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Institutional Aspects

Introduction

Sede del Gobierno

Seat of the Government.

Navarre, which was constituted as a Kingdom in the 8th century, joined the historical process of the formation of Spain in the 16th century. It upheld the status of Kingdom with its own institutions until the 19th century and from then on it retained a significant level of self-government, especially within the spheres of the economy and the administration.

Under the auspices of its specific historical rights, Navarre has preserved its foral regime by means of treaties with the State whereby it has adapted its economic relations and powers of self-government to the changing times.

The Spanish Constitution, which lays down the principles of democracy, political plurality and self-government, provided for the circumstances of the foral regime of Navarre. Accordingly, by virtue of its First Additional Provision, it upholds and respects the historical rights of Navarre.

The Amejoramiento

In keeping with this precept, between 1980 and 1982 Navarre and the central Government reach an agreement on the reform and modernisation of the foral regime of Navarre, and formalised the Treaty, which was enacted in Organic Law 13/1982, of 10 August, on the Reintegration and Enhancement of the Foral Regime of Navarre.

This law lays down the institutional framework for Navarre, embodied in the Community’s three institutions – Parliament of Navarre, Government of Navarre and President of the Government. Specifically, the procedure for electing the President and his or her powers are expounded in Foral Law 23/1983, of 11 April, on the Government and the Administration of the Comunidad Foral of Navarre.

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Electoral procedure

Sesión en el Parlamento

Full session of Parliament.

Initially, the election of the President of the Government was regulated by article 29 of Organic Law 13/1982, on the Reintegration and Enhancement of the Foral Regime of Navarre. However, on 26 March 2001 Organic law 1/2001 was enacted, whereby several articles of the previous law were amended. This modification responded to the will of the political parties with a majority representation in the Parliament of Navarre, who deemed it convenient to establish a new procedure for the election of the President of the Government, with a view to reducing the timeframe with regard to the prior system.

Likewise, revocation was made of the automatic election of the candidate who had the greatest number of seats, in the event that none of the candidates proposed had obtained a simple majority in successive ballots. In addition, the purpose of this amendment was to ensure that it became an essential condition for appointment as President to hold the political status of member of the Foral Parliament and, finally, that the President should be imbued with a power that they hitherto lacked, namely to dissolve Parliament and call elections, apart from the provisions laid down accordingly for the contingency arising if no decision is reached in the investiture process.

Electoral stages

Organic Law 1/2001 thus lays down the steps to be taken for the election of the President of the Government of Navarre on the part of the Parliament of Navarre, which are as follows:

- The Speaker of the Parliament, upon prior consultation with the spokespersons appointed by the political parties or groups with parliamentary representation, will propose a candidate for the Presidency of the Government of Navarre, from amongst the members of the house.
- The candidate will submit their programme to Parliament. In order to be elected, the candidate is to obtain an overall majority on the first ballot. If this should not be the case, a second ballot is to be held twenty-four hours after the first one, and confidence is understood to have been awarded to the candidate when they return a simple majority in this second vote.
- In the event that they do not attain this majority, the candidate is understood to have been rejected and the process will continue with successive proposals for candidates in the manner foreseen above.
- Once a candidate has obtained the confidence of Parliament, the Speaker will propose his appointment. The appointment of the President of the Government of Navarre is to be subscribed by HM the King.
- If a period of thirty calendar days has elapsed subsequent to the first ballot without any of the candidates being elected, Parliament shall be dissolved, with fresh elections being called immediately.

A further significant amendment provided for in Organic Law 1/2001 refers to the power endowed in the President of the Government of Navarre to dissolve the Parliament of Navarre. Thus, the President, under their sole responsibility and with prior debate by the Government of Navarre, may agree to dissolve Parliament and call new elections, prior to the natural conclusion of the legislature.

Nonetheless, the President may not decide to dissolve Parliament during the first period of sessions, or when less than one year remains for the conclusion of the legislature, or when a vote of no confidence is underway. Neither may they use this power when a nationwide electoral process has been called, or until a period of one year has elapsed since the last dissolution involving this procedure.

In the event of the dissolution of Parliament, the new house resulting from the polling process is to have a mandate limited by the natural term of the original legislature.

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Powers and duties

Bandera de Navarra

Flag and coat of arms of Navarre.

The powers of the President of the Government of Navarre are laid down in Foral Law 23/1983 of 11 April, which governs the Government and the Administration of the Comunidad Foral of Navarre.

Title II, dedicated entirely to the President of the Government, stipulates that the President appoints and removes Ministers, whose number must fall between 7 and 11, and may name up to two Vice-presidents from amongst them. Together they constitute the Government of Navarre.

It befalls the President to lead the Government, establishing its overall guidelines and ensuring the due coordination between the Departments, as well as represent the Government, convene, chair, interrupt and conclude Government sessions and set the agenda. It is also within the President’s powers to enact Foral Decrees approved by the Government and have them published in the Official Gazette of Navarre; and resolve any conflicts of powers between the different departments of the Administration of the Comunidad Foral.

Likewise, it befalls the President to bring before the Parliament the issue of no confidence on his policy programme; to enact Foral Laws in the name of the King, have them published on the “Boletin Oficial de Navarra” (Official Gazette of Navarre) and submit them to the President of the Government of the Nation for their publication in the “Boletin Oficial del Estado” (Official State Gazette).

The President of the Government of Navarre represents the Comunidad Foral in its dealings with the State, with the Autonomous Communities and with any other public or private entity and exercises whatsoever other powers and competencies the law attributes accordingly. Regarding the President’s own personal statute, they hold the highest representation of the Comunidad Foral and the ordinary representation of the State in Navarre; they are to be addressed as Excelencia (Excellency). Likewise, it should be noted that the President’s criminal liability is answerable, as appropriate, before the corresponding Body of the Supreme Court.

The President shall resign as a result of any one of the following contingencies:

- Holding of elections for the renewal of Parliament. In this case, the incumbent President shall remain in office until the new president is sworn in.
- Rejection of a vote of confidence.
- Approval of a vote of no confidence.
- Resignation
- Final legal sentence that implies their disqualification from office.
- Death.

Notwithstanding the above, the incumbent President may never be subject to a vote of no confidence or to a vote of confidence.

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Government of Navarre

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