Ministers and the Cabinet of Ministers
Ministers are direct dependencies of the President of the Republic, and when assembled together with the latter and with the Executive Vice-President, they comprise the Cabinet of Ministers.
The President of the Republic shall preside over meetings of the Cabinet of Ministers, but he shall have the power to authorize the Executive Vice President to preside over the same when he is unable to attend. Decisions made must be ratified by the President of the Republic.
The Executive Vice-President and the Ministers who took part are jointly and severally accountable for decisions of the Cabinet of Ministers, with the exception of those who placed on record an adverse or negative vote.
The President shall have the power to appoint Ministers of State, who, in addition to participating in the Cabinet of Ministers, shall advise the President of the Republic and the Executive Vice President concerning the matters assigned to them.
A Minister is required to be of Venezuelan nationality and more than 25 years of age, with the exceptions established in this Constitution. Ministers are responsible for their actions in accordance with this Constitution and in accordance with law, and shall submit to the National Assembly, within the first 60 days of each year, a sufficient and reasoned annual report on their stewardship during the past year, in accordance with law.
Ministers have the right to speak before the National Assembly and the Committees thereof. They have the right to take part in debates in the National Assembly, without the right to vote.
The approbation of a vote of censure against a Minister by at least 3/5 vote of the members present in the National Assembly, shall result in the Minister’s removal from office. The removed official shall be barred from serving as a Minister or Executive Vice-President for the remainder of that presidential term.
Section 5. General Attorney of the Republic
The Office of the General Attorney of the Republic advises, defends and represents in and out of court the property interests of the Republic, and must be consulted for purposes of approval of contracts in the national public interest.
The pertinent organic law shall determine the organization, competence and functioning of this office.
The Office of the General Attorney of the Republic shall be in the charge and under the direction of the General Attorney’ of the Republic, with the assistance of other officials as determined by the pertinent organic law.
The General Attorney of the Republic must meet the same conditions required in order to serve as a justice of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice. Shall be appointed by the President of the Republic, with the authorization of the National Assembly.
The General Attorney of the Republic shall attend and have the right to speak at meetings of the Cabinet of Ministers.
Section 6. Council of State
The Council of State is the highest consultative organ of the Government and the National Public Administration. It shall be charged with making policy recommendations in the national interest with regard to matters recognized by the President of the Republic as being of particular importance and requiring the Council’s opinion.
The pertinent law shall determine its functions and powers.
The Council of State shall be presided over by the Executive Vice President, and shall be also integrated by five members designated by the President of the Republic; one representative designated by the National Assembly; one representative designated by the Supreme Tribunal of Justice and One State Governor designated by all of the States chief executives jointly.