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Congreso de la República (Congress of the Republic)

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Parliament name (generic / translated) Congreso de la República / Congress of the Republic
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Title President of the Congress of the Republic
Term - duration: 1 year (expiry date is 26 July)
- reasons for interruption of the term: resignation, removal due to penal or disciplinary sanctions, permanent disqualification, death, dissolution of Congress
Appointment - elected by all Members of Congress
- the election is held in July of every year
- after mandates have been validated and members have been sworn in when the Congress is elected

Eligibility - any Member of Congress may be a candidate, but formal notification of candidature must be made by a parliamentary group
- the deadline for notification of candidature is 24 hours before the election
Voting system - formal vote by secret ballot
- an absolute majority is required in the first round, as against a simple majority in the second round
- in case of a series of votes, new candidates are admitted and the results of the previous vote are not considered
Procedures / results - the outgoing President presides over the Congress during the voting
- two tellers appointed by the President supervise the voting
- the outgoing President announces the results without delay
- the results may be challenged even though this is not covered by the Standing Orders
Status - ranks second in the hierarchy of State
- may act as Head of State in the latter's absence
- represents the Congress with the authorities
- is an ex officio member of certain international organizations
- represents the Congress in international bodies
- may be ex officio Chairman of certain committees
- in the absence of the President, the First, Second or Third Vice-President can assume his/her role and functions
Board - the Directive Board is regulated by the Standing Orders
- consists of the President, the three Vice-Presidents and the spokesmen for the various parliamentary groups
- members serve one-year terms
- is only responsible for assisting and advising the President
Material facilities - allowance: US$ 2,849/mo
- official car
- secretariat and additional staff
- bodyguards
Organization of parliamentary business - convenes sessions
- organizes the debates and sets speaking time
- may refer texts to a committee for study, although this is usually done by one of the Vice-Presidents
Chairing of public sittings - can open, adjourn and close sittings
- ensures respect for provisions of the Constitution and Standing Orders
- makes announcements concerning the Congress
- takes disciplinary measures in the event of disturbance, and lifts such measures
- establishes the list of speakers, gives and withdraws permission to speak
- establishes the order in which amendments are taken up and selects which amendments are to be debated
- calls for a vote, decides how it is to be carried out, verifies the voting procedure and cancels a vote in the event of irregularities
- checks the quorum with the the assistance of the Senior Officer (Clerk)
- authenticates the texts adopted and the records of debates with the help of the Vice-Presidents
Special powers - presents the budget for Congress to the Directive Board
- proposes the Senior Officer General to the Directive Board
The Directive Board
- recruits, assigns and promotes staff
- organizes the services of Congress
- is responsible for relations with foreign Parliaments
- is responsible for safety, and in this capacity, can call the police in the event of disturbance in the Congress
Speaking and voting rights, other functions - takes the floor in legislative debates by leaving his/her seat
- provides guidelines for the interpretation or completion of the text under discussion in certain cases
- takes part in voting only in case of a tie
- proposes bills or amendments
- intervenes in the parliamentary oversight procedure as a parliamentarian
- transmits bills to the Head of State for promulgation; if within 15 days the latter fails to promulgate the text, the President of the Congress may proceed with the promulgation of the laws
- ensures the constitutionality of laws

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