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Chapter 1

National Legislative Power

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Table of contents

Section One. General Provisions

Article 186

The National Assembly shall consist of Deputies elected in each of the federal entities by universal, direct, personalized and secret ballot with proportional representation, using a constituency base of 1.1 % of the total population of the country.

Each federal organ shall also elect three additional deputies. The native peoples of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela shall elect three deputies in accordance with the provisions established under election law, respecting the traditions and customs thereof.

Each deputy shall have an alternate elected by the same process.

First chamber reserved policy areas

Article 187

It shall be the function of the National Assembly:

  1. To legislate in matters of national competence and as to the functioning of the various branches of National Power.

  2. To propose amendments to and revisions of the Constitution, on the terms established in this Constitution.

  3. To exercise control functions over the government and the National Public Administrative, on the terms established in this Constitution and by law. Evidence obtained during the exercise of this function shall have probative value on such terms as may be established by law.

  4. To organize and promote citizen participation in matters within its competence.

  5. To order amnesties.

  6. To discuss and approve the national budget and any bill relating to the taxation system and to public credit.

  7. To authorize appropriations in addition to the budget.

  8. To approve the general guidelines for the national economic and social development plan to be submitted by the National Executive during the third quarter of the first year of each constitutional term.

  9. To authorize the National Executive to enter into contracts in the national interest, in the cases established by law. To authorize contracts in the municipal, state and national public interest, with foreign States, or official entities or with companies not domiciled in Venezuela.

  10. To vote resolutions of censure against the Executive Vice President and Ministers. A censure motion shall be debated only two days after being submitted to the Assembly, which shall have the power to decide by a 3/5 vote that the censure shall include the removal from office of the Executive Vice-President or the Minister concerned.

  11. To authorize the operation of Venezuelan military missions abroad or foreign military missions within the country.

  12. To authorize the National Executive to dispose of nonpublic real property owned by the Nation, with such exceptions as may be established by law.

  13. To authorize public officials to accept positions, honors or rewards from foreign governments.

  14. To authorize the appointment of the General Attorney of the Republic and the Heads of Permanent Diplomatic Missions.

  15. To confer the honors of the National Pantheon on illustrious Venezuelans who have rendered eminent services to the Republic, after 25 years have elapsed since the death of such persons; this decision may be made upon a recommendation from the President of the Republic, 2/3 of the State Governors, all of the rectors of the National Universities.

  16. To tend that the interests and autonomy of the States are upheld.

  17. To authorize the departure of the President of the Republic from the territory of the Nation, when such absence is to last longer than five consecutive days.

  18. To approve by law any international treaties or agreements entered into by the National Executive, with the exceptions set forth in the present Constitution.

  19. To enact its own internal regulations and apply such sanctions as may be provided for thereunder.

  20. To pass on the qualifications of its members and take notice of their resignation. The temporarily separation of a deputy from his or her office, shall only be decided by a two thirds vote of those present.

  21. To organize its own internal security service.

  22. To pass and implement its budget of expenditures, taking into account the country’s financial limitations.

  23. To implement resolutions concerning its own administrative organization and functioning.

  24. Any others indicated in this Constitution or by law.

Article 188

To be elected to the office of deputy of the National Assembly, a person must:

  1. Be Venezuelan by birth, or by naturalization with 15 years of residence within the territory of Venezuela.
  2. Be over the age of 21 years.
  3. Have resided for four consecutive years in the organ from which he or she is elected, prior to such election.

Article 189

The following shall not be eligible for the office of deputy:

  1. The President of the Republic, the Executive Vice-President Ministers, the Secretary of the Office of the President of the Republic and the Chairpersons and Directors of Autonomous Institutes and State owned enterprises, until three months after leaving such offices.
  2. Governors and government secretaries of the States or the Capital District, until three months after permanently leaving such offices.
  3. Municipal state or national, Autonomous Institutes or State-owned enterprises, officers when the election is taking place in the jurisdiction in which such officer serves, except in the case of a temporary care-providing, teaching or academic position.

The pertinent organic law may provide for the ineligibility of other officers.

Article 190

Deputies of the National Assembly shall not be proprietors, administrators or directors of business enterprises that enter into contracts with public sector juridical persons, so that they shall have no private beneficial interest in dealing with it. When matters involving financial conflicts of interest come up for discussion, the affected members of the National Assembly shall be required to abstain from the pertinent vote. Outside professions of legislators

Article 191

Deputies of the National Assembly shall not be permitted to accept or hold public employment positions without giving up their investiture, except in teaching, academic, temporary and care-giving positions, and provided the employment is not intended to be full-time.

Article 192

The deputies [masculine] and deputies [feminine] of the National Assembly remain for five years in the exercise of their functions, and may be reelected.

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