Concerning the Provincial System
ART. 233. The Province shall be comprised of the municipalities within its territory. Each Province shall be administered by a governor and a provincial council.
The provincial government is represented in the person of the governor. The provincial council is the organ of orientation and co-ordination of the interests of the Province.
ART. 234. The Provinces may be reconstituted or divided to form other new ones, or their boundaries may be modified, by means of agreement among the respective provincial councils and with the approval of the Congress.
ART. 235. The governor shall be elected for a term of four years, by direct and secret vote, in the form that the law may determine.
To be a governor it is necessary:
1st. To be Cuban by birth or naturalization, and in the latter case, to have ten years of residence in the Republic, counted from the date of naturalization.
2nd. To have reached twenty-five years of age.
3rd. To be in full enjoyment of civil and political rights.
4th. Not to have belonged to the armed forces of the Republic in active service during the two years immediately preceding the date of his designation as a candidate.
ART. 236. The governor shall receive a salary from the provincial treasury, that may be altered at any time; but such a change shall not go into effect until after a new election for governor has been held.
An increase in the salary of a governor shall be subject to an effective increase in the provincial revenue during the last two years preceding the date on which the increase is proposed to become effective.
ART. 237. In the temporary or permanent absence or disability of the governor, the oldest mayor shall substitute for him.
ART. 238. It shall be the function of the governor of the Province:
1st. To carry out and enforce, to whatever extent may be required, the balls, decrees, and regulations of the Nation.
2nd. To publish the decisions of the provincial council, which shall have obligatory effect, executing them and causing them to be executed; to determine the appropriate penalties for violations when they may not have been fixed by the council.
3rd. To issue orders and, moreover, to enact instructions and rules for the better execution of the decisions of the council when the latter may not have made them.
ART. 239. The municipal mayors of the Provinces shall constitute the provincial council. The mayors may attend the council sessions, assisted by specialists in each one of the fundamental services of the community, such as administration, health and social assistance, education, and public works; these specialists shall have the character of technical consultants of the council and shall have a voice but no vote. The office
of technical adviser shall be honorary and without pay.
ART. 240. The governor shall have his headquarters in the capital of the Province, but the sessions of the provincial council may take place in the principal town of any municipal district of the Province, upon previous agreement by the council.
ART. 241. The provincial councils shall be assembled at least once every two months, without affecting the extraordinary sessions that they may hold when convened by the governor himself, or upon the instance of three or more members of the council.
ART. 242. It shall be the function of the provincial council:
1st. To formulate its ordinary budget of income and expenditures and to determine the proportional quota in relation to income that must necessarily be apportioned to each municipality in order to defray the expenses of the Province.
2nd. To extend public services and carry out works of provincial concern, especially in the departments of health and social assistance, education, and communications, without violating the laws of the State.
3rd. To approve loans in order to carry out public works or provincial plans of a social and economic character, and at the same time to vote the permanent revenues necessary for the payment of their interest and amortization. No loan may be approved without previously obtaining a favorable report from the tribunal of accounts and the approval of two-thirds of the members of the provincial council.
In cases in which new taxes are allowed for the payment of the obligations to which the preceding paragraph refers, it shall be necessary, moreover, to have an approving vote, in a referendum election of one-half plus one of the votes cast by the electors of the Province, with the proviso that not less than thirty per cent of the voters of the Province shall have participated in the election.
4th. To appoint and remove the provincial employees in accordance with this Constitution and the law.
ART. 243. For the purpose of what is provided in the preceding article, the average figure of the effective revenues of the preceding five years shall be taken as a basis for determining the revenue necessary.
ART. 244. When works approved by the council are not of a provincial character, but are in the interest of the municipalities, the latter must receive a minimum appropriation proportional to their tax quotas.
ART. 245. No member of the provincial council may be suspended or removed by governmental authority. Likewise, the actions and decisions of the council may not be suspended or annulled by such authority, but may be impugned before the tribunals of justice by means of special summary proceedings, that the law shall regulate, by the municipal or national governmental authorities, or by any resident who may be injured by such
decision or action, or who may consider the latter damaging to the public interest.
The decisions of the provincial councils shall be made in public session.
Only the provincial supreme courts are empowered to suspend or discharge provincial councilors for criminal cause, by summary proceedings, in conformity with the law, or by a provisional sentence that may include the penalty of mandatory disqualification from office. In case of suspension or discharge of a provincial councilor, such penalty shall extend to his functions as municipal mayor.
ART. 246. The governor, with the prior approval of the provincial council, may appeal to the plenum of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice, in the form determined by law, against abuse of power involved in decisions of the national Government which, in his judgment, attack the system of provincial autonomy established by the Constitution, although the measure may have been enacted within the use of discretionary powers.
ART. 247. The provincial council and the governor must acknowledge the authority of the tribunal of accounts of the State in matters of auditing, and are obliged to submit all data and information that the latter may request, especially in relation to the formation and liquidation of the budgets.
The governor shall appoint, at any time the tribunal of accounts shall so request, an expert adviser from the provincial department of finance to assist the tribunal in the examination of the accounts of the Province.
ART. 248. The provisions concerning public finances, contained under the appropriate title in this Constitution, shall be applicable to the Provinces, in so far as they may be compatible with the system of the latter.
ART. 249. The provincial councilors and the governors shall be responsible before the tribunals of justice, in the form that the law prescribes for acts carried out in the exercise of their functions. The office of provincial councilor is honorary, without pay, and obligatory.
ART. 250. The basis of provincial government and administration shall be organized by law, in accordance with this Constitution, and in a manner to respond to the administrative character of the provincial government.