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All-Russian Central Executive Committee (Всероссийский Центральный Исполнительный Комитет or ВЦИК, or, romanized, VTsIK), was the highest legislative body in the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic in the interim of the sessions of the Congress of Soviets, and the only one with the power to pass constitutional amendments. It was elected by All-Russian Congress of Soviets and functioned in 1917-1937.

All-Russian Central Executive Committee was first elected at the first All-Russian Congress of Soviets in Petrograd, June 3 - 24, 1917. The first Central Executive Committee of the All-Russian Congress of Soviets was not a governing body and its chairman was not the head of Russian state. This changed at the Second All-Russian Congress of Soviets during the October Revolution.

The Second All-Russian Congress of Soviets met in, and elected the second Central Executive Committee. This then became the executive body of the RSFSR.

It was composed of

62 Bolsheviks
29 Left Social Revolutionaries
10 Mensheviks and Right Social Revolutionaries

The first chairman of the CEC was Lev Kamenev, who directed the day to day work of the Committee. He only cast a vote if there was even split in the committee.

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The full name at a one time was All-Russian Central Executive Committee of Workers', Peasants', Red Army, and Cossack Deputies (Всероссийский Центральный Исполнительный Комитет Советов рабочих, крестьянских, красноармейских и казачьих депутатов).

From the formation of the Soviet Union (1922), it downgraded from first (federal) level to second (federal-republic) level of governing body.

Following the adoption of the 1936 Soviet Constitution, this organ was replaced with the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR.

Chairman of the Central Executive Committee of the RSFSR

On December 30, 1922 the Soviet Union was formed. It comprised Soviet Russia (RSFSR) and other Communist-controlled Soviet republics. Mikhail Kalinin retained his position as Chairman of the Central Executive Committee of the All-Russian Congress of Soviets and became Chairman of the newly formed Central Executive Committee of the USSR as well. Both positions were mostly ceremonial, increasingly so in later years.

See also

References

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