Page images
PDF
EPUB

occasions, with an interval of at least a day between each, the rules for debate being duly observed.

49. Bills approved in the Chamber in which they originated shall be passed on to the other for the purposes specified in the preceding Article, and, if not negatived, shall pass back to the Chamber in which they originated with such amendments as they may have undergone.

50. If the Chamber originating the Bill should not admit the amendments, they may insist upon their objections and may send in writing to the other Chamber their reasons for the same. They may then iuvite the other to unite with them in Congress, and may resolve in a General Committee to seek for a mode of agreement. If, however, that is not brought about, the Bill will remain without effect even if the Chamber of origin resolves, separately, to confirm its insistence upon its objections.

51. On the passage of the Bills from one Chamber to another, the days or which they have been discussed shall be indicated.

52. The Law which reforms any other Law shall be enacted as a whole, and the preceding Law shall be abrogated in full.

53. The following formula shall be used in all laws :

“ The Congress of the United States of Venezuela" decrees."

54. Bills rejected in the Sessions of one year may not be brought forward again until the Sessions of a subsequent year.

55. Bills standing over in a Chamber at the end of its Sessions shall be subjected to the necessary three discussions in the Sessions following

56. Laws may be abrogated with the same formalities as are applicable to their being sanctioned.

57. Laws need not be observed except after being published with due solemnity.

58. The faculty held by Congress of sanctioning laws may not be delegated.

59. No legislative act shall have retroactive effect except in matters of judicial procedure, in which case the lowest penalty only shall be inflicted.

TITLE VI.-Of the General Administration of the Union.

Section 1.–Of the National Executive.

60. All matters relating to the general .dministration of the nation which are not defined by this Constitution as being within the powers of any other authority are in the competency of the National Executive. The latter shall be exercised by a Magistrate

with the title of President of the United States of Venezuela in conjunction with the Ministers of Departments, who will be his organs, and with the Council of Government, with all those attributes as are conferred by this Constitution.

61. The functions of the National Executive shall not be exercised outside the Federal District except in the case foreseen by section (v) of paragraph (9) of Article 77 of this Constitution.

62. When the President takes command of the army or absents bimself from the Federal District as described in paragraph (7) of Article 77, he shall be replaced in the manner indicated by Article 70.

Section 2.-Of the President of the United States of Venezuela.

63. The election of President of the United States of Venezuela shall be made by the citizens of each of the States and of the Federal District by direct and secret ballot. The qualifications for election are to be a Venezuelan by birth and to have completed 30 years

of age.

64. On the eighth day of the ordinary Sessions of the Chambers the same shall assemble in Congress, and shall proceed to the scrutiny of the votes for the election of the President of the United States of Venezuela.

If by this time they should not all have been registered, the measures necessary to obtain them shall be decided upon, further proceedings being deferred for forty days if necessary. Once that term has elapsed, the scrutiny shall be carried out of the votes actually registered, it being, however, understood that they shall not be less than two-thirds of the whole. If they should actually fall below that number the case shall be treated as an absolute vacancy in the Presidency, and the procedure shall then be in accordance with Article 72 of this Constitution.

65. The scrutiny having been carried out in accordance with the preceding Article, the citizen who has obtained an absolute majority of votes of the electors shall be declared the elected President. If there should not be an absolute majority, Congress will elect one of the two who have obtained the highest number of votes. In this election the votes shall be taken by States, each State having one vote, and unless there shall be two-thirds of the States, represented by an absolute majority of the total number of Senators and Deputies, the election shall not be carried out. The vote of each State shall be that of an absolute majority of its Senators and Deputies: in the event of equality, the decision shall be taken by lot. The vote of the Deputies for the Federal District shall be computed with those of the State of Miranda.

(1892-93. LXXXV.]

[ocr errors]

66. The election of President should be definitely completed in one Session of Congress, and with that object no member shall absent himself without the consent of Congress.

67. If, in the year in which the election of President should take place, fifty days elapse after the 20th February without Congress being installed through the absence of the Constitutional quorum, and the Preparatory Committee of the Senate should find itself with a sufficient number of votes registered to make possible the said election, the citizen presiding over the Committee shall pass on the votes, with the concurrence of the other members, to the Higa Federal Court, which shall fix one of the four days following tha: upon which it shall receive the said votes for proceeding to compin them with those received directly from the States, in order to carry out, in public Session, the scrutiny referred to in Article 65. 11. case of combination, the election shall not take place except in ful. assembly, when the citizen who obtains the votes of two-thirds of the members shall be declared elected.

68. The President elected in the manner described in the preceding Article shall take the legal oath before the same High Federal Court.

69. If by the 14th April Congress shall not have been installed and the High Federal Court shall not have received the votes registered by the Preparatory Committee of the Senate, it shall proceed forthwith to fix a day to carry out the scrutiny, and shall verify at the same time the votes received directly from the States. If the latter shall be entirely wanting, or either the one or the other shail not be suflicient in number, an absolute vacaucy in the Presideney shall be declared.

70. A temporary or absolute vacancy in the Presidency of the Republic shall be filled by the citizen who may be exercising the functions of President of the Council of Government.

71. The President shall remain in office for four years, dating from the 20th February, on which day in the year in which bis teria of office comes to an end, even if he has not entirely completed his duties, he shall cease to exercise his functions. In the interval between such date and the date upon which the newly-elected President takes office, the Presidency shall be exercised by the citizen who may be President of the Council of Government.

72. If an absolute vacancy in the Presidency of the Republic should occur during the first two years of a Constitutional period the President of the Council of Government who enters upon the exercise of the functions of President of the Republic shall immediately order elections to be carried out so that such functionary may be nominated for the remainder of the period.

73. The President, even although he may not have been in office

for a full term, may not be elected for the following period. Nor shall be elected President for the next period the citizen who may have discharged the office of President during the last year of the preceding term, nor the relations of either within the fourth degree of consanguinity or the second of affinity.

74. The remuneration of the President or of those who take his place shall be fixed by law, and such remuneration shall not be augmented or diminished during the period in which such law is issued.

75. The President of the United States of Venezuela may be impeached for treason to the country, for infractions of this constitution and of the laws of the Republic, and for ordinary offences.

Section 3.-Of the Attributes of the President of the United States

of Venezuela.

76. The attributes of the President of the Union are :

(1.) To order the execution of the Laws and Decrees of the National Congress within fifteen days of having received them, and to see that they are fulfilled and carried into effect.

(2.) To appoint and remove the Ministers of State.

(3.) To receive and compliment the Public Ministers of other countries.

(4.) To sign the official letters directed to the Sovereigns or Presidents of other States.

(5.) To administer the waste lands, mines, and salt works of the States in conformity with law.

(6.) To convoke the Legislative Chambers for their periodical meetings, and to take care that they assemble upon the date fixed by this Constitution.

(7.) To organize the Federal district according to law, and to administer it as the first civil and political authority.

(8.) To issue navigation warrants to national vessels.

(9.) To give an account to Congress during the first eight days of its annual meeting of all the acts performed by him in the exercise of his attributes.

(10.) To issue letters of nationality in conformity with the law.

(11.) To appoint national officials whose appointments do not rest with other functionaries.

(12.) To remove such officials at his free will, and to order their suspension or commit them for trial should there be grounds for such a course.

(13.) To defend the Federal district when there may be grounds for fearing a foreign invasion.

(14.) To dictate the measures necessary for making a census of the people of the Republic every ten years.

(15.) To negotiate loans decreed by Congress in entire conformity with the dispositions prescribed.

(16.) To look after and protect the collection of the national

revenue.

(17.) To discharge the other duties attributed to him by law.

(18.) To promulgate Decrees and Regulations for the better execution of the laws whenever such laws in their text so require it, taking care that the spirit and reason of such law is not altered.

77. Besides the foregoing attributes which are peculiar to the President of the United States of Venezuela, he shall, with the consultative vote of the Council of Government, exercise als: the following:

(1.) To preserve the nation from all external attacks.

(2.) To convoke Congress in Extraordinary Assembly when any matter may be of sufficient gravity to require it.

(3.) To fill up the diplomatic appointments and the posts of Consuls-General and Consuls, the two former being conferred only on Venezuelans by birth.

(4.) To direct diplomatic negotiations and conclude all kinds of Treaties with other nations by means of the Diplomatic Agents of the Republic, submitting such Treaties to the National Congress for its approval.

(5.) To declare war in the name of the Republic wheu so decreed by Congress.

(6.) To organize the national forces in time of peace.

(7.) To direct warlike operations and to command the army in person, or to nominate some person to do so. He shall, moreover, be able to leave the capital if affairs of public importance so require.

(8.) To grant general or special amnesties. (9.) In the event of foreign war he shall

(i.) Require of the States the assistance necessary for the defence of the nation ;

(ii.) Levy contributions in advance ;

(iii.) Arrest or expel the individuals belonging to the natio against which war is declared if they should be opposed to the defence of the country;

(iv.) Suspend rights the exercise of which would be inoonpatible with the defence of the Republic, except the inviolabuit of life;

(v.) Indicate the place to which the General Power of the l'1107 shall be temporarily transferred when there may be grave reascos

for the same;

« PreviousContinue »