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Concerning the Relations between the Congress and the Government

ART. 164. The Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers are responsible to the Chamber and the Senate for their acts of government. The latter bodies may give or refuse a vote of confidence in the Prime Minister, a single Minister, or in the Council as a whole, in the form specified by this Constitution.  

ART. 165. Each colegislative body may determine upon the total or partial removal of the Government, raising the question of confidence, shall be presented by means of a motion in writing with reasons, and with the signatures of at least a third part of the members. This motion shall immediately be communicated to the remaining members of the respective body and shall be discussed and voted upon eight calendar days after its presentation. If the motion is not decided within fifteen clays following the said presentation, it shall be considered rejected.

To be validly approved, these motions shall require an affirmative majority of one-half plus one of the total of members of the Chamber of Representatives or of the Senate, respectively, which must always be obtained by a roll call vote.

A case in which the outcome of a ballot is against a bill presented by the Government or by a Minister, or a case of reconsideration of a bill returned by the President of the Republic, shall in no way obligate the Prime Minister or the Ministers to resign their ounces.

If a question of confidence is raised simultaneously in both colegislative bodies, that introduced in the Chamber of Representatives shall have priority.  

ART. 166. Crises in questions of confidence may be total or partial. Those that concern the Prime Minister or that concern more than three Ministers shall be considered total. Others shall be considered partial.  

ART. 167. The power of refusing confidence in the entire Government, in the Prime Minister, or in any of those who form a part of the Council, may not be exercised until at least six months after the appointment of the Council of Government for the first time, or after a later occurrence of a total crisis in which a motion of lack of confidence has been approved by the respective colegislative body, according to the rules established in this Constitution. Ministers whose appointments were occasioned by the removal of their predecessors in a partial crisis may not be submitted to a vote of no confidence until six months after their designation, except in a question of total crisis.

If a motion of no confidence should result favorably in either of the colegislative bodies, another such motion may not be raised again for one year; in such event, the said power of refusing confidence shall belong to the other colegislative body, which in no case may exercise the said power until at least six months after the appointment of the Government of Ministers to whom the said question refers.

Two partial crises shall be the equivalent of one total crisis for the purposes of the six-month restriction to which this article refers.

In no case may questions of confidence be raised within the last six months of each presidential term.

The Council of Ministers may itself raise the question of confidence in regard to the whole of its members or with respect to any of the Ministers. In this case the question shall be discussed and decided! immediately.

The fact of a motion of confidence demanded by the Government having been previously decided does not impede or restrict the Congress from freely exercising its right to raise such motions of confidence.    

ART. 168. In any case in which a vote of confidence is refused the Government or any of its members, the entire Government, or those of its members elected! by the vote of lack of confidence, must resign within forty-eight hours following the parliamentary decision, and in default thereof shall be considered removed and the President of the Republic shall so declare.

The outgoing Minister shall continue provisionally in his office after resignation, until his successor takes office.  

ART. 169. Passage of a vote of no confidence in the entire Council of Ministers or in any of its members only signifies disagreement, on the part of the colegislative body that raised the question, with the policy of the Minister, or with that of the Government as a whole.

A vote of no confidence necessarily implies that Ministers whose policy was the object of the vote may not be appointed to the same portfolios in the Cabinet that is formed or re-formed immediately after the crisis.

TITLE XIV   1940 Constitution

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