Government Institutions

Asturias is one of the 17
Autonomous Communities of Spain. As such, it has its own competences
and regional governing bodies. There is an Organic Law that settles, according to the principles of the Constitution,
this institutional framework the Statues of Autonomy
of the Principality of Asturias. These are the basic regulations
for the self-governing of the region its territory, its competences
and the definition, organization and location
of its institutions. The oficial name of the Community
is Principality of Asturias a title that was given to it
during the Middle Ages and which symbolically links the region
to the heir of the Spanish throne. The territory of Asturias is that
of its frontiers with other provinces composed of 78 local administrative
entities called councils which are equivalent to the municipalities
of other Spanish communities. The Statues of Autonomy also define
the symbols of the Community the traditional flag with the
yellow Victory Cross on a blue background and its official anthem,
known as the “Asturias, patria querida” They also establish Oviedo
as its capital city which turns it into the site
for the regional institutions. They also protect the bable,
or Asturian language, the historical language of Asturias. They do not grant it
any kind of official recognition, but they do order its protection through a law for usage and promotion. There are three types of competences
that have been assigned to a Community exclusive legal development and execution and executive The Principality is only in charge
of the executive functions, and the development
and execution of laws in the framework of the basic
norms of the State. The region only has full control
over the exclusive competences to legislate and enforce its laws
in its territory. In order to exercise its
competences in this field, Asturias has a series
of institutional bodies the General Council the Governing Council and the President. The General Council of
the Principality of Asturias is the representative body
that has legal powers annually approves
the budget of the community and guides and controls the actions
of the Governing Council. It is also the forum in which the
President of the Principality is chosen among its members. The President of the
Principality of Asturias is the person in charge
of the Governing Council, designing and dismissing its members. The President is also the maximum
representative of the Principality and the delegate
of the State in Asturias. The Governing Council is,
in turn, the collegiate body that directs
the policies of the Autonomous Community, being in charge of the executive
and administrative functions, along with the exercise
of the regulatory powers. The 78 councils or municipalities in which the local administration
of Asturias is divided imply yet another level
of decentralization. The institutions that exercise
the political power of the councils are the town councils,
led by the mayors. The councils have
their own competences, with the power to self-regulate, self-organize
and collect taxes, among others. Elections take place,
initially, every four years, both for the General Council of the Principality
and for the corresponding town councils. The citizens of Asturias have, basically,
two options to participate in their institutions run as candidates
to the governing bodies, through the political parties
and groups of voters; or, in any case, vote for those that they consider
best qualified for political representation.

Stephen Childs

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