Chapter 4

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Section One. General Provisions

Article 273

Citizen Power is exercised by the Republican Ethics Council, consisting of the People Defender, the General Prosecutor and the General Comptroller of the Republic.

The organs of Citizen Power are the People Defender’s Office, the Office of Public Prosecutions and the Office of the General Comptroller of the Republic, one of whose heads shall be designated by the Republican Ethics Council as its Chairman for a one year term of office, with the possibility of re-election.

Citizen Power is independent and its organs enjoy operating, financial and administrative autonomy. To this end, from the general State budget it shall be allocated a variable annual budget appropriation. Its organization and operation shall be established by organic act. Reference to fraternity/solidarity

Article 274

The organs exercising Citizen Power are charged, in accordance with this Constitution and with the law, with preventing, investigating and punishing actions that undermine public ethics and administrative morals; to see to sound management and legality in the use of public property, and fulfillment and application of the principle of legality in all of the State’s administrative activities, as well as to promote education as a process that helps create citizenship, together with solidarity, freedom, democracy, social responsibility and work.

Counter corruption commission

Article 275

The representatives of the Republican Ethic Council shall issue to the authorities or officials of the National Public Administrative warnings as to breaches in the fulfillment of their legal duties. If these warnings are not heeded, the Republican Ethics Council shall have the power to impose the penalties established by law. In the event of contempt, the Chairman of the Republican Ethics Council shall submit a report to the organ or dependency to which the public official or employee concerned is attached, in order that such body or dependency to take the proper corrective action, in accordance to the case without prejudice to such penalties as may be applicable in accordance with law.

Article 276

The Chairman of the Republican Ethic Council and the heads of the organs comprising Citizen Power shall submit an annual report before a plenary session of the National Assembly. They shall likewise submit reports whenever asked by the National Assembly to do so. Both the regular and the special reports are to be published.

Article 277

All officials of the National Public Administrative are obligated, subject to such penalties as may be established by law, to cooperate on an urgent priority basis with representatives of the Republican Ethics Council in connection with the latter’s investigations. The Council shall have the power to ask them for such statements and documents as it may deem necessary in order to perform its functions; this includes any documents that may have been classified or catalogues as confidential or secret in accordance with law. In all cases, Citizen Power shall release information contained in confidential or secret documents only through such procedures as may be established by law.

Article 278

The Republican Ethic Council shall promote all types of teaching activities designed to contribute to the understanding and study of this Constitution; love for the native land, civic and democratic virtues and the transcendental values of the Republic; and observance of and respect for human rights.

Article 279

The Republican Ethic Council shall convene a Citizen Power nomination Evaluating Committee, which shall be made up of a group of representatives from various sectors of society, and shall conduct public proceedings resulting in the provision of a list of three candidates from each organ member of the Citizen Power to be submitted for consideration by the National Assembly, which, by a two-thirds vote of its members, shall select within 30 calendar days the member of the Citizen Power organ under consideration in each case. If the National Assembly has not reached an agreement by the end of this period, Electoral shall submit the list of three candidates to a public referendum.

If the Citizen Power Nomination Evaluating Committee has not been convoked, the National Assembly shall proceed, within such time limit as may be determined by law, to designate the member of the pertinent Citizen Power organ. Members of Citizen Power shall be subject to removal by the National Assembly, following a ruling by the Supreme Tribunal of Justice, in accordance with the procedure established by law.

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