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(vi.) Commit for trial for treason to the country any Venezuelans who may in any manner be hostile to the national defence;

(vii.) Issue letters of marque and reprisals, and indicate the laws to be followed in the matter of prizes.

78. Besides the foregoing attributes, the President of the Republic, with the previous deliberative vote of the Council of Government, shall exercise the following:

(1.) To make use of the public forces and of the powers indicated in paragraphs (i), (ii), and (v) of section (9) of the foregoing Article, with the object of re-establishing Constitutional order in the event of armed insurrection against the institutions which the Republic has given itself.

(2.) To dispose of the public forces in order to put an end to armed collisions between two or more States, where the interposition of friendly offices has proved inefficacious, and to require such States to lay down their arms and submit their differences to arbitration as required by section (30) of Article 13 of this Constitution.

(3.) To conclude contracts of national importance in accordance with the laws, and to submit the same to Congress for its approval or rejection. Without the latter formality they shall not be able to be put into execution.

(4.) To prohibit the entrance into the national territory, or to expel from it, foreigners who are not domiciled therein, and who may be notoriously prejudicial to public order.

Section 4.-Of the Council of Government.

79. There shall be a Council of Government composed of nine members nominated by Congress every four years within the ten days following the verification of the votes for the election of the President of the Republic. In this election the votes will be given by the States, each State holding one vote, represented by an absolute majority of its Senators and Deputies. In case of equality the decision shall be taken by lot. There shall likewise be elected in the same form the supplementary members, who shall, in the order of their election, fill any temporary or absolute vacancy among the principal members.

80. The duration of the term of the Council of Government is the same as the Presidential period for which it has been elected. 81. The same qualifications are required for a Councillor as for the President of the Republic.

82. The Council will elect among its own members a President, and first and second Vice-Presidents to fill vacancies, temporary or absolute, in the Presidency. It will also elect a Secretary and such lesser officials as may be necessary.

83. The Council will meet on such occasions as may be determined by its own rules, but may not deliberate unless there are present at least two-thirds of its members.

84. The Ministers of State have the right to speak in the Council, may attend at its sittings whenever it may be considered convenient, and must assist at the same whenever they are called upon to supply information on any subject.

85. The Council of Government has the following attributes:(1.) To give its consultative vote in the cases referred to in Article 77, submitted to its consideration by the President of the Republic through the Minister concerned.

(2.) To give or refuse its assent to the exercise by the President of the Republic of any of the attributes conferred upon him under Article 78.

(3.) To give its decision in any other matter relating to the general administration which may be submitted to its attention.

(4.) To watch over the lawful administration and collection of the national revenue, presenting annually to Congress the information and observations which may be necessary. To look after the due delivery of the sums assigned to the States under section 32 of Article 13 of this Constitution, and the detailed quinquennial publication of the operations of the Treasury.

86. The laws may attribute to the Council of Government such other functions as may be consonant with its high character.

87. The vote of the Council of Government is that of an absolute majority of the members present. The Councillors who do not agree with the opinion of the majority have the right to preserve their vote, and may present it, in writing, at one of the subsequent sittings.

88. The Council will keep a register of all its decisions, an authentic copy of which shall be forwarded every year to the National Congress within the first fifteen days of its ordinary Sessions. There shall be excluded from such copy those matters which relate to diplomatic questions about which reserve may be


89. The Councillors are responsible

For treason to the country;

For subornation or bribery in the discharge of their functions; For infractions of the Constitution and of the laws;

And for common offences.

Section 5.-Of the Ministers of State.

90. The President of the United States of Venezuela shall have for the dispatch of business such Ministers as may be determined

by law.

The same law shall define their functions and duties, and shall organize their departments.


91. To be a Minister of State it is necessary to have completed years of age and to be a Venezuelan by birth.

92. When the appointment of Minister falls upon a person who is a Senator or Deputy, such person shall not be able to occupy his place in the Chamber to which he belongs, except after the lapse of one year from the date upon which he has given up his office as Minister.

93. The Ministers of State assembled together for the discussion of matters within their competency, constitute the Council of Ministers which will be presided over by the President of the Republic.

94. The Ministers are the sole legal and necessary mouthpieces of the President of the United States of Venezuela. All the acts of the latter shall be countersigned by the Minister or Ministers to whose branches such acts relate: without such formality they shall be of no effect, and shall not be fulfilled or executed by the authorities, officials, or private individuals.

95. All the acts of the Ministers shall be regulated by this Constitution and the laws: they shall not be divested of responsi bility by an order of the President, even though the same be in writing.

96. All matters other than the domestic affairs of the Departments shall be considered in the Council of Ministers. The responsibility of the latter shall be collective and mutual; the only exception to this being the Minister who, not being able to agree with the opinion of the majority, resigns his post.

97. The Ministers shall give an annual account to the Chambers, during the first eight days of their ordinary Session, of their conduct of their respective branches. They shall, moreover, give such verbal or written information as may be required of them. They shall also present within the first ten days of the second month of the Sessions of the Chambers, the general Budget of Revenue and Expenditure and the general account for the preceding


98. The Ministers have the right of speech in the Chambers, and shall be obliged to be present when called upon for information. 99. The Ministers are responsible

(1.) For treason to the country;

(2.) For infraction of this Constitution and of the laws;
(3.) For excess of expenditure over the estimates;

(4.) For subornation or bribery in the dispatch of the business intrusted to them, or in their nominations of public officials; and (5.) For malversation of public funds, and for common offences.


Section 1.-Of the Judicial Power of the Nation.

100. The Judicial Power of the United States of Venezuela resides in the High Federa! Court, in the Court of Cassation, and in the other Tribunals and Courts established by law.

101. The officials of the Judicial Power are responsible, in the cases determined by law, for treason to the country, for subornation or bribery in the discharge of their functions, for infractions of the Constitution and the laws, and for common offences.

Section 2.-Of the High Federal Court.

102. The High Federal Court is composed of nine members. 103. Each member of the High Federal Court shall have a substitute to take his place during temporary absence or absolute


104. To be a member of the High Federal Court it is necessary to be a Venezuelan by birth and to have completed 30 years of age.

105. For the composition of the High Federal Court the Legislative Assembly of each State shall send a nomination list of its own to the National Congress, which shall elect from it the principal member and his substitute.

Sole paragraph.-The election of the principal and substitute referred to in this Article having been carried out, Congress, in the same Session, shall number, by absolute majorities, the candidates remaining on the nomination lists sent in by the Legislative Assemblies of the States. This enumeration shall be from one to seven, so that in that order they may replace the principal or substitute member should occasion arise.

106. Should the number of States exceed nine they shall, by law, be divided into groups ("circunscripciones"). Such law shali determine the form in which shall be presented the nominations referred to in section 21 of Article 13 of this Constitution, in order that the number of members of the High Federal Court shall never exceed nine. Should the number of States be diminished, a corresponding diminution should take place in the number of members.

107. The election of the members of the High Federal Court shall take place every six years.

108. The law shall determine the functions of the members and of the other officials of the High Federal Court, amongst whom shall be two Secretaries designated by the same.

109. The members who have exercised for three years or who still may be in exercise of their functions shall not be admitted, during the period, to any employment in the nomination of the National Executive, even though they renounce their office.

110. In addition to those indicated by this Constitution and the laws, the following are the attributes of the High Federal Court:


(1.) To try the accusations made against the President of the Republic, Councillors of Government, Ministers of State, and Members of the High Federal Court and Court of Cassation on the grounds respectively determined by Articles 75, 89, 99, and 101 of this Constitution.

(2.) To prove and decide the cases referred to in the preceding paragraph.

(3.) To take cognizance of the suits, civil or criminal, formulated against Diplomatic Agents in the cases permitted by the law of


(4.) To take cognizance of cases of responsibility which, for improper exercise of their functions, are laid against the Diplomatic Agents of the Republic accredited to other countries.

(5.) To try civil proceedings when demanded by the nation as determined by law.

(6.) To settle disputes which may arise between the officials of the various States in political matters and in matters of jurisdiction or competency.

(7.) To take cognizance of all matters of a political nature which the States submit for its consideration.

(8.) To define the law, decree, or resolution which may be in force when there may be contradiction between the national laws and decrees themselves, between the laws and decrees of the States and the national laws, between the laws and decrees of the States themselves, or between any of them and this Constitution.

(9.) To declare the nullity of all the acts referred to in Articles 118 and 119 of this Constitution, whether emanating from the national authority or that of the Federal district.

(10.) To take cognizance of prize cases.

(11.) To take cognizance of differences resulting from the contracts or negotiations entered into by the President of the Union.

(12.) To carry out the scrutiny of the election of the President of the Republic in the cases provided for in Articles 67 and 69 of this Constitution.

(13.) To exercise all other attributes determined by law.

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