What Type of Government Does Venezuela Have?

Legislative Palace, Caracas, Venezuela. Editorial credit: Edgloris Marys / Shutterstock.com.
Legislative Palace, Caracas, Venezuela. Editorial credit: Edgloris Marys / Shutterstock.com.

Venezuela is a federal presidential democratic state where the President is head of state and government as well. The president exercises executive powers while the national assembly controls legislative powers. The Supreme Tribunal of Justice heads the judiciary. The Citizen branch comprises of the general fiscal defender of the people, and comptroller private. The National Electoral Council organizes the state elections. The National Assembly of Venezuela has 165 representatives elected through a mixed member majoritarian system. Elections take place both at the state and local level. The country has a multi-party system, which allows for many parties to form and vie for any seat they wish. 

Legislative Branch 

The National Assembly exercises legislative powers and has 165 seats. The Assembly members are elected every five years through a popular vote. Any member is legible for the reelection of an additional ten official-terms. The law of Venezuela preserves three Assembly seats to be held by the Indigenous people of the country. The delegated committee functions only when the National Assembly calls for prorogation and hence termination of the current session. This body oversees matters involving the executive branch and other oversight responsibilities. Venezuela has had both the unicameral and bicameral systems. The current National Assembly was formed after the elections December 6, 2015, and it is a unicameral federal legislature. The Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) won parliamentary and legislative elections, defeating the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) and hence controls the National Assembly since it has a three-fifths majority. People aged 18 years and above participate in elections though voting is not compulsory.

Executive Branch 

The president serves as the administrative head of government and state as well. Venezuela elects its president through a plurality vote where the president-elect serves for a six-year term. Before the 2009 Constitutional Referendum, the president-elect was limited to a two 5-year term. The referendum abolished term limits for all government offices in Venezuela. Since then, there are no limits to the number of times a president can be reelected. The elected president then appoints his vice president. The president appoints and controls the cabinet and is also responsible for determining the number of ministers serving in the Cabinet. 

Judicial Branch

The Supreme Tribunal of Justice heads the judiciary. The holders of these offices meet in specialized chambers or plenary sessions. The national assembly of Venezuela elects the 32 justices to serve a 12-year term. Other courts acting in this branch are the district and municipal courts, and the first instance courts.

Citizens Branch

This office ensures that all citizens and government officials of Venezuela follow the laid down laws. The branch consists of the Prosecutor General, the Ombudsperson (the People’s Defender), and the Comptroller private. These officials play the Republican Moral Council role, bound to submitting actions they deem criminal especially those pertaining violation of the constitution. Holders of these offices are usually elected by the National Assembly to serve for a 7-year term.

Electoral Council Of Venezuela

The National Electoral Council called the Consejo Electoral Nacional oversees all elections. The national assembly elects its five principal members to serve a seven-year term. The council functions in registering eligible voters, overseeing polling places, counting votes, presiding over appeals brought forth by lower electoral boards and settles controversies among parties. The constitution does not allow any political party to have a majority held in the council. Tibisay Lucena is the current President of the Electoral Council.


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