Spanish Constitution of 1978 (unannotated)/Part IV
Government and Administration
- The Government shall conduct domestic and foreign policy, civil and military administration and the defence of the State. It exercises executive authority and the power of statutory regulations in accordance with the Constitution and the laws.
- 1. The Government shall consist of the President, Vice Presidents, when appropiate, Ministers and other members as may be created by law.
- 2. The President shall direct the Governments' action and coordinate the functions of the other members thereof, without prejudice to the competence and direct responsability of the latter in the discharge of their duties.
- 3. Members of the Government may not perform representative functions other than those derived from their parliamentary mandate, nor any other public function not deriving from their office, nor engage in any professional or commercial activity whatsoever.
- 4. The status and incompatibilities of members of the Government shall be laid down by law.
- 1. After each renewal of the Congress and in the other cases provided for under the Constitution, the King shall, after consultation with the representatives appointed by the political groups with parliamentary representation, and through the Speaker of the Congress, nominate a candidate for the Presidency of the Government.
- 2. The candidate nominated in accordance with the provisions of the foregoing subsection shall submit to the Congress the political programme of the Government he or she intends to form and shall seek the confidence of the House.
- 3. If the Congress, by vote of the overall majority of its members, grants to said candidate its confidence, the King shall appoint him or her President. If overall majority is not obtained, the same proposal shall be submitted for a fresh vote forty eight hours after the previous vote, and confidence shall be deemed to have been secured if granted by single majority.
- 4. If, after this vote, confidence for the investiture has not been obtained, successive proposals shall be voted upon in the manner provided for in the foregoing paragraphs.
- 5. If within two months of the first vote for investiture no candidate has obtained the confidence of the Congress, the King shall dissolve both Houses and call for new elections, with the countersignature of the Speaker of the Congress.
- The other members of the Government shall be appointed and dismissed by the King at the President's proposal.
- 1. The Government shall resign after the holding of general elections, in the event of loss of parliamentary confidence as provided in the Constitution, or on the resignation or death of the President.
- 2. The outgoing Government shall continue as acting body until the new Government takes office.
- 1. The President and other members of the Government shall be held criminally liable, should the occasion arise, before the Criminal Section of the Supreme Court.
- 2. If the charge were treason or any offence against the security of the State committed in the discharge of office, it may only be brought against them on the initiative of one quarter of Members of Congress and with the approval of the overall majority thereof.
- 3. The Royal prerogative of pardon shall not apply any of the cases provided for under the present section.
- 1. The Public Administration shall serve the general interest in a spirit of objectivity and shall act in accordance with the principles of efficiency, hierarchy, decentralization, deconcentration and coordination, and in full subordination to the law.
- 2. The organs of State Administration are set up, directed and coordinated in accordance with the law.
- 3. The law shall lay down the status of civil servants, the entry into the civil service in accordance with the principles of merit and ability, the special features of the exercise of their right to union membership, the system of incompatibilities and the guarantees regarding impartiality in the discharge of their duties.
- 1. The Security Forces and Corps serving under the Government shall have the duty to protect the free exercise of rights and freedoms and to guarantee the safety of citizens.
- 2. An organic act shall specify the duties, basic principles of action and statutes of the Security Forces and Corps.
- The law shall make provision for:
- a) The hearing of citizens, directly, or through the organizations and associations recognized by the law, in the process of drawing up the administrative provisions which affect them.
- b) The access of citizens to administrative files and records, except to the extent that they may concern the security and defence of the State, the investigation of crimes and the privacy of persons.
- c) The procedures for the taking of administrative action, with due safeguards for the hearing of interested parties when appropriate.
- 1. The Courts shall check the power to issue regulations and ensure that the rule of law prevails in administrative action, and that the latter is subordinated to the ends which justify it.
- 2. Private individuals shall, under the terms laid down by law, be entitled to compensation for any harm they may suffer in any of their property and rights, except in cases of force majeure, whenever such harm is the result of the operation of public services.
- The Council of State is the supreme consultative body of the Government. An organic act shall make provision for its membership and its terms of reference.