Cortes Generales

The Cortes Generales (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈkoɾtes xeneˈɾales]; English: General Courts) are the bicameral legislative chambers of Spain, consisting of two chambers: the Congress of Deputies (the lower house) and the Senate (the upper house). The members of the Cortes are the representatives of the Spanish people.

The Congress of Deputies meets in the Palacio de las Cortes, and the Senate meets in the separate Palacio del Senado, both located in Madrid. The Cortes are elected through universal, free, equal, direct and secret suffrage,[1] with the exception of some senatorial seats, which are elected indirectly by the legislatures of the autonomous community. The Cortes Generales is composed of 616 members: 350 Deputies and 266 Senators.

The members of the Cortes Generales serve four-year terms, and they are representatives of the Spanish people.[2] In both chambers, the seats are divided by constituencies that correspond with the fifty provinces of Spain, plus Ceuta and Melilla. However, the islands Canary and Balearic form different constituencies in the Senate.

As a parliamentary system, the Cortes confirms and dismisses the Prime Minister of Spain and his or her government; specifically, the candidate for Prime Minister has to be invested by the Congress with a majority of affirmative votes. The Congress can also dismiss the Prime Minister through a vote of no confidence. The Cortes also holds the power to enact a constitutional reform.

The modern Cortes Generales was created by the Constitution of Spain, but the institution has a long history. Its direct precedent were the Cortes Españolas of military dictator Francisco Franco.

General Courts

Cortes Generales
XII Cortes Generales
Coat of arms or logo
Type
Type
HousesSenate
Congress of Deputies
Leadership
Pío García-Escudero (PP)
since 13 December 2011
Ana Pastor (PP)
since 19 July 2016
Structure
Seats616
266 senators
350 deputies
Senado de la XII legislatura de España
Senate political groups
Government (62)

Confidence and supply (49)

Opposition (154)

  •      PP (148)
  •      Mixed group (6)
    •      Cs (4)
    •      UPN (1)
    •      FAC (1)
Congreso de los Diputados de la XII Legislatura de España
Congress of Deputies political groups
Government (84)

Confidence and supply (96)

Opposition (170)

  •      PP (134)
  •      Cs (32)
  •      Mixed group (4)
    •      UPN (2)
    •      FAC (1)
    •      CCa (1)
Elections
Senate last election
26 June 2016
Congress of Deputies last election
26 June 2016
Senate next election
28 April 2019
Congress of Deputies next election
28 April 2019
Meeting place
Senate
Palacio del Senado
Plaza de la Marina Española
Centro, Madrid
Kingdom of Spain

Congress of Deputies
Palacio de las Cortes
Carrera de San Jerónimo
Centro, Madrid
Kingdom of Spain
Website
Cortes Generales (in Spanish)

History of the Spanish legislature

Feudal Age (8th–12th centuries)

20060626-León San Isidoro
Saint Isidoro Basilic, where Cortes of León were celebrated.

The system of Cortes arose in the Middle Ages as part of feudalism. A "Corte" was an advisory council made up of the most powerful feudal lords closest to the king. The Cortes of León was the first parliamentary body in Western Europe.[3] From 1230, the Cortes of Leon and Castile were merged, though the Cortes' power was decreasing. Prelates, nobles and commoners remained separated in the three estates within the Cortes. The king had the ability to call and dismiss the Cortes, but, as the lords of the Cortes headed the army and controlled the purse, the King usually signed treaties with them to pass bills for war at the cost of concessions to the lords and the Cortes.

Rise of bourgeoisie (12th–15th centuries)

María de Molina presenta a su hijo a las Cortes de Valladolid 1863 Antonio Gisbert Pérez
Queen Maria de Molina presents her son Fernando IV in Valladolid Cortes of 1295.

With the reappearance of the cities near the 12th century, a new social class started to grow: people living in the cities were neither vassals (servants of feudal lords) nor nobles themselves. Furthermore, the nobles were experiencing very hard economic times due to the Reconquista; so now the bourgeoisie (Spanish burguesía, from burgo, city) had the money and thus the power. So the King started admitting representatives from the cities to the Cortes in order to get more money for the Reconquista. The frequent payoffs were the "Fueros", grants of autonomy to the cities and their inhabitants. At this time the Cortes already had the power to oppose the King's decisions, thus effectively vetoing them. In addition, some representatives (elected from the Cortes members by itself) were permanent advisors to the King, even when the Cortes were not.

The Catholic Monarchs (15th century)

Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon, the Catholic Monarchs, started a specific policy to diminish the power of the bourgeoisie and nobility. They greatly reduced the powers of the Cortes to the point where they simply rubberstamped the monarch's acts, and brought the nobility to their side. One of the major points of friction between the Cortes and the monarchs was the power of raising and lowering taxes. It was the only matter that the Cortes had under some direct control; when Queen Isabella wanted to fund Voyages of Christopher Columbus, she had a hard time battling with the bourgeoisie to get the Cortes' approval.

Imperial Cortes (16th–17th centuries)

The role of the Cortes during the Spanish Empire was mainly to rubberstamp the decisions of the ruling monarch. However, they had some power over economic and American affairs, especially taxes. The Siglo de oro, the Spanish Golden Age of arts and literature, was a dark age in Spanish politics: the Netherlands declared itself independent and started a war, while some of the last Habsburg monarchs did not rule the country, leaving this task in the hands of viceroys governing in their name, the most famous being the Count-Duke of Olivares, Philip IV's viceroy. This allowed the Cortes to become more influential, even when they did not directly oppose the King's decisions (or viceroys' decisions in the name of the King).

Cortes in Aragon and in Navarre

Cortes Catalanas
A meeting of the Catalan Courts in the 15th century. Spain was de facto unified when Charles I (V of the Holy Roman Empire) assumed the thrones of both Castile and Aragon in 1516; the different territories of the Spanish monarchy retained some different degrees of autonomy and were not fully centralized until its first modern Constitution was passed in 1812.

Some lands of the Crown of Aragon (Aragon, Catalonia and Valencia) and the Kingdom of Navarre were self-governing entities until the Nueva Planta Decrees of 1716 abolished their autonomy and united Aragon with Castile in a centralised Spanish state. The abolition in the realms of Aragon was completed by 1716, whilst Navarre retained its autonomy until the 1833 territorial division of Spain. It is the only one of the Spanish territories whose current status in the Spanish state is legally linked with the old Fueros: its Statute of Autonomy specifically cites them and recognizes their special status, while also recognizing the supremacy of the Spanish Constitution.

Cortes (or Corts in Catalonia and Valencia) existed in each of Aragon, Catalonia, Valencia and Navarre. It is thought that these legislatures exercised more real power over local affairs than the Castilian Cortes did. Executive councils also existed in each of these realms, which were initially tasked with overseeing the implementation of decisions made by the Cortes. However, throughout the rule of the Habsburg and Bourbon dynasties the Crown pressed for more centralization, enforcing a unitary position in foreign affairs and empowering Councils outside the control of the Cortes of the several Kingdoms. Thus, the Cortes in Spain did not develop towards a parliamentary system as in the British case, but towards the mentioned rubberstamping of royal decrees. Nevertheless, from time to time the Cortes tried to assert their control over budgetary issues, with varying grades of success.

Cádiz Cortes (1808–14) and three liberal years (1820–23)

El juramento de las Cortes de Cádiz en 1810
Jurement of Cádiz Cortes

Cádiz Cortes operated as a government in exile. France under Napoleon had taken control of most of Spain during the Peninsular War after 1808. The Cortes found refuge in the fortified, coastal city of Cádiz. General Cortes were assembled in Cádiz, but since many provinces could not send representatives due to the French occupation, substitutes were chosen among the people of the city – thus the name Congress of Deputies. Liberal factions dominated the body and pushed through the Spanish Constitution of 1812. Ferdinand VII, however, tossed it aside upon his restoration in 1814 and pursued conservative policies, making the constitution an icon for liberal movements in Spain. Many military coups were attempted, and finally Col. Rafael del Riego's one succeeded and forced the King to accept the liberal constitution, which resulted in the Three Liberal Years (Trienio Liberal). The monarch not only did everything he could to obstruct the Government (vetoing nearly every law, for instance), but also asked many powers, including the Holy Alliance, to invade his own country and restore his absolutist powers. He finally received a French army (The Hundred Thousand Sons of St. Louis) which only met resistance in the liberal cities, but easily crushed the National Militia and forced many liberals to exile to, ironically, France. In his second absolutist period up to his death in 1833, Ferdinand VII was more cautious and did not try a full restoration of the Ancien Régime.

First Spanish Republic (1873–1874)

When the monarchy was overthrown in 1873, the King of Spain was forced into exile. The Senate was abolished because of its royally appointed nature. A republic was proclaimed and the Congress of Deputies members started writing a Constitution, supposedly that of a federal republic, with the power of Parliament being nearly supreme (see parliamentary supremacy, although Spain did not use the Westminster system). However, due to numerous issues Spain was not poised to become a republic; after several crises the republic collapsed, and the monarchy was restored in 1874.

The Restoration (1874–1930)

The regime just after the First Republic is called the Restoration. It was formally a constitutional monarchy, with the monarch as a rubberstamp to the Cortes' acts but with some reserve powers, such as appointing and dismissing the Prime Minister and appointing senators for the new Senate, remade as an elected House.

Soon after the Soviet revolution (1917), the Spanish political parties started polarizing, and the left-wing Communist Party (PCE) and Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) blamed the Government for supposed election fraud in small towns (caciquismo), which was incorrectly supposed to have been wiped out in the 1900s by the failed regenerationist movement. In the meantime, spiralling violence started with the murders of many leaders by both sides. Deprived of those leaders, the regime entered a general crisis, with extreme police measures which led to a dictatorship (1921–1930) during which the Senate was again abolished.

Second Spanish Republic (1931–1939)

The dictatorship, now ruled by Admiral Aznar-Cabañas, called for local elections. The results were overwhelmingly favorable to the monarchist cause nationally, but most provincial capitals and other sizable cities sided heavily with the republicans. This was interpreted as a victory, as the rural results were under the always-present suspicion of caciquismo and other irregularities while the urban results were harder to influence. The King left Spain, and a Republic was declared on April 14, 1931. The Second Spanish Republic was established as a presidential republic, with a unicameral Parliament and a President of the Republic as the Head of State. Among his powers were the appointment and dismissal of the Prime Minister, either on the advice of Parliament or just having consulted it before, and a limited power to dissolve the Parliament and call for new elections.

The first term was the constituent term charged with creating the new Constitution, with the ex-monarchist leader Niceto Alcalá Zamora as President of the Republic and the left-wing leader Manuel Azaña as Prime Minister. The election gave a majority in the Cortes and thus, the Government, to a coalition between Azaña's party and the PSOE. A remarkable deed is universal suffrage, allowing women to vote, a provision highly criticized by Socialist leader Indalecio Prieto, who said the Republic had been backstabbed. Also, for the second time in Spanish history, some regions were granted autonomous governments within the unitary state. Many on the extreme right rose up with General José Sanjurjo in 1932 against the Government's social policies, but the coup was quickly defeated.

The elections for the second term were held in 1933 and won by the coalition between the Radical Party (center) and the Confederación Española de Derechas Autónomas (CEDA) (right). Initially, only the Radical Party entered the Government, with the parliamentary support of the CEDA. However, in the middle of the term, several corruption scandals (among them the Straperlo affair) sunk the Radical Party and the CEDA entered the Government in 1934. This led to uprisings by some leftist parties that were quickly suffocated. In one of them, the left wing government of Catalonia, which had been granted home rule, formally rebelled against the central government, denying its power. This provoked the dissolution of the Generalitat de Catalunya and the imprisonment of their leaders. The leftist minority in the Cortes then pressed Alcalá Zamora for a dissolution, arguing that the uprising were the consequence of social rejection of the right-wing government. The President, a former monarchist Minister wary of the authoritarism of the right, dissolved Parliament.

The next election was held in 1936. It was hotly contested, with all parties converging into three coalitions: the leftist Popular Front, the right-winged National Front and a Centre coalition. In the end, the Popular Front won with a small edge in votes over the runner-up National Front, but achieved a solid majority due to the new electoral system introduced by the CEDA government hoping that they would get the edge in votes. The new Parliament then dismissed Alcalá-Zamora and installed Manuel Azaña in his place. During the third term, the extreme polarisation of the Spanish society was more evident than ever in Parliament, with confrontation reaching the level of death threats. The already bad political and social climate created by the long term left-right confrontation worsened, and many right-wing rebellions were started. Then, in 1936, the Army's failed coup degenerated into the Spanish Civil War, putting an end to the Second Republic.

Franco: the Cortes Españolas (1939–1977)

Attending to his words, Francisco Franco's intention was to replace the unstable party system with an "organic democracy" in which the people could participate directly in the nation's politics without any parties.

From 1939 to 1942, the legislature of Spain worked essentially without constitution, with the 100 member National Council of the Falange (similar to the politburo of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union or the Grand Council of Fascism in Italy) replacing the General Assembly indefinitely. The Organic Law of 1942 established a unicameral legislature (called the "Cortes"), made up of more than 400 "representatives" (Spanish: procuradores, singular procurador). Members of the Cortes were not elected and exercised only symbolic power. It had no power over government spending, and the cabinet, appointed and dismissed by Franco alone, retained real legislative authority. In cases of "serious alterations" to the constitution, referendums were held in which only family heads (including widows) were allowed to vote. Virtually powerless city councils were appointed through similar procedures.

The Cortes Generales under the Constitution of 1978

The state visit of Reuven Rivlin to Spain, November 2017 (9872)
The President of Israel, Reuven Rivlin, addresses the Cortes Generales during his state visit to Madrid in November 2017.
Dmitry Medvedev in Spain 3 March 2009-2
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signs the Book of Distinguished Guests at the Cortes Generales in Madrid on 3 March 2009.

The Cortes are a bicameral parliament composed of a lower house (Congreso de los Diputados, congress of deputies) and an upper house (Senado, senate). Although they share legislative power, the Congress holds the power to ultimately override any decision of the Senate by a sufficient majority (usually an absolute majority or three-fifths majority).

The Congress is composed of 350 deputies (but that figure may change in the future as the constitution establishes a maximum of 400 and a minimum of 300) directly elected by universal suffrage approximately every four years.

The Senate is partly directly elected (four senators per province as a general rule) and partly appointed (by the legislative assemblies of the autonomous communities, one for each community and another one for every million inhabitants in their territory). Although the Senate was conceived as a territorial upper house, it has been argued by nationalist parties and the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party that it does not accomplish such a task because 208 out of 266 members of the Senate are elected by popular vote in each province, and only 58 are representatives appointed by the regional legislatures of autonomous communities. Proposals to reform the Senate have been discussed for at least ten years as of November 2007. One of the main themes of reform is to move towards a higher level of federalization and make the Senate a thorough representation of autonomous communities instead of the current system, which tries to incorporate the interests of province and autonomous communities at the same time.

See also

References

  1. ^ Article 68.1 and 69.1 of the Constitution of Spain (1978)
  2. ^ Article 66 of the Constitution of Spain (1978)
  3. ^ John Keane, The Life and Death of Democracy. Simon & Schuster, London, 2009

Further reading

External links

12th Congress of Deputies

The 12th Congress of Deputies is the current Congress of Deputies, the lower house of the Spanish Cortes Generales, with the membership determined by the results of the 2016 general election held on 26 June 2016. The congress met for the first time on 19 July 2016. According to the Constitution of Spain the maximum legislative term of the congress is 4 years from the preceding election.

1820 Spanish general election

General elections to the Cortes Generales were held in Spain in 1820. At stake were all 203 seats in the Congress of Deputies.

1822 Spanish general election

General elections to the Cortes Generales were held in Spain in 1822. At stake were all 203 seats in the Congress of Deputies.

Asturias Forum

The Asturias Forum (FAC) (Spanish: Foro Asturias, Asturian: Foru Asturies) is a regionalist political party in the Principality of Asturias.

Congress of Deputies

The Congress of Deputies (Spanish: Congreso de los Diputados; Basque: Diputatuen Kongresua; Catalan: Congrés dels Diputats; Galician: Congreso dos Deputados) is the lower house of the Cortes Generales, Spain's legislative branch. It is located in the Palace of the Parliament (Palacio de las Cortes, Madrid).

It has 350 members elected by constituencies (matching fifty Spanish provinces and two autonomous cities) by proportional representation using the D'Hondt method. Deputies serve four-year terms. The President of the Congress of Deputies is the analogue to a speaker and presides over debates.

In the Congress, members of the Parliament from the political parties, or groups of parties, form parliamentary groups. Groups must be formed by at least 15 deputies, but a group can also be formed with only five deputies if the parties got at least 5% of the nationwide vote, or 15% of the votes in the constituencies in which they ran. The deputies belonging to parties who cannot create their own parliamentary group form the Mixed Group.. In June 2018, 41.72% of the deputies were women, being the third European country with more women in the lower house, after Sweden and Finland and same proportion as Norway.

Constitution of Spain

The Spanish Constitution (Spanish and Galician: Constitución Española; Basque: Espainiako Konstituzioa; Catalan: Constitució Espanyola; Occitan: Constitucion espanhòla) is the democratic law that is supreme in the Kingdom of Spain. It was enacted after its approval in a constitutional referendum, and it is the culmination of the Spanish transition to democracy. The Constitution of 1978 is one of about a dozen of other historical Spanish constitutions and constitution-like documents; however, it is one of two fully democratic constitutions (the other being the Spanish Constitution of 1931). It was sanctioned by King Juan Carlos I on 27 December, and published in the Boletín Oficial del Estado (the government gazette of Spain) on 29 December, the date in which it became effective. The promulgation of the constitution marked the culmination of the Spanish transition to democracy after the death of general Francisco Franco, on 20 November 1975, who ruled over Spain as a military dictator for nearly 40 years. This led to the country undergoing a series of political, social and historical changes that transformed the Francoist regime into a democratic state.

The Spanish transition to democracy was a complex process that gradually transformed the legal framework of the Francoist regime into a democratic state. The Spanish state didn't "abolish" the Francoist regime, but rather slowly transformed the institutions and approved and/or derogated laws so as to establish a democratic nation and approve the Constitution, all under the guidance of King Juan Carlos I of Spain. The Constitution was redacted, debated and approved by the constituent assembly (Spanish: Cortes .Constituyentes) that emerged from the 1977 general election. The Constitution then repealed all the Fundamental Laws of the Realm (the pseudo-constitution of the Francoist regime), as well as other major historical laws and every pre-existing law that contradicted what the Constitution establishes.

Article 1 of the Constitution defines the Spanish state. Article 1.1 states that "Spain is established as a social and democratic State, subject to the rule of law, which advocates as the highest values of its legal order the following: liberty, justice, equality and political pluralism. Article 1.2 refers to national sovereignty, which is vested in the Spanish people, "from whom the powers of the State emanate". Article 1.3 establishes parliamentary monarchy as the "political form of the Spanish state".

The Constitution is organized in ten parts (Spanish: Títulos) and an additional introduction (Spanish: Título Preliminar), as well as a preamble, several additional and interim provisions and a series of repeals, and it ends with a final provision. Part I refers to fundamental rights and duties, which receive special treatment and protection under Spanish law. Part II refers to the regulation of the Crown and lays out the King's role in the Spanish state. Part III elaborates on Spain's legislature, the Cortes Generales. Part IV refers to the Government of Spain, the executive power, and the Public Administration, which is managed by the executive. Part V refers to the relations between the Government and the Cortes Generales; as a parliamentary monarchy, the Prime Minister (Spanish: Presidente del Gobierno) is invested by the legislature and the Government is responsible before the legislature. Part VI refers to the organization of the judicial power, establishing that justice emanates from the people and is administered on behalf of the king by judges and magistrates who are independent, irrevocable, liable and subject to the rule of law only. Part VII refers to the principles that shall guide the economy and the finances of the Spanish state, subjecting all the wealth in the country to the general interest and recognizing public initiative in the economy, while also protecting private property in the framework of a market economy. It also establishes the Court of Accounts and the principles that shall guide the approval of the state budget. Part VIII refers to the "territorial organization of the State" and establishes a unitary state that is nevertheless heavily decentralized through delegation and transfer of powers. The result is a de facto federal model, with some differences from federal states. This is referred to as an autonomous state (Spanish: Estado Autonómico) or state of the autonomies (Spanish: Estado de las Autonomías). Part IX refers to the Constitutional Court, which oversees the constitutionality of all laws and protects the fundamental rights enshrined in Part I. Finally, Part X refers to constitutional amendments, of which there have been only two since 1978 (in 1995 and 2011).

En Comú Podem

En Comú Podem (English: "In Common We Can") is an electoral coalition formed by Podemos, Barcelona en Comú, Initiative for Catalonia Greens and United and Alternative Left, led by the Mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, and formed in October 2015 to contest the 2015 Spanish general election in Catalonia. For the 2016 general election it ran as En Comú Podem−Guanyem el Canvi (Catalan for In Common We Can−Let's Win Change). The alliance was maintained ahead of the 2019 Spanish general election as a coalition of Catalunya en Comú and Podemos.

Equo

Equo (also referred to as EQUO, and formerly Q or eQuo) is a Spanish political party founded on 4 June 2011, when 35 different Spanish green parties agreed to merge into EQUO. It began as a foundation on 24 September 2010 with the goal of becoming "the seed and source of debate about political ecology and social equity, originating a sociopolitical movement".The first election it contested was the Spanish general election, 2011, obtaining 216,748 votes (0.9%), making it the 9th most supported party. The party was fifth in Madrid, achieving representation thanks to the Valencian coalition Compromís-Q, in which EQUO participated.At the national elections of 20 December 2015 EQUO joined the list of Podemos. This resulted in seats for three EQUO candidates: Juantxo López de Uralde, Rosa Martínez and Jorge Luis Bail.

Geroa Bai

Geroa Bai (Basque: Yes to the Future) is a regional political coalition in the Navarre constituency, created for the 2011 election to the Cortes Generales. It includes the Basque Nationalist Party (EAJ-PNV), Atarrabia Taldea, and the Zabaltzen partnership. These groups had shared the former coalition Nafarroa Bai, along with Eusko Alkartasuna and Aralar (which entered the coalition Amaiur), and Batzarre.

Government of Spain

The Government of Spain (Spanish: Gobierno de España) is the central government which leads the executive branch and the General State Administration of the Kingdom of Spain. It is also commonly referred to as the Government of the Nation, or simply the Government.

The Government consists of the Prime Minister and the Ministers; the prime minister has the overall direction of the Ministers and can appoint or terminate their appointments freely and all of them belong to the supreme decision-making body, known as the Council of Ministers. The Government is responsible before the Parliament (Cortes Generales), and more precisely before the Congress of the Deputies, a body which elects the Prime Minister or dismisses him through a motion of censure. This is because Spain is a parliamentary system established by the Constitution of 1978.

Its fundamental regulation is placed in Title IV of the Constitution, as well as in Title V of that document, with respect to its relationship with the Cortes Generales, and in Law 50/1997, of November 27, of the Government. According to Article 97 of the Constitution and Article 1.1 of the Government Act, "the Government directs domestic and foreign policy, the civil and military administration and the defense of the State. It exercises the executive function and the regulatory regulation according to the Constitution and the laws".

The current prime minister is Pedro Sánchez, who took office on 2 June 2018. He is the leader of the Socialist Workers' Party, the second biggest party in the Cortes Generales. Sánchez was appointed to lead the Government through a motion of no confidence against former prime minister Mariano Rajoy, who had filled that office since 2011. This was the first election of a prime minister via motion of no confidence in Spanish history.

The Government is occasionally referred to with the metonymy Moncloa, due to that the residence of the Prime Minister, the Palace of Moncloa, is also the headquarters of the Government.

Members of the 10th Cortes Generales

The 10th Cortes Generales comprised both the lower (Congress) and upper (Senate) houses of the legislature of Spain following the 2011 general election on 20 November 2011. They first convened on 13 December 2011, and were dissolved on 27 October 2015.

The 2011 election saw 52 constituencies return 350 MPs for Congress and 208 for Senate. The People's Party (PP), led by Mariano Rajoy, obtained an absolute majority of seats with 186. The Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) had its worst performance until that time and secured 110 seats. Minoritary parties United Left (IU) and Union, Progress and Democracy (UPyD) came out reinforced, with 11 and 5 seats, respectively, and over 1 million votes each.

Més per Menorca

Més per Menorca (English: More for Menorca, MpM) is a Menorcan political party. It was a coalition formed by the Socialist Party of Menorca, Republican Left, The Greens of Menorca, Equo, local parties and independents around the island until 2017. MpM was created in July 2014. Until May 2017 it had been linked to the similarly-named alliance in Majorca.

People's Party of Asturias

The People's Party of Asturias (Spanish: Partido Popular de Asturias, PP) is the regional section of the People's Party of Spain (PP) in the Principality of Asturias. It was formed in 1989 from the re-foundation of the People's Alliance.

Podemos Asturias

Podemos Asturias (Asturian: Podemos Asturies) is the regional branch of Podemos in Asturias, Spain.

Politics of Spain

The politics of Spain takes place under the framework established by the Constitution of 1978. Spain is established as a social and democratic sovereign country wherein the national sovereignty is vested in the people, from which the powers of the state emanate.The form of government in Spain is a parliamentary monarchy, that is, a social representative democratic constitutional monarchy in which the monarch is the head of state, while the prime minister—whose official title is "President of the Government"—is the head of government. Executive power is exercised by the Government, which is integrated by the prime minister, the deputy prime ministers and other ministers, which collectively form the Cabinet, or Council of Ministers. Legislative power is vested in the Cortes Generales (General Courts), a bicameral parliament constituted by the Congress of Deputies and the Senate. The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature, administering justice on behalf of the King by judges and magistrates. The Supreme Court of Spain is the highest court in the nation, with jurisdiction in all Spanish territories, superior to all in all affairs except constitutional matters, which are the jurisdiction of a separate court, the Constitutional Court.

Spain's political system is a multi-party system, but since the 1990s two parties have been predominant in politics, the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) and the People's Party (PP). Regional parties, mainly the Basque Nationalist Party (EAJ-PNV), from the Basque Country, and Convergence and Union (CiU) and the Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC), from Catalonia, have also played key roles in Spanish politics. Members of the Congress of Deputies are selected through proportional representation, and the government is formed by the party or coalition that has the confidence of the Congress, usually the party with the largest number of seats. Since the Spanish transition to democracy, there have not been coalition governments; when a party has failed to obtain absolute majority, minority governments have been formed.

Regional government functions under a system known as the state of autonomies, a highly decentralized system of administration based on asymmetrical devolution to the "nationalities and regions" that constitute the nation and in which the nation, via the central government, retains full sovereignty. Exercising the right to self-government granted by the constitution, the "nationalities and regions" have been constituted as 17 autonomous communities and two autonomous cities. The form of government of each autonomous community and autonomous city is also based on a parliamentary system, in which executive power is vested in a "president" and a Council of Ministers, elected by and responsible to a unicameral legislative assembly.

The Economist Intelligence Unit rated Spain as a "full democracy" in 2016.

Socialist Party of the Canaries

The Socialist Party of the Canaries (Spanish: Partido Socialista de Canarias, PSC-PSOE) is the Canarian federation of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE), the main centre-left party in Spain since the 1970s.

Spanish Ombudsman

The Spanish Ombudsman or Defender of the people (Spanish: Defensor del Pueblo) is the ombudsman of the Cortes Generales responsible for defending the fundamental rights and public liberties of citizens by supervising the activity of public administrations.

The ombudsman is created by the Constitution and regulated by an Organic Law of 1981. He or she is nominated by both the Congress of Deputies and Senate through a joint committee that chooses the candidate and proposes him or her to the Chambers. The candidate must be approved by three-fifths of both Chambers. If these qualified majorities are not reached, a new joint committee must to be formed to choose another candidate or to maintain the previous one but the second must to get in a second voting three fifths of the Congress and an absolute majority of the Senate. To be chosen ombudsman it is necessary to be a Spaniard, adult and having the full enjoyment of one´s civil and political rights.

The Ombudsman ceases by resignation, expiration of the term of appointment, by death or disability, by acting with gross negligence in compliance with the obligations and duties of the office or by having been convicted, by final judgment, for willful misconduct. In the case that the office is vacant, is the First Deputy Ombudsman who assumes the office as Acting Ombudsman.

Unified Socialist Party of Catalonia

The Unified Socialist Party of Catalonia (Catalan: Partit Socialista Unificat de Catalunya, PSUC) was a communist political party active in Catalonia between 1936 and 1997. It was the Catalan referent of the Communist Party of Spain and the only party not from a sovereign state to be a full member of the Third International.

Zero Cuts

Zero Cuts (Spanish: Recortes Cero) is a Spanish party alliance, initially founded as a group of electors, formed to contest the 2014 European Parliament election. Subsequently, it has contested the 2015 and 2016 general elections together with The Greens–Green Group. It is supported by the Communist Unification of Spain.

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