Central Executive Committee

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Central Executive Committee


(CEC), from 1917 until the adoption of the Constitution of the USSR of 1936, the name given to the supreme bodies of state power of the USSR and the Union and autonomous republics. Each CEC was accountable to the corresponding congress of soviets and exercised legislative, administrative, executive, and supervisory functions when the congress was not in session. (See alsoALL-RUSSIAN CENTRAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE).

The CEC’s of the Union and autonomous republics were elected by the congresses of soviets of the respective republics. The Central Executive Committee of the USSR consisted of two equal chambers. The first chamber, the Union Soviet, was formed by the All-Union Congress of Soviets and consisted of representatives of the Union republics; representation in the Union Soviet was proportional to population, and the precise number of representatives was determined by the Congress. The second chamber, the Soviet of Nationalities, consisted of representatives of the Union and autonomous republics and autonomous oblasts; each Union and autonomous republic had five representatives, and each autonomous oblast had one. The membership of the Soviet of Nationalities as a whole was approved by the All-Union Congress of Soviets.

The Central Executive Committee of the USSR met in regular sessions. It elected the Presidium, which was the supreme body of legislative and executive power in the intervals between sessions. The Central Executive Committee of the USSR had a number of responsibilities. For example, it provided general guidance of the work of the government and all bodies of Soviet power, united and coordinated legislative and administrative work, supervised the observance of the constitution and the implementation of the decrees of the Congress of Soviets, formed the government, issued decrees and directives, and ratified law codes.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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