Charter of Mechyrdia

The Charter of Commonwealth of the Empire of Mechyrdia (Mec. Štatut Respublicas Ciarstuos Mehurdiasi) is the supreme law of Mechyrdia, providing the specification for the structure and powers of the imperial government. Largely inspired by the United States Constitution, Ciar Nicólei the First and Only also sought to learn from the mistakes of the past when writing the Charter. The drafting of the Charter began in 5 UC (2645 AD), and it was ratified by the founding sectors of the Empire in 7 UC (2647 AD). It has since been amended seven times, with the second amendment being a result of accidentally testing code in the production-environment database.

The following text is the official English translation of the Charter:

Preamble

Nicolei Evanovich Mechyrdov, by the will of the gods Master of Mankind, Emperor of Mechyrdia, King of planet Mechyrdion and the Mechyrd system, Duke of Anaktopolis and Utica, Director-Prince of Rijksmond, and Count of Coulomb Secundus, to all his loyal and faithful subjects, salutations. Know that, in order to form a perfect Federation, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general wellbeing, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, We hereby ordain and establish this Charter for the Empire of Mechyrdia.

Article I

Section 1

All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in the Senate of the Empire of Mechyrdia, which shall consist of two chambers: the Relmitah and the Relmiraþ.

Section 2

The Relmitah shall be composed of members chosen each year equivalent to two modulus four, counting from the founding of the Empire in year zero.

No person shall be a Senator of the Relmitah who shall not have attained to the age of twenty-four years, and been eight years a citizen of Mechyrdia, and who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that sector in which he shall be chosen.

Senators of the Relmitah shall be apportioned among the sectors and sole capital district in order to result in a total quantity of 896 senators. This apportionment shall use a highest-averages method in proportion with the number of citizens of the sector or district divided by the number of citizens of the Empire; the divisor function is set to d(k) = k, such that each sector or district is guaranteed at least one seat within the Relmitah. Calculation of this apportionment shall be done each year that is equivalent to one modulus four, or each year immediately preceding a year in which senators of the Relmitah are elected.

Senators of the Relmitah are to be selected in a manner decided by the government of the sector that each Senator represents. In the event of a vacancy, the sector government is to decide a replacement, losing that seat of representation before a new Senator is decided.

Equal division of votes shall be broken in favor of the status quo.

The Relmitah shall have sole power to initiate impeachment of imperial officials.

Section 3

The Relmiraþ shall be composed of members chosen each year equivalent to two modulus four, counting from the founding of the Empire in year zero.

No person shall be a Senator of the Relmiraþ who shall not have attained to the age of twenty-eight years, and been ten years a citizen of Mechyrdia, and who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that sector in which he shall be chosen.

Senators of the Relmiraþ shall be apportioned among the sectors and sole capital district in order to result in a total quantity of 640 senators. Each sector shall receive the same apportionment of senators in the Relmiraþ. This size is to be equal to the size of the Relmiraþ divided by the number of sectors, subtracting one seat from each sector in the event that the size of the Relmiraþ should be evenly divisible by the number of sectors. The remaining portion is given to the capital district of Mechyrd.

Senators of the Relmiraþ are to be selected in a manner decided by the government of the sector that each Senator represents. In the event of a vacancy, the sector government is to decide a replacement, losing that seat of representation before a new Senator is decided.

Equal division of votes shall be broken in favor of the status quo: rejecting the proposed motion currently voted upon.

The Relmiraþ shall have sole power to try impeachments of imperial officials. No person shall be convicted without the concurrence of more than 3/4 of members present. Sentences delivered to the convict of an impeachment trial shall be no greater than removal from office and disqualification to hold any public office within the Empire of Mechyrdia; however, the party convicted shall be liable to indictment, trial, judgement, sentencing, and punishment, according to law.

Section 4

The Senate shall assemble at least once every year, such meeting shall be on day /7/20 the seventeenth of Octóber, unless having already assembled prior to then within the same year.

Section 5

Each chamber shall be the judge of returns and qualifications of its members. A majority of each chamber shall constitute a quorum to conduct business. Each chamber is authorized to compel the attendance of absent members by majority vote, under the penalties that each chamber is permitted to provide.

Each chamber may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of at least 3/4, expel a member.

Each chamber shall keep a journal of its proceedings. This journal shall be publicly accessible on the Internet by all citizens of the Empire, at no fee or cost. Parts of the journal may be excepted from public access if, in the judgement of the chamber and consent of the Chancellor, such parts require secrecy. The Yea and Nay votes of the members of each chamber on any question shall be entered into the journal.

Neither chamber, during the session of the Senate, shall adjourn for more than four days without consent of the other chamber, nor to any place than that in which the Senate shall be sitting.

Section 6

Senators shall receive a compensation for their services, to be ascertained by law, and paid out of the Treasury of the Empire. They shall, in all cases except treason, felony, and breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the session of their respective chambers, and in going to and returning from the same. For any speech or debate in either chamber, no Senator shall be questioned by government or court in any other place.

No Senator shall, during the time for which he was elected, by appointed to any civil or military office under the authority of the Empire, and no person holding any civil or military office under the Empire shall be a member of the Senate during his continuance in office.

Section 7

All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the Relmitah, but the Relmiraþ may propose or concur with amendments as on other bills.

Each bill which shall have passed the Relmitah and the Relmiraþ must, before it shall become a law, be presented to the Chancellor of the Empire. If he approved, he shall sign it into law, but if not he shall return it to the Senate, with his objections noted in the journal of the chamber in which the bill has originated. The originating chamber shall proceed to reconsider the bill. If, after such reconsideration, 3/4 of that chamber shall agree to pass the bill, then it shall be sent, together with the Chancellor's objections, to the other chamber, by which it shall again be reconsidered, and if approved by 3/4 of that chamber, it shall become a law.

In all cases, the votes of both chambers shall be determined by yeas or nays, and the names of the Senators voting for and against the bill shall be entered into the journal of each chamber, respectively. A bill may be held indefinitely by the Chancellor, until he shall decide to sign it or to return it.

Every order, resolution, or vote to which the concurrence of both chambers of the Senate may be necessary, excepting questions of adjournment, shall be presented to the Chancellor, and before it shall take effect, shall be approved by him, or, should it be disapproved by him, shall be reconsidered by 3/4 of each chamber of the Senate, according to the rules and limitations prescribed in the case of a bill.

Section 8

The Senate shall have the following powers:

Section 9

The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended.

No bill of attainder or ex post facto law shall be passed.

No tax, tariff, or duty shall be laid on any articles exported or imported between sectors.

No preference shall be given by any regulation of commerce or revenue to the trade-ports of one sector over those of another, nor shall vessels bound to or from one sector be obliged to enter, clear, or pay duties in another.

No sector may impose fees, costs, or fines on any citizen of the Empire outside the borders of said sector.

No money shall be drawn from the Treasury or created by fiat but in consequence of appropriations made by law. A regular statement and account of the receipts, expenditures, creation and destruction of all public money shall be made publicly accessible on the Internet by all citizens of the Empire, at no fee or cost.

Section 10

No sector shall enter, on its own, into any treaty, alliance, or confederation. No sector shall grant letters of marque and reprisal. No sector shall coin money or create money by fiat. No sector may pass any bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or any law impairing the obligation of contracts.

No sector shall, without the consent of the Senate, lay any imposts or duties on any imports or exports, except those which are absolutely necessary for executing its inspection laws. The net produce of all duties and imposts, laid by any sector on imports or exports, shall be for the use of the Treasury of the Empire, and all such laws shall be subject to the revision and control of the Senate.

No sector shall, without the consent of the Senate, enter into any agreement or compact with another sector or with a foreign Power, or engage in war, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent danger that no delay may be afforded.

Article II

Section 1

Ultimate senatorial power shall be vested in a Chancellor of the Empire of Mechyrdia. He shall hold his office during a term demarcated by consecutive years equivalent to zero modulus four, may only serve for at most two terms, and be elected by the following process:

Each political party with at least one member in the Senate will decide either to lead an electoral coalition, to join the electoral coalition of another party, or to abstain from the election for Chancellor. These electoral coalitions exist until a Chancellor is elected at the end of the current election, and are not required to be congruent with legislative coalitions that exist within the Senate.

Each electoral coalition shall hold a primary election to choose a single candidate for Chancellor, the mechanism of which will be decided by the coalition's leadership. No more than one electoral coalition may choose the same candidate for Chancellor.

Each sector shall decide a number of electoral votes, proportioned out of the total size of the Electoral College according to the square root of the sector's population. Each sector is entitled to its own method of choosing electoral votes. All electoral votes must go to a candidate for Chancellor as decided by an electoral coalition.

The elected Chancellor shall be the candidate with the largest number of votes, should that number be a majority of the Electoral College. In the case where no candidate holds a majority of the College, the Senate shall hold a joint session of both chambers, where the total delegation of each sector has one vote, weighted equally for each sector. A majority of sectors shall be necessary for a Chancellor to be decided, and the Senate shall remain in this joint session until majority decision is reached.

No person except a natural born citizen of the Empire of Mechyrdia, or a citizen of the Empire of Mechyrdia at the time of the First Emperor's declaration, shall be eligible to the office of Chancellor. Neither shall any person having not yet attained to the age of thirty-two years be eligible to the office of Chancellor. Neither shall any person having not yet been a resident within the Empire of Mechyrdia for a total of twelve years be eligible for the office of Chancellor. Neither shall any person having already served at least six years and one day be eligible for the office of Chancellor.

In case of incapacitation of the Chancellor of the Empire of Mechyrdia, whether due to death, disability, or removal or resignation from office, the Senate shall hold a joint session of both chambers to elect a Temporary Chancellor. This joint session shall weight each sector's total delegation equally, granting one vote to each sector. A majority of sectors shall be necessary for a Chancellor to be decided, and the Senate shall remain in this joint session until majority decision is reached.

The imperial government of the Empire of Mechyrdia shall not be permitted to pass laws while the office of Chancellor is vacant. The Temporary Chancellor shall not be someone ineligible for the office of Chancellor. The person elected by the Senate to serve as Temporary Chancellor shall be ineligible to be chosen by any electoral coalition as candidate for Chancellor for the duration of the four years following his election as Temporary Chancellor.

The Chancellor shall receive for his services a monetary compensation, which shall remain at a constant numerical quantity for the duration of his service as Chancellor. He shall not receive within that duration any other financial payment from the Empire of Mechyrdia or any subdivision thereof.

The Chancellor's Oath

Before he enter into the execution of Chancery, he shall take the following oath by recitation, substituting into his oath invocations of deities in accordance with his own faith:

I do solemnly swear, by deity of choice, by part of deity/pantheon (repeated for each chosen part of deity/pantheon), and by all the collective of pantheon/servants of single deity, making them my witnesses, that I will carry out, according to the best of my ability, this oath and indenture.

I will faithfully execute the office of Chancellor of the Empire of Mechyrdia. I will uphold and preserve the values of the Empire of Mechyrdia. I will protect and defend the Charter of State of the Empire of Mechyrdia.

I will sign and veto laws in order to benefit the people and sectors of the Empire of Mechyrdia according to my greatest ability and judgement. I will do no harm or injustice to any portion of the Empire of Mechyrdia, and will repair any harm or injustice done to any portion of the Empire of Mechyrdia to the best of my ability. I will deprive no citizen of the Empire of Mechyrdia of his natural freedoms without proper administration of due process.

I will serve as the best and greatest representative of the Empire of Mechyrdia to all foreign peoples and rulers. I will represent the interests of the Empire of Mechyrdia as a whole to any foreign dignitaries and will not favor any faction or portion of the Empire of Mechyrdia over any other.

Henceforth, if I carry out this oath, and break it not, may I gain forever the blessing of deity of choice for my life and for the Empire of Mechyrdia; But, if I break it and forswear myself, may I receive the harshest and most severe curse and punishment possible from deity of choice.

Religious individuals may substitute whichever deities or concepts they wish into the Chancellor's Oath. Atheists, agnostics, and other irreligious individuals are also permitted to substitute in names of famous scientists instead.

Section 2

The Chancellor shall be Commander in Chief of all Armed Forces of the Empire of Mechyrdia. When called into the actual service of the Empire, he may require the written opinion of the principal officer in each of the executive ministries, regarding any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices.

He shall have power, on the advice and consent of the Relmiraþ, to make Treaties, provided 3/4 of Senators in the Relmiraþ concur. He shall nominate, with the advice and consent of the Relmiraþ, ambassadors, consuls to foreign polities, and all other officers of the Empire of Mechyrdia, whose appointments are not otherwise herein specified. Appointments to any offices established by law may be, by the law consented to by the Senate, vested in the Chancellor, the Prime Minister, in the courts of law, or in the heads of ministries.

He shall have power to approve or veto the nominations for judges of the Imperial Arbitration Council by the Prime Minister.

Section 3

The Chancellor shall, from time to time, give Senate information of the State of the Empire, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient. He may, on extraordinary occasion, convene both chambers, or either of them, and in case of disagreement between them, with respect to the time of adjournment, he may adjourn them to such time as he shall think proper.

The Chancellor shall receive Ambassadors and other public ministers. He shall commission all officers of the Armed Forces of the Empire of Mechyrdia.

Article III

Section 1

Executive power shall be vested in a Prime Minister of the Empire of Mechyrdia. He shall hold his office at the consent of the Chancellor of the Empire of Mechyrdia, and shall be appointed to the office by nomination of the Chancellor and ratification of the Relmiraþ.

No person except a natural born citizen of the Empire of Mechyrdia, or a citizen of the Empire of Mechyrdia at the time of the First Emperor's declaration, shall be eligible to the office of Prime Minister. Neither shall any person having not yet attained to the age of thirty-six years be eligible to the office of Prime Minister. Neither shall any person having not yet been a resident within the Empire of Mechyrdia for a total of fourteen years be eligible for the office of Prime Minister.

Section 2

The Prime Minister shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the Empire, except in cases of impeachment. He shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.

He shall have power, on advice and consent of the Chancellor, to nominate judges of the Imperial Arbitration Council.

All ministers and officers of government ministries shall retain their offices at will by the Prime Minister.

Article IV

Section 1

Judicial power shall be vested in one Imperial Arbitration Council, and in such subordered arbitration bodies as the Senate may ordain and establish at will. The arbitrators, both of the imperial and subordered councils, shall hold their offices during good behavior, and shall, at stated times, receive for their services a compensation which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office.

Section 2

Judicial power shall extend to all cases, in law and equity, arising under this Charter, the laws of the Empire of Mechyrdia, and treaties made, or which shall be made, under imperial authority, to:

In all cases affecting Ambassadors, other public ministers, and Consuls, and those in which a sector shall be party, the Imperial Arbitration Council shall have original jurisdiction. In all other cases before mentioned, the Imperial Arbitration Council shall have appellate jurisdiction, both as to law and fact, with such exceptions and under such regulations that the Senate shall make.

The trial of all crimes, except in cases of impeachment, shall be by jury, and such trial shall be held in the sector where the said crimes shall have been committed. However, when not committed within any sector, the trial shall be at such place or places as the Senate may, by law, have directed.

Article V

Section 1

Full faith and credit shall be given in each sector to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other sector. The Senate may, by general law, prescribe the manner in which such acts, records, and proceedings shall be proved and the effect thereof.

Section 2

The citizens of each sector shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of citizens in the Empire.

A person charged in any sector with treason, felony, or other crime, who shall flee from justice and be found in another sector, shall on demand by the authority of the state from which he fled, by delivered to the sector having jurisdiction of the crime.

Section 3

New sectors may be admitted by the Senate into the Empire. No new sector shall be formed within the jurisdiction of any other sector, or by the junction of two or more sectors or parts of sectors, without the consent of the governments of the sectors concerned as well as the consent of the imperial Senate.

The Senate shall have power to dispose of and make all necessary rules and regulations respecting the territory or other property belonging to the Empire. Nothing in this Charter shall be so construed as to prejudice any claims of the Empire or of any particular sector.

Section 4

The Empire shall guarantee to each sector protection against invasion and, on application of the Senate or Chancellor, against domestic strife.

Article VI

All debts contracted and engagements entered into, before the adoption of this Charter, shall be as valid against the Empire of Mechyrdia under this Charter, as they have been under the Monarchy.

The Charter, and the laws of the Empire which shall be made in pursuance thereof, shall be the supreme law of the stars, and the judges in every sector shall be bound thereby, any thing in the laws of any sector to the contrary notwithstanding.

The senators before mentioned, and all executive and judicial officers of the Empire, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Charter; but no religious or ideological test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the Empire of Mechyrdia.

Article VII

Section 1

There shall be no law, order, or mandate respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech and of thought, or the freedom of peaceable assembly, or the freedom to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Section 2

The right of the people to keep and bear arms and vessels of war shall not be infringed.

Section 3

No person shall be mandated to sell or otherwise provide labor or a good or service to another person. No person shall be mandated to provide employment to another person. No person shall be owned as property.

Section 4

The right of the people to be secure in their bodies, minds, souls, houses, papers, effects, data, devices, conversations, connections, and information, against unreasonable searches, seizures, and surveillances, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall be issued, unless upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place or thing to be searched and the persons or thing to be seized.

Section 5

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the armed forces when in actual service in time of war or public danger. No person shall be subject for the same offence to be convicted or punished more than one time. No person shall be compelled, in any criminal case, to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. No private property shall be taken for public use without consent of the owner and just compensation.

Section 6

In all criminal prosecutions and impeachments, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy trial. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a public trial, by an impartial jury of the sector in which the crime shall have been committed, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation, and to be confronted with the witnesses against him, and to have compulsory process for obtaining witness in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

Section 7

In suits at common law, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall otherwise be re-examined in any court of the Empire than according to the rules of common law.

Section 8

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor shall excessive fines be imposed.

Section 9

The enumeration in the Charter of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage other rights retained by the people.

Section 10

All powers not specifically delegated to the Empire of Mechyrdia by the Charter, nor prohibited by it to the sectors, are reserved to the sectors respectively.

Article VIII

On the application of the governments of a majority of the several sectors, the Senate shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which shall be valid for all intents and purposes as part of this Charter, when ratified by 3/4 of the several sectors, provided that no sector, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal representation in the Senate.

Postamble

Upon the seventh year of the Empire of Mechyrdia, We the Framers of the Charter of State, hereby sign our names as follows:

Nicólei Ewanówič Mehurdów

Emperor and Representative of Mechyrdion

Angrivar
  • Wulfila Damjanau-sunus
  • Reikaraiþs Aqilins-sunus
Ferthlon
  • Karenna R'Teeshi
  • Guil Ickhardt
  • Zumii Damarell
  • Simuh Lexaron
Janus IV
  • Furantsu Kazuma
  • Hahn-Chon Minji
  • Asato Nobutaka
Marcium
  • Sysmund Mihaílówič Nemeciów
  • Hristi Nanciówca Iwanówa
Nulihet
  • Jan Dmówski
  • Awgust Romański
Štarkihet
  • Cauvin le Petit
  • Emmanuel Bref
  • Jean-Pierre Lucard
  • Marianne de Bourbon
Terra Magna
  • Iosef Romanov
  • Leon Vrangel
  • Mark Antonov
  • Gor Luperkal
Texandria
  • Franz Wilhelm von Habsburg-Tharsis
  • Katerina Dorn
  • Rupert Gällemann
  • Horthy Attila
  • Solomon Steinwurf
Varannia
  • Saulos Agathon
  • Ioustinianos, Doux Sebastoupoleis
  • Belisarios Kaulos
Wirhen
  • Inga d'Wain
  • Jochem van Borodin
  • Gregor IJzerhoorn
  • Chlotilde van Kastellan

Amendments

Amendment I

Introduced and ratified in 9 UC (2649 AD)

Section 1: Treason against the Empire of Mechyrdia, shall consist only in levying war against the Empire, or in adhering to its enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of three witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.

Section 2: The punishment of treason shall be, at minimum, the death sentence. The Senate shall have the power to seize any amount of property from the estate of the person attainted, and shall have discretion in the usage or sale of such property.

Section 3: This amendment shall take effect upon ratification by 3/4 of the sectors.

Section 4: The Senate shall have the power to enforce this amendment by appropriate legislation.

Amendment II

Neither formally introduced nor ratified; accidentally inserted into production-environment database during testing of rewritten code in 17 UC (2657 AD)

Section 1: TEST AMENDMENT DO NOT PUBLISH!!!

Section 2: No Senator may urinate onto the floor or any wall inside either chamber-room of the Senate.

Section 3: No Senator may urinate onto the body of any other Senator inside either chamber-room of the Senate.

Section 4: This amendment shall take effect upon ratification by 3/4 of the sectors.

Section 5: The Senate shall have the power to enforce this amendment by appropriate legislation.

Amendment III

Introduced in 57 UC (2697 AD), ratified in 59 UC (2699 AD)

Section 1: All amendments to the Charter of Mechyrdia shall be formatted in serif font that, within reason, is legible. No amendment to the Charter of Mechyrdia may use "Comic Sans" font, or any variant or derivate thereof, for any portion of its text.

Section 2: No amendment to the Charter of Mechyrdia may be encoded in any rich text format that allows execution of embedded scripts or other arbitrary code.

Section 3: The Senate shall have the power to enforce this amendment by appropriate legislation.

Amendment IV

Introduced and ratified in 155 UC (2795 AD)

Section 1: The Senate shall have power to impose and collect taxes on incomes and financial transactions, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several sectors, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

Section 2: This amendment shall take effect upon ratification by 3/4 of the sectors.

Section 3: The Senate shall have the power to enforce this amendment by appropriate legislation.

Amendment V

Introduced in 161 UC (2801 AD), ratified in 163 UC (2803 AD)

Section 1: In the event that any sectors of the Empire of Mechyrdia commit any acts of treason against the Empire, the Senate shall be granted the following powers:

Section 2: This amendment shall take effect upon ratification by 3/4 of the sectors.

Section 3: The Senate shall have the power to enforce this amendment by appropriate legislation.

Amendment VI

Introduced in 172 UC (2812 AD), ratified in 178 UC (2818 AD)

Section 1: No law varying the compensation for the services of Senators shall take effect until an election of Senators shall have intervened.

Section 2: This amendment shall take effect upon ratification by 3/4 of the sectors.

Amendment VII

Introduced in 197 UC (2837 AD), ratified in 201 UC (2841 AD)

Section 1: The Government of the Empire of Mechyrdia, at any level, shall be prohibited from utilizing public funds, including but not limited to Treasury funds, for the payment of damages or legal fees in civil court cases.

Section 2: Any government entity found in violation of Section 1 shall be liable to reimburse the Treasury for any funds unlawfully expended, and individuals responsible for such expenditure may be subject to appropriate penalties as determined by law.

Section 3: This amendment shall not be construed to limit the government's ability to provide legal defense for its employees in cases related to the performance of their official duties, provided that such defense is not in violation of Section 1.

Section 4: This amendment shall take effect upon ratification by 3/4 of the sectors.

Section 5: The Senate shall have the power to enforce this amendment by appropriate legislation.

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