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Russia: New Procedures for Appointment of Governors

(May 6, 2009) On April 23, 2009, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed into law a series of amendments to federal laws that will affect the activities of political parties, the election of governors, and some issues of municipal self-government. The amendment on gubernatorial elections transfers the right to recommend individuals to be nominated as candidates […]

European Union; Finland: Submission of Report on EU Policy

(May 5, 2009) In its Government Report on Finland's EU Policy, submitted to the European Union on April 8, 2009, the Finnish government recommends a number of new guidelines for the EU. The report suggests that: EU net membership fees have a ceiling applicable to all Member States (no ceiling is specified; “[w]e have to […]

Switzerland: Succession of Cabinet Members

(Mar. 31, 2009) On January 21, 2009, Switzerland promulgated a Reform Act to the Parliamentary Act (Bundesgesetz über die Bundesversammlung (Parlamentsgesetz) Änderung, Oct. 3, 2008, Amtliche Sammlung des Bundesrechts 725 (2009), available at (click on page 725)). The Act became law on January 22, after the referendum period had expired, and it became effective […]

Ukraine: Simplified Impeachment Procedures

(Feb. 3, 2009) On January 15, 2009, the Ukrainian legislature, the Verkhovna Rada, adopted the Law on Special Temporary Investigative Commissions, which simplifies the procedure for the legislative body to impeach the President. Previously, the impeachment procedure could be initiated on the basis of a petition signed by three-quarters of the parliamentarians. The new Law […]

European Union: Czech Republic Assumes Presidency in January 2009

(Dec. 8, 2008) With its ascent to the six-month rotating European Union presidency scheduled to commence on January 1, 2009, the Czech Republic is setting the agenda for its leadership role. The Czech government has chosen as its representative slogan “Europe without barriers,” alluding to the country's stand on eliminating the labor barriers between the […]

China: “Super Ministries” Plan

(Apr. 2, 2008) On March 15, 2008, the People's Republic of China (PRC) National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislative body, passed the State Council's Institutional Reform Plan, under which five “super ministries” are created. (Shiyi jie Ren Da yici huiyi xuanju chansheng xin yijie guojia lingdaoren pizhun Guowuyuan jigou gaige fang'an, XINHUANET, Mar. 15, […]

Brazil: Government Decides to Charge for Official Gazettes

(Feb. 8, 2008) On October 23, 2007, the Director-General of the Brazilian National Press, Fernando Tolentino de Sousa Vieira, issued Administrative Act (Portaria) No. 275 establishing the commercialization of official gazettes and their electronic versions. In response, the national president of the Brazilian Bar Association, Cezar Britto, sent a letter to Vieira requesting the immediate […]

Iraq: Collective Executive Council

(Feb. 2, 2008) On January 18, 2008, Iraq announced the establishment of "the Executive Council for the Administration of the State" or, as described by Iraqi President Jalal al-Talibani, "the collective leadership." In an address to a delegation from Anbar Province, Talibani said that the members of the Council agreed on the formation of the […]

Netherlands: Agreement Reached on Government Finances of Future Countries of Curacao and Sint Maarten

(Feb. 2, 2008) It was reported on January 23, 2008, that the Netherlands, the Netherlands Antilles, Curacao, and Sint Maarten had reached agreement on supervision of the government finances of the future countries of Curacao and Sint Maarten, both of which will gain independent country status within the Kingdom of the Netherlands after the Antillean […]

Ukraine: New Law on Government

(Feb. 2, 2008) On January 10, 2007, the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian parliament) adopted a new version of the Law on Government, agreed upon by all the political parties that are members of the governing coalition. The new Law is a compromise between the legislature and the President of Ukraine, and expands the statutory power of […]