Spanish Constitution of 1978 (unannotated)/Part V
Relations between the Government and the Cortes Generales
- The Government is jointly accountable before the Congress for its conduct of political business.
- The Houses and their Committees may, through their respective Speaker, request any kind of information and help they may need from the Government and Government Departments and from any authorities of the State and Self-governing Communities.
- 1. The Houses and their Committees may summon members of the Government.
- 2. Members of the Government are entitled to attend meetings of the Houses and their Committees and to be heard in them and may request that officials from their Departments are allowed to report to them.
- 1. The Government and each of its members are subject to interpellations and questions put to them in the Houses. The Standing Orders shall set aside a minimum weekly time for this type of debate.
- 2. Any interpellation may give rise to a motion in which the House states its position.
- The President of the Government, after deliberation by the Council of Ministers, may ask the Congress for a vote of confidence in favour of his or her programme or of a general policy statement. Confidence shall be deemed to have been obtained when a single majority of the Members of Congress vote in favour.
- 1. The Congress may require political responsibility from the Government by adopting a motion of censure by overall majority of its Members.
- 2. The motion of censure must be proposed by at least one tenth of the Members of Congress and shall include a candidate for the office of the Presidency of the Government.
- 3. The motion of censure may not be voted until five days after it has been submitted. During the first two days of this period, alternative motions may be submitted.
- 4. If the motion of censure is not adopted by the Congress, its signatories may not submit another during the same period of sessions.
- 1. If the Congress withholds its confidence from the Government, the latter shall submit its resignation to the King, whereafter the President of the Government shall be nominated in accordance with the provisions of section 99.
- 2. If the Congress adopts a motion of censure, the Government shall submit its resignation to the King, and the candidate proposed in the motion of censure shall be deemed to have the confidence of the House for the purposes provided in section 99. The King shall appoint him or her President of the Government.
- 1. The President of the Government, after deliberation by the Council of Ministers, and under his or her sole responsibility, may propose the dissolution of the Congress, the Senate or the Cortes Generales, which shall be proclaimed by the King. The decree of dissolution shall set a date for the elections.
- 3. The proposal for dissolution may not be submitted while a motion of censure is pending.
- 1. An organic act shall make provision for the states of alarm, emergency and siege (martial law) and the powers and restrictions attached to each of them.
- 2. A state of alarm shall be proclaimed by the Government, by means of a decree agreed in Council of Ministers, for a maximum period of fifteen days. The Congress shall be informed and must meet immediately, and without its authorization the said period may not be extended. The decree shall specify the territory to which the effects of the proclamation apply.
- 3. A state of emergency shall be proclaimed by the Government by decree agreed in Council of Ministers, after prior authorization by the Congress. The authorization for and proclamation of a state of emergency must specifically state the effects thereof, the territory to which it is to apply and its duration, which may not exceed thirty days, subject to extension for a further thirty day period, with the same requirements.
- 4. A state of siege (martial law) shall be proclaimed by overall majority of Congress solely on the Government's proposal. Congress shall determine its territorial extension, duration and terms.
- 5. The Congress may not be dissolved while any of the states referred to in the present section remains in force, and if the Houses are not in session, they shall be automatically convened. Their functioning, as well as that of the other constitutional State authorities, may not be interrupted while any of these states is in force.
- If, in the event that the Congress has been dissolved or its term has expired, a situation giving rise to any of these states should occur, the powers of the Congress shall be assumed by its Permanent Deputation.
- 6. Proclamation of states of alarm, emergency and siege shall not affect the principle of liability of the Government or its agents as recognized in the Constitution and the laws.