Relations Between Legislature and Executive
Article 56 Legislation
The laws are voted by the Parliament
Article 57 Competences
(1) The following subjects are the domain of the law.
- fundamental rights and duties, especially the system of public freedoms, the safeguard of individual freedoms, and the obligations imposed by national defense on citizens in their person and on their property;
- nationality, the status and ability of persons, marriage, divorce, and inheritance;
- the conditions of settlement of persons and the regulation of aliens;
- the determination of crimes and misdemeanors as well as the sentences which are applicable, penal procedure, amnesty, the creation and organization of tribunals, and the regulation of magistrates;
- civil procedure and means of execution;
- customs regulation, regulation of coining of money, regulation of banks, credit, and insurance;
- electoral regulations and the territorial division of the country;
- regulation of property, real rights, and civil and commercial obligations;
- general regulation of water, mines, and hydro-carbons, fishing and the merchant marine, fauna, flora, and the environment;
- the protection and safeguard of the cultural and historical patrimony;
- general regulations concerning education and health;
- general regulations concerning workers rights, right to work, and social welfare;
- the general organization of the administration;
- the free administration of local districts, their jurisdiction, and their resources;
- the tax base, the tax rate, and the modes of collecting taxes of all kinds;
- the creation of categories of public establishments;
- the fundamental protection granted to civil and military employees as well as the general regulation of the Civil Service;
- nationalizations of enterprises and the transfers of property from the public sector to the private sector; and
- general regulations concerning the organization of the National Defense.
(2) The laws governing finances shall determine the resources and expenses of the State within the conditions and subject to the reservations as set forth in an organic law.
(3) Laws and programs shall determine the objectives of the economic and social action of the State.
(4) The provisions of the present article may be stipulated and completed by an organic law.
Article 58 Declaration of War
The declaration of war shall be authorized by the Parliament.
Article 59 Regulatory Power, Decrees
(1) Matters other than those which are the domain of the law come under the regulatory power.
(2) The texts in legislative form relating to these matters may be modified by decree if the Constitutional Council declares that they have a regulatory character by virtue of the preceding paragraph.
Article 60 Ordinances
(1) With the agreement of the President of the Republic, the government, in order to execute its program, may ask the Parliament for the authorization for a limited period of time to pass ordinances for measures which are normally in the domain of the law.
(2) These ordinances are passed in the Council of Ministers and require the approval of the President of the Republic who signs them.
(3) They come into effect as soon as they are published, but they become void if the bill of ratification is not presented to Parliament before the date set by the enabling law.
(4) With the expiration of the time limit mentioned in the first paragraph, the ordinances may be modified only by the law, concerning matters which are in the legislative domain.
(5) The enabling law becomes void if the National Assembly is dissolved.
Article 61 Legislative Initiative
(1) The legislative initiative belongs jointly to the Government and to the members of Parliament.
(2) Bills are debated in the Council of Ministers and brought to the desk of one of the two assemblies. Finance bills are first submitted to the National Assembly.
Article 62 Right of Amendment
(1) The Government and the members of Parliament have the right of amendment.
(2) The bills or amendments proposed by the members of Parliament shall not be accepted when their adoption would entail either a reduction in public revenues or the creation or enlargement of public expenses unless they are accompanied by a bill for increasing revenues or equivalent savings.
(3) They may be declared unacceptable when they bear upon a matter which comes under the regulatory power by virtue of Article 59 or are contrary to a delegation granted by virtue of Article 60.
(4) If the Parliament disregards the objections raised by the Government by virtue of one of the two preceding paragraphs, the President of the Republic has recourse to the Constitutional Council which rules within a period of one week.
Article 63 Text for Debate
(1) The debate of a bill in the first assembly to which it is proposed pertains to the text of the bill as presented by the government.
(2) An assembly presented with a bill voted on by the other assembly debates the bill which is transmitted to it.
Article 64 Committees
(1) Draft laws and bills, at the request of the Government or of the assembly to which they are referred, are sent for examination to committees specially set up for this purpose.
(2) Draft laws and hills for which such a request has not been made are sent to one of the permanent committees whose number is limited to five in each assembly.
Article 65 Government Bills
(1) After debate has begun, the Government may oppose the consideration of any amendment which has not previously been submitted to the Committee.
(2) If the Government requests, the concerned assembly may pass with a single vote all or part of the bill under discussion retaining only the amendments proposed or accepted by the Government.
Article 66 Joint Conference
(1) Any draft law or bill is examined in turn by the two assemblies with a view toward adopting an identical text.
(2) In the case of a disagreement and when the government has declared a state of urgency, the bill may be submitted after a single reading by each of the two assemblies to a joint conference committee responsible for proposing a text concerning the provisions still being discussed.
(3) This text may he submitted in the same manner to the two assemblies for adoption. In this case no further amendments are accepted.
(4) If the joint conference committee is not able to propose a common text or if this text is not adopted by the two assemblies, the Government, after a new reading by the two chambers, may request the National Assembly to rule conclusively.
Article 67 Majority, Constitutionality
(1) The laws on which the Constitution confers the character of organic laws are voted on and modified according to the following conditions.
(2) The suggested law or bill is submitted to debate and to a vote by the first assembly consulted only after the expiration of a time period of fifteen days from when it is put forward.
(3) The procedure indicated in Article 66 is applicable. However, if there is no agreement between the two assemblies, the text can be adopted in a last reading by the National Assembly only with an absolute majority of its members.
(4) Organic laws concerning the Senate must be voted on in the same terms by the two assemblies.
(5) Organic laws may he promulgated only after certification by the Constitutional Council of their conformity with the Constitution.
Article 68 Finance Bill, Budget, Audit Office
(1) The Parliament votes on the finance bill.
(2) The Parliament considers the finance bill as soon as the November session is convened.
(3) If the National Assembly has not passed the bill after a first reading within thirty days after the bill has been put forward, the Government consults the Senate which must rule within fifteen days. Then, the procedure is followed under the conditions as set forth in Article 66.
(4) If the Parliament has not voted on the budget by the end of the session or if it has not voted a balanced budget, the Government sends the proposed budget within fifteen days to the National Assembly convened in a special session.
(5) The National Assembly must rule within eight days. If the budget is not voted on at the end of this time period, the President of the Republic passes the budget automatically through an ordinance based on the revenues from the preceding year.
(6) The Parliament controls the administration of the State budget and supplementary budgets. A statement of expenses will be provided to the Parliament at the end of each six-month period for the previous six-month period. The final accounts of a mandate will be registered during the course of the budgetary session for the following year and approved by a law.
(7) An Audit Office assists the Parliament and the Government in its control of the administration of the laws governing finances.
Article 69 Agenda, Interpellation
(1) The agenda of the assemblies shall include, by priority and in the order determined by the Government, the discussion of the draft laws and bills accepted by the Government.
(2) One session per week by priority and in the order determined by the Government shall be reserved for discussion of draft laws and bills accepted by the Government.
(3) One session per week shall be reserved by priority for questions by members of Parliament and for the answers from the Government.
Article 70 Promulgation
(1) The President of the Republic shall promulgate the laws within a time period of eight days at the earliest and thirty days at the latest, following the transmission to him of the laws by the Parliament.
(2) During this period, the President may send back the draft law or bill for a second reading. If the National Assembly decides on the adoption of the law by a majority of its members, the law shall be promulgated and published during the time period indicated in the preceding paragraph.
Article 71 Martial Law, State of Emergency
(1) Martial law and a state of emergency are decreed by the President of the Republic for a maximum duration of thirty days.
(2) This duration may he changed by the Parliament. The Parliament convenes in regular session if it is not in session at the time.
(3) The law defines the exceptional powers granted to the President of the Republic by the declaration of martial law and a state of emergency.
Article 72 Information
The Government is required to provide to the Parliament, in the form established by law, all explanations requested concerning its management and its acts.
Article 73 Governmental Report
The Prime Minister, once a year during the course of the November session, delivers a report to the National Assembly about the activity of the Government during the past year and lays out the general lines of his program for the coming year.
Article 74 Responsibility, Motion of Censure
(1) The Prime Minister, together with his ministers, is responsible to the National Assembly. A lack of confidence or a motion of censure shall result in bringing into question his political responsibility.
(2) The Prime Minister, after deliberation with the Council of Ministers, shall take the responsibility of the Government before the National Assembly for his program and ultimately for a declaration of general policy.
(3) The National Assembly may challenge the responsibility of the Government by voting a motion of censure.
(4) A motion of censure brought by a deputy must expressly bear this title and the signature of its author. Such a motion is acceptable only if it is signed by at least one third of the members of the National Assembly. The vote may take place only forty-eight hours after raising the question of the lack of confidence or the motion of censure.
Article 75 Vote of No Confidence, Resignation
(1) The vote of no confidence or the adoption of a motion of censure causes the immediate resignation of the Government. Such a vote or motion can only be reached by a majority of the deputies making up the National Assembly; only the votes of noconfidence or the votes favorable in the motion of censure shall be counted.
(2) The resigned government continues to manage current business unlit the nomination by the President of the Republic of a new Prime Minister and a new Government.
(3) If a motion of censure is rejected, its signataries may not propose a new one during the course of the same session except in the case set forth in the following paragraph.
(4) The Prime Minister, after deliberation with the Council of Ministers takes the responsibility of the Government before the National Assembly for the voting of a bill. In this case, this bill shall be considered adopted unless a motion of censure brought during the following twenty-four hours shall be voted under the conditions set forth in the first paragraph.
(5) The Prime Minister may ask the Senate for the approval of a declaration of general policy.
Article 76 Delayed Closure of Sessions
Closure of ordinary or special sessions shall be legally delayed in order to permit, if necessary, the application of the provisions of Article 75.
Article 77 Dissolution after Resignation
(1) If, during a period of less than thirty-six months, there have occurred two changes of government following a vote of no confidence or a motion of censure, the President of the Republic, after consulting with the President of the National Assembly, may declare the dissolution of the National Assembly.
(2) In this case, there will be new elections within forty days at most. The new National Assembly shall convene in regular session three weeks after its election.