Uruguay 1966 Constitution (reinstated 1985, reviewed 2004)

Table of Contents

SECTION III. Citizenship and Suffrage

Chapter I

Article 73

Citizens of the Oriental Republic of Uruguay are natural or legal.

Article 74

All men and women born at any place within the territory of the Republic are natural citizens. Children of Uruguayan fathers or mothers are also natural citizens, wherever they may have been born, provided that they take up residence in the country and register themselves in the Civil Register.

Article 75

The following have the right to legal citizenship:

  1. Foreign men and women of good conduct, and having a family within the Republic, who possess some capital or property in the country, or are engaged in some profession, craft, or industry, and have resided habitually in the Republic for three years;
  2. Foreign men and women of good conduct, without families in the Republic, who possess any of the qualifications mentioned in the preceding paragraph and who have resided habitually in the country for five years;
  3. Foreign men and women who obtain special courtesy from the General Assembly for noteworthy services or outstanding merit.

Proof of residence must necessarily be based on a public or private document of proven date.

The rights appertaining to legal citizenship may not be exercised by foreigners included in paragraph (A) and (B) until three years after the issuance of the respective citizenship papers.

The existence of any of the grounds for suspension referred to in Article 80 shall bar the granting of citizenship papers.

Article 76

Any citizen may hold public employment. Legal citizens may not be appointed until three years after obtaining citizenship papers.

Citizenship shall not be required for a position as professor in institutions of higher learning.

Chapter II

Article 77

Every citizen is a member of the sovereignty of the Nation; as such he is a voter and eligible for election in the cases and in accordance with the procedure which will be set forth.

Suffrage shall be exercised in the manner determined by law, but on the following bases:

  1. Compulsory inscription in the Civil Register;
  2. Secret and compulsory vote. The law, by an absolute majority of the full membership of each Chamber, shall regulate the fulfillment of this obligation.
  3. Integral proportional representation.
  4. Judicial magistrates, members of the Contentious-Administrative Tribunal and the Tribunal of Accounts, Directors of the Autonomous Entities and the Decentralized Services, persons in active military service regardless of rank, and police officials of whatever category, must abstain, under penalty of dismissal and withdrawal of eligibility to hold any other public office for from two to ten years, from membership in political committees or clubs, from signing party proclamations, and from authorizing the use of their names and, in general, from any other public or private act of a political character, with the exception of voting. The participation of Directors of the Autonomous Entities and the Decentralized Services in party organizations engaged in the specific task of the study of government, legislation, and administration, is not regarded as included in these prohibitions.The Electoral Court shall be competent to take cognizance of and impose penalties for the above-mentioned electoral offenses. The accusation should be made before the Electoral Court by either of the Chambers, the Executive Power, or the national authorities of the Parties.Without prejudice to the above provisions, the facts shall in all cases be referred to the ordinary courts for such additional action as they may deem appropriate.
  5. The President of the Republic and members of the Electoral Court may not belong to political committees or clubs, nor hold directive positions in party organizations, nor take part in any way in political election propaganda;
  6. All electoral boards which may be designated to intervene in questions of suffrage must be elected with the guarantees provided in this article.
  7. Any new law concerning the Civil Register or Elections, as well as any amendment or interpretation of the existing laws, shall require a two-thirds vote of the full membership of each Chamber. This special majority shall apply only to the guarantees of suffrage and election, composition, functions, and procedure of the Electoral Court and electoral boards. For action in matters of expenditures, budgets, and internal regulations, a simple majority will be sufficient.
  8. By a two-thirds vote of the full membership of each Chamber, the law may extend the prohibitions contained in items (4) and (5) to include other officials.
  9. The election of members of both Chambers of the Legislative Power, of the President and Vice President of the Republic, as well as that of any organ for which the constitution or membership the laws establish the procedure of election by the Electoral Body, with the exception of those referred to in the third paragraph of this numeral, shall take place on the last Sunday of the month of October every five years, without prejudice to the provisions of Article 148 and 151.The lists of candidates for both Chambers and for the President and Vice President of the Republic must figure on an individualized ballot paper with the lema [identifier] of a political party.The election of the Intendants, the members of the Departmental Boards, and the other local elective authorities, shall take place on the second Sunday of the month of May of the year following the national elections. The lists of candidates for the departmental offices must figure on an individualized ballot paper with the lema of a political party.
  10. No Legislator or Intendant who resigns his post after assuming office shall have the right to collect any compensation or retirement benefit which might pertain to him by reason of his termination, until the full term for which he was elected has expired.This provision does not include resignations because of illness duly substantiated by the Medical Board, nor those expressly authorized by three-fifths of the votes of the full membership of the body concerned, nor to Intendants who resign three months before an election in order to become a candidate.
  11. The State shall secure the broadest freedom for the political parties. Without prejudice to the former, the parties shall:
    1. effectively exercise internal democracy in the election of their authorities; [and,]
    2. provide maximum publicity to their Organic Acts [Cartas Orgánicas] and Programs of Principles, in such a manner that the citizen can extensively familiarize himself with them.
  12. The political parties shall elect their candidate for the President of the Republic by way of internal elections that the law shall regulate, sanctioned by the vote of two-thirds of the total of the members of each Chamber. The form of electing the candidate of each party to the Vice Presidency of the Republic shall be determined by [an] identical majority and[,] while this law is not adopted, it will be that which in this respect the competent party organs resolve. This law shall determine also, the form in which the vacancies of the candidate for the Presidency and the Vice Presidency will be filled [,] that are produced after their election and before the national election.

Article 78

Foreign men and women of good conduct, having a family in the Republic, who possess some capital or property within the country or are engaged in some profession, craft, or industry and have habitually resided at least fifteen years in the Republic have the right to vote without the necessity of previously obtaining legal citizenship.

Proof of residence must be based on a public or private document of proven date, and if the evidence is satisfactory to the authority competent to pass upon it, the foreigner will be entitled to exercise the right to vote from the time he is inscribed in the Civil Register, as authorized by a certificate issued by the same authority for this purpose.

Chapter III

Article 79

The accumulation of votes for any elected office, with the exception of those for President and Vice President of the Republic, shall be effected through use of the lema of the political party. The Law, by a vote of two-thirds of the total of the membership of each Chamber, shall regulate this provision.

Twenty-five percent of all persons registered and qualified to vote may, within one year following their promulgation, demand a referendum against the laws and exercise the right of initiative before the Legislative Power. These institutions are not applicable with respect to laws establishing taxes. They are likewise not applicable in those cases in which the initiative is exclusive to the Executive Power. Both institutions shall be regulated by law, adopted by absolute majority of the total of the membership of each Chamber.

Chapter IV

Article 80

Citizenship is suspended:

  1. By physical or mental ineptitude which prevents free and reflective action;
  2. By being under indictment on a criminal charge which may result in a penitentiary sentence;
  3. By being under eighteen years of age;
  4. By being under sentence which imposes the penalty of exile, prison, penitentiary, or loss of political rights during the term of the sentence;
  5. By habitually engaging in morally dishonest activities which shall be specified by law in accordance with item 7 of Article 77;
  6. By being a member of social or political organizations which advocate the destruction of the fundamental bases of the nation by violence or propaganda inciting to violence. Those mentioned in Sections I and II of this Constitution are considered to be such for the purposes of this provision;
  7. By a continuing lack of good conduct as required by Article 75.

The last two grounds shall apply only with respect to legal citizens.

Exercise of the right granted by Article 78 is suspended on the grounds listed above.

Chapter V

Article 81

Nationality is not lost even by naturalization in another country, it being sufficient for the purpose of retaining the rights of citizenship merely to take up residence in the Republic and register in the Civil Register.

Legal citizenship is lost by any other form of subsequent naturalization.

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