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The President

The President represents the Chamber of Deputies.
He or she is responsible for the proper functioning of the House by enforcing the Rules of Procedure, and for overseeing the internal administration, which is directed by the Secretary General who reports to the President. The President is non-partisan and therefore must act with impartiality and balance in ensuring that all Deputies may freely exercise their mandate in accordance with the Rules of Procedure.

The President has several tasks relating to this function: he or she directs and moderates debates, gives the floor to Deputies, maintains order, proposes questions, establishes the order of voting, clarifies the meaning of votes and announces their outcome (Rule 8 of the Rules of Procedure). The President also rules on the admissibility of bills, amendments, agendas, motions, questions and interpellations.

The President is in charge of the organisation of the work of the Chamber of Deputies, to which end he or she convokes the Conference of Group Chairpersons and, in the event that the required majority is not obtained, determines the programme and order of business (Rules 23 and 24). The President presides over the Chamber of Deputies as well as over all the bodies in charge of organising parliamentary work and the general management of the Chamber of Deputies (the Bureau, the Conference of Group Chairpersons, the Committee on the Rules of Procedure). The President also appoints the members of internal control bodies (the Committee on the Rules of Procedure, the Committee on Elections, and the Committee for the Authorisation of Prosecution pursuant to Article 68 of the Constitution).

The President is elected by the House in a secret ballot held at the first session of the new Parliament.

Successful election requires a two-thirds majority on the first ballot or a two thirds majority on the second ballot or an absolute majority on the third and all ballots thereafter (Rule 4).

The President chairs not only the House but also other collegial bodies, which he or she may convene whenever appropriate. The bodies in question are fundamental to the organisation and execution of the work of the Chamber of Deputies:

  • The Bureau, which has many responsibilities important to the functioning of the Chamber;
  • The Conference of Group Chairpersons, which has important responsibilities in the organisation of the work of the House, above all by scheduling and setting the agenda of the House;
  • The Committee on the Rules at Procedure, which is in charge of delivering opinions relating to the interpretation of the Rules of Procedure and framing proposals for their amendment.

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