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Parliament of Austria
Österreichisches Parlament
Coat of arms or logo.
Type Bicameral
Houses Bundesrat
Members 245
Bundesrat Voting system Appointment by the Landtage
Nationalrat Voting system Proportional representation
Bundesrat Last election not a directly elected house
Nationalrat Last election Austrian legislative election, 2008
Meeting place
Reichsrat Vienna Okt 2007.jpg
Austrian Parliament Building, house of the Old Chamber of Deputies

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In the Parliament of Austria (Österreichisches Parlament) is vested the legislative power of the Republic of Austria. The institution consists of two chambers,

National Council
  • 183 members
  • elected directly in general elections
  • term of office: 5 years
Federal Council
  • variable membership, currently 62 members
  • elected indirectly through provincial diets
  • revolving membership, term of delegates varies by province
Federal Assembly

(joint session of both houses)

The National Council is composed of 183 members elected through proportional representation in a general election. This happens every five years, or earlier if the National Council prematurely moves for its own dissolution. The National Council is the dominant (albeit 'lower') house in the Austrian Parliament, and consequently the terms Parliament and National Council are commonly used synonymously.

The Federal Council is elected indirectly, through the provincial diets (Landtage) of the nine States of the Federal Republic. The states are represented in the Federal Council roughly in accordance to the size of their populations. Seats are redistributed among the states following each general census, and the overall size of the chamber is slightly variable as a result of this. The current Federal Council is composed of 62 delegates. With regard to most issues, the Federal Council only possesses a dilatory right of veto which can be overridden by the National Council. However, the Federal Council enjoys absolute veto powers over bills intended to alter the powers of either the states, or of the Federal Council itself.

The Federal Assembly (Bundesversammlung) is a body of mostly ceremonial function, consisting of the members of both houses of parliament. The Federal Assembly convenes only rarely, for instance to witness the inauguration of the Federal President. It might be noted, however, that under exceptional circumstances the Austrian constitution endows the Federal Assembly with significant responsibilities. An example of this would be its pivotal role in the hypothetic impeachment of a Federal President.

Both houses of parliament, as well as the Federal Assembly, convene in the Parliament building located on Vienna's Ringstraße.

The Austrian Parliament front in Vienna

See also

External links

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