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Senator for life

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Senator for life
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{{use dmy dates|date=April 2018}}A senator for life is a member of the senate or equivalent upper chamber of a legislature who has life tenure. {{As of|2018}}, six Italian Senators out of 320, three out of the 47 Burundian Senators and all members of the British House of Lords (apart from the 26 Lords Spiritual appointed until retirement at the age of 70) have lifetime tenure (although Lords can choose to resign or retire or can be expelled in cases of misconduct). Several South American countries once granted lifetime membership to former presidents but have since abolished the practice.{{TOC right}}

Burundi

In Burundi, former heads of state serve in the Senate for life. At present there are three of these: Sylvestre Ntibantunganya, Pierre Buyoya, and Domitien Ndayizeye."Post-transition Senators list", Burundian Senate website {{fr icon}}."The Senate composition", Burundian Senate website {{fr icon}}.

Democratic Republic of the Congo

The 2006 constitution of the Democratic Republic of the Congo grants lifetime membership in the Senate to former Presidents of the Republic.Constitution de la République démocratique du Congo, Article 104 (paragraph 6): "Les anciens Présidents de la République élus sont de droit sénateurs à vie." (Loosely translated, this means "Former Presidents of the Republic are senators by right for life.") Source As of 2019, Joseph Kabila is the only senator for life after serving as president from 2001 to 2019.The 1964 Congolese constitution also provided for life membership in the Senate for former Presidents.WEB,weblink République démocratique du Congo, Constitution du 1er août 1964, Article 75 (paragraph 4): "En sus des sénateurs visés au 2e alinéa du présent article, font de droit, partie à vie du Sénat les anciens présidents de la République.",

Italy

In Italy, a senatore a vita is a member of the Italian Senate appointed by the President of the Italian Republic "for outstanding patriotic merits in the social, scientific, artistic or literary field". Former Presidents of the Republic are (List of Latin phrases: E#ex officio|ex officio) senators for life.A limit of five senators for life, excluding former Presidents, is established by the Italian constitution, though there has been a debate as to whether five is the maximum allowed total number of senators for life appointed by the President of the Republic, or each President has the right to name five senators for life. Until 1984 the former interpretation (backed by almost all scholars in consideration of the representative character of the Senate) was considered correct, but in that year President Sandro Pertini applied the latter interpretation of the Constitution, and since then no measures have been taken to clarify the situation, made even more important by the key role senators for life had during the second Prodi Government. They have the same powers as elected senators, including the right to vote and be elected to the Presidency of the Senate. In addition, their mandate does not end with the dissolution of a Senate, allowing them to sit in any elected Senate for their whole lifetime. In 1992, with the Presidency of Oscar Luigi Scalfaro, the first interpretation was restored and followed by all the subsequent presidents, allowing for a maximum of five appointed senators in office at the same time; moreover, almost all scholars support the stricter interpretation, and the question appears to be resolved.Every President of the Italian Republic has made at least one appointment of a senator for life, with the exception of Oscar Luigi Scalfaro (since in his term there were more than five). President Giorgio Napolitano appointed Professor Mario Monti on 9 November 2011 and conductor Claudio Abbado, researcher Elena Cattaneo, architect Renzo Piano and Nobel-laureate physicist Carlo Rubbia on 30 August 2013. The president who appointed the highest number of senators for life was Luigi Einaudi, who made eight appointments during his term.

List of Italian senators for life

{{As of|2018|1|19}}, there are six life senators in office:
  • one ex officio senator for life:
    • Giorgio NapolitanoNapolitano was senator for life from 2005 to 2006 by appointment and since 2015 ex officio, as former president. (since 2015, previously 2005–2006), former President – {{Age|1925|6|29|df=y}} years old.Napolitano was senator for life before becoming president
  • five appointed senators for life:
    • Elena Cattaneo (since 2013) – {{Age|1962|10|22|df=y}} years old;
    • Mario Monti (since 2011) – {{Age|1943|3|19|df=y}} years old;
    • Renzo Piano (since 2013) – {{Age|1937|9|14|df=y}} years old;
    • Carlo Rubbia (since 2013) – {{Age|1934|3|31|df=y}} years old;
    • Liliana Segre (since 2018) – {{Age|1930|9|10|df=y}} years old;
Former senators for life:{{columns-list|colwidth=25em| }}

Paraguay

Former Presidents of the Republic, except for those who were impeached from office, are granted the speaking-but-non-voting position of senator for life.Constitution of the Republic of Paraguay, 1992, Article 189 (subsection 1): "(1) Former presidents of the Republic who were democratically elected will be national senators for life, except for those who were impeached from office.(2) They will not count toward a quorum. They will have the right to speak, but not to vote."

Rwanda

The Rwandan constitution permits former Presidents of the country to become members of the Senate if they wish, by submitting a request to the Supreme Court.Constitution of the Republic of Rwanda, Article 82, section 5° (second paragraph): "Former Heads of State who honourably completed their terms or voluntarily resigned from office become members of the Senate by submitting a request to the Supreme Court." Source

Former systems

Canada

In a manner reminiscent of the British parliament, members of the Canadian Senate were appointed for life. Since the Constitution Act, 1965, however, senators must retire upon reaching the age of 75. Though senators appointed before the amendment were grandfathered in by the legislation, there are no longer any lifetime senators present in the Canadian Senate. Orville Howard Phillips, the last senator for life, resigned his seat in 1999.

Chile

{{expand section|date=March 2014}}

France

In France, during the Third Republic, the Senate was composed of 300 members, 75 of which were inamovible ("unremovable"). Introduced in 1875, the status was abolished for new senators in 1884, but maintained for those already in office. Émile Deshayes de Marcère, the last surviving sénateur inamovible, died in 1918. Overall there had been 116 lifetime senators.WEB,weblink Les sénateurs inamovibles, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20060618203517weblink">weblink 18 June 2006, dmy-all, In 2005, there was questioning about the status of former Presidents of the Republic. According to the constitution of the Fifth Republic, former presidents are de jure members of the Constitutional Council, which poses a problem of possible partiality. Some members of Parliament and commentators suggested that it should be replaced by a life membership in the Senate.La Chiraquie veut protéger son chef quand il quittera l'Elysée, Libération, 14 January 2005See also the constitutional amendment proposals by senator Patrice Gélard weblinkweblink This proposal was, however, not enacted.

Romania

The 1923 Constitution instituted the membership by right (senator de drept) in the Senate for: The membership by right was maintained under the 1938 Constitution and it was abolished together with the Senate on July 15, 1946, by the Communist Party-dominated government of Petru Groza.The current constitution of Romania, although it re-established the bicameral parliament in 1991, did not reinstate the office of senator by right.

South and Central America

The constitutions of a number of countries in South America have granted former presidents the right to be senator for life (senador vitalicio), possibly recalling the entirely unelected Senate of Simón Bolívar's theory (see Bolivar's tricameralism). Most of these countries have since excised these provisions as they are increasingly seen as antidemocratic. The Constitution of Paraguay still has such a provision. Former presidents are permitted to speak but not vote. Probably the most familiar case is that of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet (1998–2002) whose parliamentary immunity protected him from prosecution for human rights violations until the Chilean Supreme Court revoked it in 2000.

Brazil

The senators of the Empire of Brazil were appointed for lifetime (1826–1889). The emperor appointed the senator for each constituency from a list of three, indirectly elected, candidates. For details, see (Senate of Brazil#History|Senate of Brazil: History)There were about 250 senators of the Empire of Brazil. For the list of senators, see (:pt:Lista de senadores do Brasil)

Peru

Under its 1979 Constitution, José Luis Bustamante y Rivero, Fernando Belaúnde Terry and Alan García Pérez were the only ones to hold that position, before the adoption of the Constitution of 1993, which eliminated the Senate and established a unicameral Congress.

Somalia

A variation of the "senator for life" theme existed in the Somali Republic (1960–1969). While the 1960 constitution did not provide for a senate (the legislature, known as the National Assembly, was unicameral), it did grant lifetime membership in the legislature to ex-Presidents of the Republic.weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20050223153704weblink">Constitution of the Somali Republic, 1960. Article 51 ("National Assembly"), paragraph 4: "Whoever has been President of the Republic shall become a deputy for life as of right, in addition to the elected deputies, provided that he has not been convicted of any of the crimes referred to in paragraph 1 of Article 76."

See also

Notes

{{reflist|2}}

External links



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