The Separatist Parliament, also known as the Separatist Senate or the Separatist Congress, was the civilian legislature that governed the Confederacy of Independent Systems, representing thousands of its member worlds during the Clone Wars. When the charismatic Count Dooku founded the Confederacy in 24 BBY, the swathes of sectors and star systems seceding from the Galactic Republic formed their own congressional assembly to oversee the Separatist state. A number of the appointed delegates, having served as members of the Republic Senate prior to their secession, continued to represent their constituents in the Confederacy. Operating by a bill of rights known as the By-Laws of Independent Systems, the Parliament was headed by the Confederate Head of State, Dooku, as well as by Separatist Congress Leader Bec Lawise. It became headquartered on the Separatist capital of Raxus Secundus, where sessions were held in the Separatist Senate Building.
Although the representative voices of the Parliament gained a role in state matters, they were often rendered ineffective by various elements of the Separatist hierarchy. Governmental decisions were also made by the corporate interests on the Separatist Council, and Dooku himself—who was secretly the Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Tyranus—manipulated situations to ensure that pan-galactic war continued for the purposes of the Sith. At times maneuvers on the part of other war-profiteering parties negated legislation enacted by the Parliament, whose members were seen by some as pawns of Dooku. Furthermore, the senators of the Parliament as well as the citizens of the Confederacy were repeatedly shielded from front-line reports of brutal campaigns waged by such commanders of the Separatist Droid Army as General Grievous. Ultimately, the Confederacy was regarded more as a movement instead of a centralized government, in spite of the Parliament's involvement in public affairs.
A wide range of views comprised the Parliament, leading to a division of positions about escalating the war effort against the Republic. Around 21 BBY, after the Clone Wars had been raging for over a year, Senator Mina Bonteri of Onderon, in collaboration with Republic Senator Padmé Amidala, introduced a bill to open peace negotiations with the Republic. Her bill passed in session by a majority, and the Parliament's motion for peace was extended to the Republic Senate. Yet Dooku conspired with a group of war profiteers to ensure that the Republic rejected the offer, culminating with his orchestration of Bonteri's murder and the withdrawal of the proposal. A delegation later represented the Parliament at an unprecedented peace conference with Republic congresspeople on Mandalore, but the talks similarly failed. The Confederacy was dissolved in 19 BBY with the death of Dooku and the execution of the Separatist Council, ending the Clone Wars. (Read more…)