Uruguay 1966 Constitution (reinstated 1985, reviewed 2004)

Table of Contents

SECTION IX. The Executive Power

Chapter I

Article 149

The Executive Power shall be exercised by the President of the Republic, acting with the respective Minister or Ministers, or with the Council of Minister, as established in this Section and other concordant provisions.

Article 150

There shall be a Vice President who, in all cases of temporary or permanent vacancy in the Presidency, must fill that office with its same powers and duties. If the vacancy is permanent, he shall hold the office until the end of the Governmental term.

The Vice President of the Republic shall be the presiding officer of the General Assembly and the Chamber of Senators.

Article 151

The President and the Vice President of the Republic shall be elected jointly and directly by the Electoral Body by absolute majority of voters. Each party may only present one candidature to the Presidency and to the Vice Presidency of the Republic. If on the date indicated in the first paragraph of numeral 9) of Article 77, none of the candidatures obtains the required majority, a second election between the two candidates with the most voted for shall be held on the last Sunday of the month of November of the same year.

In addition, the guaranties established for suffrage in Section III shall govern, the Republic being considered as a single electoral circumscription.

Only natural citizens in full exercise of their civil rights and who have attained thirty-five years of age may be elected.

Article 152

The President and Vice President shall hold office for five years and in order to again hold these offices it shall be necessary that five years have elapsed since the date of leaving office.

This provision includes the President in respect of the Vice Presidency but not the Vice President in respect of the Presidency, except as indicated in subsequent paragraphs.

The Vice President and any citizen who has occupied the Presidency during a permanent vacancy of more than one year may not be elected to those offices without a lapse of the same period of time as indicated in the first paragraph.

Likewise, the Vice President or the citizen who occupied the Presidency within the three months preceding an election may not be elected President.

Article 153

In the case of a definitive or temporary vacancy of the Presidency of the Republic, or for reasons of absence, resignation, cessation, or death of the President and of the Vice President, in such case, it will be assumed by the first titular Senator of the list most voted for of the political party by which they were elected, and who meets the qualifications required by Article 151 and is not impeded by that provided in Article 152. In his default, it shall be filled by the first titular [person] on the same list in exercise of the office that meets these qualifications, if [he] does not have these impediments, and so on successively.

Article 154

The remuneration of the President of the Republic shall be fixed by law prior to each election and may not be altered during his term of office.

Article 155

In the case of resignation, permanent incapacity, or death of the President and Vice President elect before assuming office, the Presidency and Vice Presidency shall be held, respectively, by the first and second persons on the list receiving the most votes for the Chamber of Senators, from the political party from which the President and the Vice President were elected, given that they meet the qualifications prescribed by Article 151, [and] are not impeded by that indicated in Article 152, and who hold office as Senators.

In their default, said offices will be filled by the other officeholders following their order on the same list who are serving as Senators and who meet these qualifications and do not have said impediments.

Article 156

If a President and Vice President of the Republic have not been declared elected by the Electoral Court as of the date they are to take office, or if their election was annulled, the outgoing President shall delegate the office to the President of the Supreme Court of Justice, who shall serve until the transmission is effected, during which time his judicial functions are suspended.

Article 157

Whenever the President-elect is temporarily incapacitated from assuming office or from performing his duties, he shall be replaced by the Vice President, and in default of the latter, in accordance with the procedure established by Article 153, for such time as the causes of the incapacity persist.

Article 158

On the first of March following the election, the President and Vice President of the Republic shall take office, after first making the following declaration in the presence of both Chambers meeting in joint session as General Assembly: “I, N.N., promise on my honor loyally to fulfill the office which has been entrusted to me, and to guard and defend the Constitution of the Republic.”

Article 159

The President of the Republic shall represent the State both at home and abroad.

Chapter II

Article 160

The Council of Ministers shall be composed of the heads of the several Ministries or the persons acting in their place, and it shall have exclusive competence over all acts of government and administration submitted to it by the President of the Republic or his Ministers on topics relating to their respective departments. It shall also have exclusive competence in respect of the cases covered by items 7 (declaration of urgency), 16, 19, and 24 of Article 168.

Article 161

It shall be presided over by the President of the Republic, who shall have a voice in the discussions and a vote on resolutions which shall be decisive in case of a tie, even if this had resulted from his own vote.

The Council of Ministers shall be convoked by the President of the Republic whenever he deems it desirable or when requested by one or more Ministers to discuss matters of their respective departments; and it must meet within twenty four hours following the date of the call.

Article 162

The Council shall hold a meeting if a majority of its members are present, and its decisions shall be adopted by an absolute a majority vote of the members present.

Article 163

A discussion may be terminated at any time and by the same majority. A motion to that effect is not debatable.

Article 164

Any decisions of the Council of Ministers may be revoked by the vote of an absolute majority of its members.

Article 165

Decisions which had originally been agreed upon by the President of the Republic and a Minister or Ministers may be revoked by the Council by an absolute majority of those present.

Article 166

The Council of Ministers shall adopt its internal regulations.

Article 167

Whenever a Minister is temporarily in charge of another Ministry, only a single vote is counted in the Council of Ministers.

Chapter III

Article 168

The President of the Republic, acting with the respective Minister or Ministers, or with the Council of Ministers, has the following duties:

  1. The preservation of internal order and tranquility, and external security;
  2. The supreme command of all armed forces;
  3. To grant retirement and regulate the pensions of civilian and military employees, in accordance with the laws;
  4. To publish and circulate without delay all laws which, in accordance with Section VII, are ready to be published and circulated; to enforce them and see that they are enforced, and to issue such special regulations as may be necessary for their execution;
  5. To inform the Legislative Power, at the beginning of regular sessions, of the state of the Republic and of the improvements and reforms which he considers worthy of its attention;
  6. To set forth objections or make observations concerning bills which the Legislative Power sends him, and to suspend or oppose their promulgation in the manner provided in Section VII;
  7. To propose bills to the Chambers or amendments to laws previously enacted. Such bills may be submitted with a declaration of urgent consideration.The declaration of urgency must be made simultaneously with the submission of such proposal, in which case they must be considered by the Legislative Power within the periods stated below, and they shall be considered as adopted if within such periods they have not been expressly rejected and no substitute proposal has been adopted. Their adoption shall follow these rules:
    1. The Executive Power may not send more than one bill with a declaration of urgency to the General Assembly at the same time, nor may he submit a new bill under those conditions before the period for the consideration of one previously submitted has expired;
    2. Draft budgets may not be given this qualification nor bills which require a three-fifths or two-thirds vote of the full membership of each Chamber;
    3. Each Chamber by a vote of three-fifths of its total membership may void the declaration or urgency, after which the normal procedure prescribed in Section VII shall be applicable;
    4. The Chamber that first receives the bill must consider it within a period of forty-five days. When the first thirty days have elapsed, the Chamber shall be convoked to extraordinary session for the consideration of the bill. When the fifteen days of such convocation have elapsed and the bill has not been expressly rejected, it shall be regarded as approved by that Chamber in the form in which it was submitted by the Executive Power, and it shall be immediately and of office communicated to the other Chamber;
    5. The second Chamber shall have thirty days to give its opinion and if it approves a different text from the one submitted by the first, it shall be returned to it, which shall have fifteen days for its consideration. If this new period expires without an express decision, the bill shall be immediately and of office submitted to the General Assembly. If the period of thirty days expires without express rejection of the bill, it shall be considered approved by this Chamber in the form in which it was presented by the Executive Power and it shall be communicated to it immediately and of office, if it corresponds to it, or in the same form to the first Chamber, if it approved a different text than that of the Executive Power;
    6. The General Assembly shall have ten days for its consideration. If this new period expires without an express decision the bill shall be considered approved in the form in which it was voted by the last Chamber to give its express approval.The General Assembly, if it makes an express declaration, shall do it in conformity with Article 135;
    7. Whenever a bill containing a declaration of urgency is rejected by either of the two Chambers, the provisions of Article 142 shall apply;
    8. The period allowed for consideration by the first Chamber shall begin to run on the day following the date of receipt of the bill by the Legislative Power. Each of the subsequent periods shall begin to run automatically upon expiration of the immediately preceding period or as of the day following the date of receipt by the pertinent organ if there has been express approval before expiration of the period.
  8. To convoke the Legislative Power to special sessions, specifying the matters which give rise to the convocation, in accordance with the provisions of Article 104;
  9. To confer civilian and military offices in accordance with the Constitution and the laws;
  10. To remove employees for inefficiency, dereliction of duty or malfeasance, with the consent of the Chamber of Senators in all cases, or during its recess, with that of the Permanent Commission; in cases of malfeasance, the matter shall be submitted to the courts. Diplomatic and consular officers may likewise be dismissed with the previous consent of the Chamber of Senators for the commission of acts which affect their good name or the prestige of the country and of the office they hold. If the Chamber of Senators or Permanent Commission does not take definite action within ninety days, the Executive Power may proceed with the dismissal without the consent requested;
  11. To grant military promotions in accordance with the laws, the consent of the Chamber of Senators, or during its recess, of the Permanent Commission, being required for promotions to colonel or higher ranks;
  12. To appoint consular and diplomatic personnel, the consent of the Chamber of Senators, or during its recess, of the Permanent Commission, being necessary for the appointment of Chiefs of Mission. If the Chamber of Senators or the Permanent Commission does not take action within sixty days, the Executive Power shall act without the requested consent.The posts of Ambassador and Minister in the foreign service shall be regarded as positions of personal trust of the Executive Power, unless a law adopted by an affirmative vote of an absolute majority of the full membership of each Chamber shall provide otherwise.
  13. To appoint the Court Prosecutor [Fiscal de Corte] and other prosecuting attorneys [fiscales letrados] in the Republic, with the consent of the Chamber of Senators or of the Permanent Commission, as the case may be, by a three-fifths vote of the full membership. Such consent shall not be necessary for appointment of the Procurator of the State [Procurador del Estado] for the Contentious-Administrative Tribunal or for the prosecutors in the Ministries of Government and Treasury;
  14. To remove on his own initiative military and police employees and others which the law declares removable;
  15. To receive diplomatic agents and authorize foreign consuls to exercise their functions;
  16. To decree the severance of relations, and in accordance with a prior resolution of the General Assembly, to declare war, provided that arbitration or other pacific means to avoid it have been unsuccessful;
  17. To take prompt measures of security in grave and unforeseen cases of foreign attack or internal disorder, giving an account within twenty-four hours to a joint session of the General Assembly, or during its recess, to the Permanent Commission, of the action taken and its motives, the decision of the latter bodies being final.With respect to persons, the prompt measures of security authorize only their arrest or removal from one place in the territory of the country to another provided they do not elect to leave it. This measure, like the others, must be submitted within twenty-four hours to a joint session of the General Assembly or to the Permanent Commission, which will make the final decision;The detention shall not be at a place intended for the incarceration of criminals.
  18. To collect the revenues through its agencies in conformity with the laws and to appropriate them in accordance therewith;
  19. To prepare and submit the general budget annually to the General Assembly, in accordance with the provisions of Section XIV, and to render an itemized account of the expenditures made during the preceding year;
  20. To conclude and sign treaties, the approval of the Legislative Power being necessary for their ratification;
  21. To grant industrial privileges in accordance with the laws;
  22. To grant or withhold authorization to create any proposed Banks;
  23. To lend, at the request of the Judicial Power, the assistance of the public force;
  24. To delegate any powers considered desirable, by a resolution with reasons and under his political responsibility;
  25. The President of the Republic shall sign the resolutions and communications of the Executive Power, along with the Minister or Ministers concerned; otherwise no one is obligated to obey them.Nevertheless, the Executive Power may provide that specified resolutions may be authorized by an act issued in accordance with previously established requirements;
  26. The President of the Republic may freely appoint a Secretary and an Assistant Secretary, who shall serve as such in the Council of Ministers.Both shall cease to serve along with the President and they may be removed or replaced by him at any time.

Article 169

The payment of salary is not remitted for any other reasons than active service, superannuation, retirement or pension, in accordance with the laws.

Chapter IV

Article 170

The President of the Republic may not leave the national territory for more than forty-eight hours without the authorization of the Chamber of Senators.

Article 171

The President of the Republic shall enjoy the same immunities and shall be subject to the same disqualifications and prohibitions as Senators and Representatives.

Article 172

The President of the Republic may not be impeached except in the manner indicated in Article 93, and even then, only while he holds office or within six months thereafter, during which time he shall be subject to residence requirements, unless authorization to leave the country is granted by an absolute majority of the votes of the full membership of the General Assembly meeting in joint session.

If the impeachment is approved by a two-thirds vote of the total membership of the Chamber of Representatives, the President of the Republic shall be suspended from office.

Chapter V

Article 173

In each Department of the Republic there shall be a Chief of Police who shall be appointed for the respective period by the Executive Power, from among citizens who meet the qualifications for being Senator.

The Executive Power may remove or dismiss them whenever deemed appropriate.