The Principality of Andorra is a sovereign microstate located in Southwestern Europe. It is a parliamentary constitutional diarchy which is headed by two co-princes drawn from France and Spain. The Constitution is the supreme law of the principality and offers three branches of government: the legislature, the executive, and the judiciary.
Constitution Of Andorra
The supreme law in the Principality of Andorra is the Constitution of Andorra. The Constitution was adopted after a referendum was conducted in March 1994 by the citizens of the principality. The Constitution of Andorra outlines the sovereignty of the principality and also outlines the rights and freedoms of citizens to be protected by law. The Constitution also outlines the three arms of government, their mandates, and their respective powers.
Executive Branch Of The Government Of Andorra
The executive branch is the arm of government in charge of running government operations in the principality. The executive is head by two co-princes who wield zero executive powers and are primarily ceremonial. The co-princes are drawn from Spain and France, comprised of the French head of state and the Bishop of Urgell. Since the two co-princes are not residents of Andorra, they have delegates stationed in the principality to act as their representatives. The head of government (Cap de Govern) in Andorra is elected by the general council together with the seven ministers make up the executive Council. The Cap de Govern wields executive power and is in charge of seven ministries which are headed by respective ministers. The head of government has the authority to appoint the ministers to head the seven ministries.
Legislative Branch Of The Government Of Andorra
The legislature is the body mandated to create new laws or amend existing laws and is also known as the General Council. The Principality of Andorra’s parliament is described as a unicameral parliament comprised of a single chamber. The General Council is made up of 28 members known as general councilors, who are elected to serve for four year terms. The 28 members consist of 14 general councilors from the seven parishes (two members from each parish), and 14 general councilors elected from national lists through proportional representation. The general council is headed by Sindic General who is deputized by the subsindic. Both the Sindic General and the Subsindic are appointed by the General Council. The General Council has the mandate to elect the head of government, a decision which has to be later approved by the two co-princes.
Judicial Branch Of The Government Of Andorra
The Judiciary is the branch of government in charge of the administration of justice. The Constitution of the Principality of Andorra provides for the independence of the judiciary. The highest judicial offices in the principality are the Supreme Court of Andorra and the Ecclesiastical Court of the Bishop of Seu d’Urgell. The judiciary is headed by the Superior Council of Justice which features five members who serve 6-year terms. The members of the Superior Council of Justice are appointed by the head of government, the co-princes, the Sindic General, and the members of the lower courts.
Administrative Divisions Of Andorra
The Principality of Andorra is divided into seven administrative units known as parishes. Each parish has two elected members of the General Council who act as the representatives of their respective parishes in the General Council. The seven parishes include Sant Julia de Loria, Escaldes-Engordany, Encamp, Ordino, La Massana, Andorra la Vella, and Canillo.