Self-Governing Communities’ Electoral Commissions
The Representation of the People Institutional Act (LOREG) includes as a part of Electoral Administration the Self-governing Communities’ Electoral Commissions, although it does not make provision for their composition nor does it specify their responsibilities.
If is up to each Self-governing Community to set up in its electoral law for the election of members of its regional Parliament. In fact a very large majority of said Communities (with the only exception of Catalonia) has already made provision in their electoral statutes for their own Electoral Commissions.
In the one province-Communities there is one single Electoral Commission bringing together the responsibilities of a Provincial Electoral Commission and a Self-governing Community one in one of these two formats. Thus in Madrid and Navarra it is the Provincial Commission who performs the duties of a regional commissions when elections are held to their respective Parliament. In Asturias the Community’s Electoral Act has invested the Provincial Commission with the rank and title of Electoral Commission of the Principality of Asturias (Junta Electoral del Principado de Asturias). In the rest of one-province Communities, Balearic Islands, Cantabria, La Rioja and Murcia, the Regional Electoral Commission takes on the responsibilities of a provincial one (although in Cantabria and Murcia these functions are officially performed by the Provincial Electoral Commission whenever a regional parliamentary election is held at the same time as local elections).
Most of these Electoral Commissions have their seat at the respective regional Parliament, except those of Galice and Murcia, which have their seat at the Community’ High Court of Justice (Tribunal Superior de Justicia)
Membership of Self-governing Communities’ Electoral Commissions, which can vary in number, is made up of judges of the respective High Court of Justice, to be appointed by drawing lots, and of Law Professors appointed by the political parties or groups having a representation in the regional Parliament. The office of Commission’s Secretary is vested in the Head Clerk of the regional Parliament. A representative of the Electoral Register Office may attend Commission meetings, with a right to speak, but not to vote.
Electoral Commissions of Self-governing Communities, under the authority of the Central Electoral Commission and only at regional election, are to perform the following functions:
- To answer any consultations from Local and District Electoral Commissions.
- To determine petitions filed against District or Local Electoral Commissions’ decisions.
- To exert disciplinary powers over all persons officially taking part in the election process.
- To check on election expenses and propose the grant in advance of election subsidies.
- To issue, on dissolution of Provincial Electoral Commissions, their election credentials to candidates elected to the regional Parliament.