How Treaty Would Divide Powers in the Soviet Union

By , Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

THESE are the main points of the third draft of a new draft union treaty intended to replace the December 1922 treaty that established the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.Basic principles: A Union of Sovereign Soviet Republics is created, in which each republic "party to the treaty is a sovereign state." Each is "entitled to establish direct diplomatic, consular, trade, and other ties with foreign states," so long as such ties do not violate the country's international commitments. Division of powers: Powers are divided between a union sphere of jurisdiction and a sphere of joint jurisdiction. The union deals with protection of the sovereignty and territory of the country, including organizing defense; carrying out unionwide foreign policy; coordination of foreign economic activity; approval and execution of a union budget; issuance of money; adoption of a constitution; preservation of gold, diamond, and currency stocks; coordination of law and order activities. The republics and union jointly protect the constitution; define policy for security, foreign affairs, socioeconomic development; control the execution of the budget, monetary policy, energy policy, and fundamental scientific research; ensure observance of union laws, presidential decrees, and resolutions. All powers not delegated to either sphere remain under the jurisdiction of the republics and are carried out by them independently or on the basis of bilateral or multilateral agreements. The treaty says that, as the market economy develops and the direct state role diminishes, the powers of republican and union governments may be altered accordingly by mutual agreement. Property ownership: "The land, subsoil, water, and other natural resources, flora, and fauna are the property of the republics.... The states that form the union give to it the objects of property which are necessary for the implementation of the powers vested in the union." Taxes: Republics levy taxes to finance their budgets. Federal union taxes are also set by agreement with the republics. Republics also make proportional contributions to unionwide programs, taking into account their level of development. Structure of the union government: Legislative power is exercised by the Supreme Soviet (parliament), which has two chambers: a Soviet of the Republics and a Soviet of the Union. The former is formed by representatives of republics delegated by their legislatures; the latter, by direct, proportional vote. The executive consists of a president and vice president elected by direct vote for no more than two five-year terms. The president has authority over the Cabinet, represents the union in foreign relations, and is commander in chief. A constitutional court examines questions of constitutionality of laws of the union and republics and resolves disputes between them as well as among republics.

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