee that will make a final decision on the disagreement.

Article 111-4:

If a disagreement occurs with regard to any other law, a decision on it will be postponed until the following session. If, at that session, and even in the case of replacement of the Houses no agreement is reached on the law when it is introduced again, each House shall appoint, by taking a vote on a list of an equal number of members, a parliamentary committee to decide on the final text that will be submitted to the two (2) Assemblies, beginning with the one that originally voted on the law. If these additional deliberations produce no result, the Bill or proposed law will be withdrawn.

Article 111-5:

In the event of disagreement between the Legislature and the Executive Branch, the disagreement shall, at the request of one of the parties, be referred to the Conciliation Committee provided for in article 206 below.

Article 111-6:

If the Committee fails to reach a decision it shall draw up a report of nonconciliation, which it shall remit to the two (2) high parties and inform the Supreme Court thereof.

Article 111-7:

Within two weeks of receipt of this report, the disagreement shall be referred to the Supreme Court. Sitting as a full court, the Court shall hand down its decision forthwith, setting all other matters aside. Its decision shall be final and is binding on the high parties. If, meanwhile, the high parties reach agreement, the terms of the agreement shall as a matter of course terminate the procedure under way.

Article 111-8:

In no case may the House of Deputies or the Senate be dissolved or adjourned, nor shall the terms of their members be extended.

Article 112:

Each House shall, in accordance with its regulations appoint its staff, establish discipline for them and determine the manner in which they shall perform their duties.

Article 112-1:

Each House may impose on its members for reprehensible conduct, by a two thirds (2/3) majority vote, disciplinary penalties, except for expulsion.

Article 113:

Any member of the Legislature shall be disqualified as a Deputy or Senator, if, during his term, he has received a final sentence by a court of regular law, which renders him ineligible to serve.

Article 114:

Members of the Legislature are inviolable form the day the take oath up to the expiration of their term, subject to the provisions of article 115 below.

Article 114-1:

They may at no time be prosecuted or attacked for the opinions and votes cast by them in the discharge o their duties.

Article 114-2:

No member of the Legislature shall be subject to civil imprisonment during his term of office.

Article 115:

No member of the Legislature may during his term be arrested under ordinary law for a crime, a minor offense or a petty violation, except by authorization of the House of which he is a member, unless he is apprehended in the act of committing an offense punishable by death, personal restraint or penal servitude or the loss of civil rights. In that case, the matter is referred to the House of Deputies or the Senate without delay of the Legislature is in session, and if not, it shall be taken up the next regular or special session.

Article 116:

Neither of the two (2) Houses may sit or take action without the presence of a majority of its members.

Article 117:

All acts of the Legislature must be approved by a majority of the members present, unless otherwise stipulated in this Constitution.

Article 118:

Each House has the right to investigate matters brought before it.

Article 119:

All bills must be voted on article by article.

Article 120:

Each House has the right to amend and to divide articles and amendments proposed. Amendments voted on by one House may be part of a bill only after it has been voted on by the other House in the same forme and in identical terms. No bill shall become a law until it has been voted on in the same form by the two (2) Houses.

Article 120-2:

Any bill may be withdrawn from discussion so long as it has not been finally voted upon.

Article 121:

Any bill passed by the Legislature shall be immediately forwarded to the President of the Republic, who, before promulgation it, has the right to make objections to it in all or in part.

Article 121-1:

In such cases, the President of the Republic send back the bill with his objections to the House where it was originally passed, If the bill is amended by that house, it is sent to the other Houses with the objections.

Article 121-2:

If the bill thus amended is voted on by the second House, it will be sent back to the President of the Republic for promulgation.

Article 121-3:

If the objection are rejected by the House that originally passed the bill, it shall be returned to the other House with the objections.

Article 121-4:

If the second House also votes to reject it, the bill is sent back to the President of the Republic, who must then promulgate it.

Article 121-5:

Rejection of the objection is voted on by either House by the majority stipulated in article 117. In such cases, the votes of each House shall be taken by secret ballot.

Article 121-6:

If in either House the Majority stipulated in the preceding paragraph is not obtained for the rejection, the objections are accepted.

Article 122:

The right of objection must be exercised within eight (8) full days starting with the date of the receipt of the bill by the President of the Republic.

Article 123:

If within the prescribed deadline, the President of the Republic has made expiration, the bill must be promulgated unless the session of the Legislature has ended before exploration of the deadline, in which case, the bill is deferred. At the opening of the following session, the bill thus deferred is sent to the President of the Republic to exercise his right of objection.

Article 124:

A bill rejected by one of the two (2) Houses may not be introduced again in the same session.

Article 125:

Bills and other acts of the Legislature and the National Assembly shall enter into force with their promulgation and their publication in the Official Gazette (Journal Officiel) of the Republic.

Article 125-1:

Bills shall be numbered and included in the printed and numbered bulletin entitled BULLETIN OF LAWS AND ACTS.

Article 126:

The bill is dated on the day of it final adoption by the two (2) Houses.

Article 127:

No one may submit petitions in person to the Legislature.

Article 128:

Only the Legislature Branch has the authority to interpret laws, which it does by passing a law.

Article 129:

Each member of the Legislature receives a monthly stipend from the time he takes oath.

Article 129-1:

Service as a member of the Legislature is incompatible with any other duty remunerated by the State, except that of teacher.

Article 129-2:

Every member of the two (2) Houses has the right to question and interpellate a member of the Government or the entire Government on events and acts of the Administration.

Article 129-3:

As interpellation request must be seconded by five (5) members of the body concerned. it becomes a vote of confidence or of censure when passed by a majority of that body.

Article 129-4:

When the interpellation request ends in a votes of censure on a question concerning a Government program or declaration of general policy, the Prime Minister must submit his Government's resignation to the President of the Republic.

Article 129-5:

The president must accept that resignation and appoint new Primer Minister, pursuant to the provisions of this Constitution.

Article 129-6:

The Legislature may not pass more than one vote of censure a year on a question concerning a Government program or declaration of general policy.

Article 130:

In the case of the death, resignation, disqualification, judicial interdiction, or acceptance of a duty incompatible with that of a member of the Legislature, the Deputy or Senator shall be replaced in his Electoral District for only the remainder of his term by a by-election called by the Primary Electoral Assembly to be conducted by the Permanent Electoral Council in the month he vacancy occurs.

Article 130-1:

The election shall take place within thirty (30) days after convocation of the Primary Assembly, pursuant to the Constitution.

Article 130-2:

The same procedure shall apply in the absence of an election or in the event that elections are declared null and void by the Permanent Electoral Council in one or more Electoral Districts.

Article 130-3:

However, if the vacancy occurs during the last regular session of the Legislature or after that session, a by-election may not be held.

Section E
Incompatibilities
Article 131:

The following may not be elected members of the Legislature:

1. Government concessionnaires or contractors for the performance of public services;

2. Representatives or agents of Government contractors or concessionnaires, or companies or corporations that have Government concessions or contracts;

3. Delegated, Vice Delegates, judges, and officers of the Public Prosecutor's Office whose duties have not terminated six (6) months before the date set for the elections;

4. Any person who comes under the other cases of ineligibility stipulates by this Constitution and by law.

Article 132:

Members of the Executive Branch and the Director Generals of Government departments may not be elected members of the Legislature unless they resign at least one (1) year before the date of the elections.

Constitution of Haiti

Republic of Haiti
Territory
Haitian Nationality
Nature of the Citizenship
Basic Rights
Right to life and Health
Individual Liberty
Freedom of Expression
Freedom of Conscience
Freedom of assembly and Association
Education and Teaching
Freedom to Work
Property
Right to Information
Right to Security
Duties of the Citizen
Aliens
National Sovereignty
Territorial Divisions And Decentralization
Communal Sections
Communes
Arrondissements
Departments
Delegates and Vice Presidents
Interdepartamental Council
Legislative Branch
House of Deputies
Senate
National Assembly
Exercise of Legislative Power
Incompatibilities
Executive Branch
President of the Republic
Duties of the President of the Republic
Government
Powers of The Prime Minister
Ministers and Secretaries of State
Judiciary
High Court of Justice
Independent Institutions
Permanent Electoral Council
Superior Court of Auditors
Conciliation Comission
Protection of Citizens
University Academy Culture
Public Finance
Civil Service
Economics and Agriculture
Environment
Family
Armed Forces and the Police Force
Armed Forces
Police Forces
General Provisions
Amendments to the Constitution
Temporary Provisions
Final Provisions
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