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Government of Argentina

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The government of Argentina functions within the framework of a federal federation presidential representative democratic republic. The President of Argentina is both head of state and head of government. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the two chambers of parliament. The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature.

For electoral procedures and results, see Elections in Argentina. For history and current situation of politics and political parties, see Politics of Argentina. For political divisions, see the main article as well as the list of provinces of Argentina.

Executive Branch

The current composition of the Executive Branch includes only the chief of state and head of government President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, formally given power of the Administration and to follow through with the interests of the National Government. The President is also the Commander in Chief of the national armed forces.

In elections, the President and the Vice President are chosen through universal suffrage by the nation as a whole. Constitutional reforms in 1994 introduced a two-round system. In this system, if the President-Vice President ticket wins either 45% of the total vote or 40% of the vote with at least 10% more than the second-place candidate, they are declared the winners. If this is not the case, the two tickets who received the most votes will face a second round whose victor will be decided by a simple majority. This mechanism was not necessary in the 1995 election, when it could have first come into use, but in the 2003 Presidential election it led to the selection of Nestor Kircher in the second round.

The cabinet is appointed by the President but is not technically part of the Executive. The Vice-President, Julio Cobos, belongs to the Legislative Branch, since he is also the president of the Senate.

In December 2007, new President Cristina Kirchner appointed a cabinet composed of:

Chief of the Cabinet: Alberto Fernandez

Minister of the Interior: Anibal Randazzo

Minister of Foreign Relations (mostly known as the "Chancellor"): Jorge Taiana

Minister of Defense: Nilda Garre

Minister of Economy and Production: Martin Loustau

Minister of Justice and Human Rights: Anibal Fernandez

Minister of Labor, Employment and Social Security: Carlos Tomada

Minister of Education: Juan Carlos Tedesco

Minister of Science, technology and Innovative Production: Lino Baranao

Minister of Health: Graciela Ocana

Minister of Social Development: Alicia Kirchner

Minister of Federal Planning and Public Utilities: Julio De Vido [*]

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Legislative Branch

The Legislative Branch is a bicameral National Congress or Congreso Nacional, which consists of the Senate (72 seats), presided by the Vice-President, and the Chamber of Deputies (257 seats), currently presided by Eduardo Fellner of Jujuy Province).

This branch also includes the Vice-President (since he is the president of the Senate Chamber), the General Auditing Office of the Nation and the Ombudsman.

The residents of each of the provinces and of the City of Buenos Aires elect deputies and senators directly. Deputies are representatives of the whole people of the Nation, while senators represent their districts. Each district elects a number of deputies roughly proportional to their population by proportional representation, and three senators: two for the majority, and one for the first minority.

For all of the people

Judiciary Branch

The Judiciary Branch is composed of federal judges and others with different jurisdictions, and a Supreme Court with nine members , appointed by the President with approval of the Senate, who may be deposed by Congress. As of August 2006 there are two vacancies.

President of the Supreme Court: Dr. Enrique S. Petracchi

Vice-President of the Supreme Court: Dra. Elena I. Highton de Nolasco

Minister of the Court: Dr. Carlos S. Fayt

Minister of the Court: Dr. Juan Carlos Maqueda

Minister of the Court: Dr. Eugenio Raul Zaffaroni

Minister of the Court: Dr. Ricardo L. Lorenzetti

Minister of the Court: Dra. Carmen Argibay

Provincial and municipal governments

Argentina is divided into 23 districts called provinces and 1 federal district, which hosts the national capital, the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires . Each of the provinces has its own constitution, laws, authorities, form of government, etc., though these must first and foremost comply with the national constitution and laws.

The government of each province has three branches . The Executive is led by a governor. The Legislative Branch may be organized as a unicameral or a bicameral system .

In all provinces except Buenos Aires, the provinces are divided into districts called departments (departamentos). Departaments are merely administrative divisions; they do not have government structures or authorities of their own. They are in turn divided into municipalities . Each province has its own naming conventions and government systems for different kinds of municipalities. For example, Cordoba Province has municipios (cities) and comunas (towns); Santa Fe Province further distinguishes between first- and second-category municipios; Chaco refers to all populated centers as municipios in three categories.

The province of Buenos Aires has a different system. Its territory is divided into 134 districts called partidos, which are technically municipalities, even though they usually contain several cities and towns.

Regardless of the province, each department/partido has a head town (cabecera), often though not necessarily the largest urban center, and in some provinces often named the same as their parent district.

Municipalities are ruled by mayors, commonly called intendentes in the case of cities and towns (the larger categories). A city has a legislative body called the Deliberative Council (Concejo Deliberante). The smaller towns have simpler systems, often ruled by commissions presided by a Communal President (presidente communal) or a similarly named authority.

The Federal Capital, Buenos Aires, was declared an autonomous city in the 1994 constitutional reform. Its mayor, formerly chosen by the President of the Republic, is now elected by the people, and receives the title of Chief of Government (Jefe de Gobierno). Other than that, Buenos Aires, like the provinces, has its own Legislative Branch (a unicameral Legislature) and sends deputies and senators as representatives to the National Congress.

References

U.S. Department of State

Text of the Constitution

Supreme Court of Justice of Argentina

Presidency of Argentina

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Government of Argentina