After Satelliteland declared independence from Elysia – after the latter finally abolished HPA slavery – the country promulgated a new constitution. Under the 2148 constitution the country is established as a presidential unitary republic, though critics argue that it is one of the least democratic constitutions of all space nations. Much power is vested to the president, while parliamentary powers are severely limited.
Part I The Fundamental Principles of the Nation
Article 1 establish that only humans and uplifted mammals can be citizens and states that humanoid pseudo-animals are subject to enslavement. The government is bound to upheld slavery of these group.
Article 2 establish a bill rights which, of course, only applies to humans and uplifted animals. Nevertheless, these rights can be restricted for the sake of national security.
Article 3 provides for limited protection for free humanoid pseudo-animals. It explicitly prohibits minimum wage laws.
Part II The Legislature
In this part the legislative power of the state is organized. It creates a bicameral parliament consisting of the National Assembly and the Senate.
The National Assembly consist of 225 members elected in single member districts for a three-year term. The Senate has 91 members appointed for life by the president.
Though the Senate cannot block legislation, it can delay the passing of “undesirable” laws for quite some time by repeatedly proposing amendments to bills from the National Assembly.
Also members of the National Assembly are subject by recall procedure, if their constituents are dissatisfied with their performance. In practice this provision is used to intimidate MPs to vote in favor of the government – under threat of a possible recall.
Part III The Executive
Executive is vested in the president and is supported by the prime-minister and the council of ministers.
The president has the following powers:
- she* appoints and dismisses the members of the cabinet
- she issues presidential decrees
- she determines the electoral districts (used in both NA elections and referendums)
- she can dissolve the National Assembly at will
- she can call for a referendum
- she has absolute veto on laws passed by the legislature
(*There has never been a male president.)
According to the constitution the president serves a life term. Upon death, resignation or (though very unlikely) impeachment, the president is succeeded by the vice-president.
The vice-president is nominated by the president and has to be approved by the National Assembly. However, if the NA should reject the presidential nominee, the president can hold a referendum.
In case there is no president or vice-president, the National Assembly will be dissolved and a newly elected assembly will elect a new president.
Technically the president can be impeached by the National Assembly, but the procedure is complicated. First the National Assembly has to pass a vote of no confidence with a two-third majority. Then the assembly is dissolved and the newly elected assembly has to vote again on the issue. However, the new assembly can do this only if the turnout exceeds a fifty-percent threshold. And finally the motion to impeach the president has to be submitted to a referendum and if turnout is fifty percent or more AND two-thirds of the voters votes in favor of impeachment, only then the president is removed from office.
Part IV The Judiciary
Somewhat surprising the Judiciary of Satelliteland is independent from the other parts of government. This particularly due to the fact that the former State Supreme Court was reestablished as the national Supreme Court and left the appointment of lower judges to the Supreme Court. In practice the judiciary is essentially the only remedy citizens have against the otherwise unlimited power of the presidency.
Part V Miscellaneous
This part contains a wide variety of provision, including the banking sector and the regulation of universities.