POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT
System of Government
The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is a federal republic with a presidential system of government.
According to Article 2 of the constitution approved by a popular referendum in December 1999, Venezuela is a social and democratic state seeking to promote rights and of justice. The Constitution of 1999 states that the Venezuela government is democratic, participatory, electoral, decentralized, alternative, responsible, diverse and of revocable mandates.
Executive Power: Represented by the President of the Republic and the Ministerial Cabinet. The president should be chosen by a direct and secret popular vote and for a term of six years. Re-election is permitted.
Legislative Power: Represents by the National Assembly, which is made up of 165 representatives elected for periods of five years. These representatives can be re-elected.
Judicial Power: Represented by the Supreme Tribunal of Justice and lower courts. Justices on the Supreme Tribunal of Justice are nominated by civil society and are approved by a two-thirds majority of the representatives of the National Assembly. The justices serve 12-year terms.
Citizens Power: Represented by the Attorney General, the Ombudman (or “Defensor del Pueblo”) and Controller General, this branch protects the rights of the Venezuelan people and guards against violations of the constitution.
Electoral Power: Represented by the National Electoral Council, this branch independently organizers, executes and monitors elections in Venezuela.
Vertically, legal authority is distributed as follows:
- National authority
- State authority
- Municipal authority
The country is made up of 23 states and a Capital District and composed of Federal Dependencies made up of 311 islands, keys and small islands.
The 23 states that make up Venezuela are: Amazon, Anzoategui, Apure, Aragua, Barinas, Bolivar, Carabobo, Cojedes, Delta Amacuro, Falcon, Guárico, Lara, Mérida, Miranda, Monagas, New Sparta, Portuguesa, Sucre, Táchira, Trujillo, Vargas, Yaracuy and Zulia.
The biggest of all the states is Bolivar, which is also where the largest industries of the steel, aluminum and hydroelectric energy are found. The smallest state is Nueva Esparta, which contains Venezuela’s main free port and is the location of some of the country’s most beautiful beaches.