Chapter 4

Municipal Public Power Icon

Article 168

Municipalities constitute the primary political unit in the organization of the nation, and enjoy artificial personality and autonomy within the limits prescribed by the Constitution and the law.

Municipal autonomy includes:

  1. Election of municipal authorities.
  2. Management of affairs within the scope of its competence.
  3. Creation, collection and investment of its revenues.

The actions of a Municipality within the scope of its competence shall be carried out by incorporating citizen participation into the process of defining and managing public affairs and monitoring and evaluating the results achieved, in an effective, sufficient and timely manner, in accordance with law.

The actions of Municipalities may be contested only before the courts of competent jurisdiction, in accordance with the Constitution and the law.

Article 169

The organization of Municipalities and other local entities shall be governed by this Constitution, by the rules established by national organic laws to implement constitutional principles, and by such provisions of law as may be enacted by the States in accordance with the aforementioned.

Legislation enacted to implement constitutional principles relating to Municipalities and other local entities shall establish various structures for the organization, governance and administration of the same, including as regards the determination of their powers and resources, taking into account conditions relating to population, economic development, ability to generate their own tax revenues, geographical location, historical and cultural elements and other relevant factors. In particular, such legislation shall establish the options for organizing the system of local administration and government that shall be adopted by Municipalities with native populations.

In all cases, the municipal structure shall be democratic and consistent with the inherent nature of local government.

Article 170

Municipalities shall be permitted to associate in commonwealths, or to agree among themselves or with other territorial political divisions on the creation of types of intergovernmental associations for purposes in the public interest relating to matters within their competence.

The rules concerning the grouping of two or more Municipalities into districts shall be determined by law.

Article 171

When two or more Municipalities belonging to the same federal organ have economic, social and physical relations that give the group the characteristics of a metropolitan area, they may organize themselves as metropolitan districts. The organic law enacted for the purpose shall guarantee the democratic and participatory character of the metropolitan government and shall establish its functional competence, as well as its tax, financial and control regime.

It shall also ensure that the Municipalities have adequate participation in the entities of the metropolitan government, and shall indicate the manner in which the public consultations that are to decide upon affiliation of the Municipalities with the metropolitan district.

Various regimes may be established by law for the organization, governance and administration of the metropolitan district, taking into account population conditions, economic and social development, geographical location and other factors of importance.

In all cases, the delegation of competence for each metropolitan district shall take into account these conditions.

Article 172

The state Legislative Council, after a favorable decision by public consultation of the affected population, shall define the boundaries of the metropolitan district and shall organize the same in accordance with the provisions of the national organic law, determining which metropolitan powers are to be assumed by the governmental organs of the pertinent metropolitan district.

When the Municipalities wishing to form a metropolitan district belong to different federal entities, the creation and organization of the same shall be the responsibility of the National Assembly.

Article 173

A Municipality shall have the power to create parishes on such terms as may be determined by law.

The legislation enacted to implement constitutional principles relating to the organization of Municipalities shall establish the premises and conditions for the creation of other local entities within the territory of the Municipality, as well as the resources that shall be available to them, depending on the functions assigned to them, including their share in the Municipality’s own revenues. Their creation shall take into account neighborhood or community initiative, in order to provide for the decentralization of the administration of the Municipality, citizen participation and the providing of better public services. In no event shall parishes be assumed to be the only possible divisions, or to be required divisions, of the territory of a Municipality.

Article 174

The government and administration of the Municipality corresponds to the mayor [masculine] or mayor [feminine], who will also be the principal civil authority. To be mayor [masculine] or mayor [feminine] it is required to be Venezuelan [masculine] or Venezuelan [feminine], greater than twenty-five years old, and of secular estate. The mayor [masculine] or mayor [feminine] will be elected for a period of four years by the majority of the persons that vote, and may be re-elected.

Article 175

The legislative function in a Municipality is vested in the Council, made up of council members elected in the manner established in this Constitution, in such number and on such terms of eligibility as may be determined by law.

Article 176

The Office of the Municipal Comptroller shall be in charge of control, vigilance and auditing of municipal revenues, expenses and property, as well as transactions relating to the same, without prejudice to the scope of the attributions of the Office of the General Comptroller, and the official in charge of the office shall be the Municipal Comptroller, designated by the Council through a public competition to guarantee the capability and ability of the person designated to hold this office, on the terms established by law.

Article 177

Principles, residence requirements and conditions, prohibitions, grounds for disqualification and conflicts of interest for the candidacy and exercise of the functions of mayors and councilmen members may be established by national law.

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