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ANDORRA
Consell general (General Council)
LAST ELECTIONS

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Parliament name (generic / translated) Consell general / General Council
Structure of parliament Unicameral
BACKGROUND
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) 3 April 2011
Purpose of elections Elections were held for all the seats in the General Council following the early dissolution of this body on 15 February 2011. Elections to the House of Representatives had previously taken place in April 2009.
In February 2011, the General Council rejected the government's 2011 draft budget and its proposal to introduce a value-added tax (VAT), triggering early elections in April. Under the Constitution, elections were not due before April 2013.

In the previous elections (April 2009), the Social Democrat Party (PS) and its allies took 14 of the 28 seats at stake. The alliance of the Reformist Coalition (CR) - Independents of Ordino (IO) coalition took 11 seats. The CR-IO alliance comprised the then ruling Liberal Party of Andorra (PLA), the New Centre, the Lauredian Union and the IO. Andorra for Change (APC) took the remaining three seats.

In June, the General Council elected Mr. Jaume Bartumeu Cassany (PS), who had pledged to modify Andorra's bank secrecy laws, as the new Prime Minister. He became the Principality's first socialist head of government. His government comprised members of the PS and several independents In July, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) removed Andorra from its list of "uncooperative tax havens" after the government undertook to implement the OECD standards of transparency and effective exchange of information.

Although the PS-led government was initially supported by the APC, the latter subsequently joined the opposition. Mr. Bartumeu's government had difficulty getting major legislation through parliament, including the 2010 budget, and it was obliged to continue to use the 2009 budget.

The global economic crisis continued to cast a shadow over the Principality's economy, partly because of its ongoing impact on Andorra's two main economic partners, Spain (80%) and France (20%).

Andorra started using the euro in 2002, but only formally entered into a monetary agreement with the European Union (EU) on 10 February 2011. While the PS-led government lauded the agreement, some opposition members reportedly felt its conclusion had been rushed. The Prime Minister dismissed the criticism, arguing that there had been little room for manoeuvre.

The Prime Minister insisted that the Principality needed to reform its tax system immediately to improve public finances and bring Andorra in line with the European economy. He proposed two new taxes: a corporate tax and a 4.5-per-cent VAT. The opposition called for more gradual change in the face of a stagnating economy.

In February 2011, the opposition parties blocked the proposals for the 2011 budget and the VAT. As the government is not allowed to use the same budget for two consecutive years under Andorran law, it was effectively forced to call early elections.

On 15 February 2011, Prime Minster Bartumeu requested the Head of State to dissolve the General Council for elections to be held on 3 April, two years earlier than they were constitutionally due.

Shortly after the dissolution, the PLA formed the Democrats for Andorra (DA) under the leadership of Mr. Antoni Martí, former mayor of Escaldes, the Principality's second largest city. The DA comprised the PLA, the New Centre and former members of the PS.

The PS formed the Ara Futur coalition with the IO and the Group of Ordino Independents. The APC, the Greens and the Lauredian Union, which supported the DA, submitted their own lists.

Taxation remained the main issue in 2011. Prime Minister Bartumeu's Ara Futur criticized the DA for preventing his government from implementing further fiscal reforms. He pledged to introduce an income tax for Andorran residents with salaries over 40,000 euros per year. DA leader Martí argued that Andorrans did not want to pay more taxes and pledged to maintain attractive fiscal measures. Under the Taxation of Non-Residents Act, 2010, which came into effect on 1 April 2011, only non-resident companies and individuals are subject to income tax.

On 3 April, 74.12 per cent of some 21,000 registered voters turned out at the polls.

The DA took 20 of the 28 seats at stake, the highest figure since Andorra adopted the 1993 Constitution. The PS took six, while the Lauredian Union took two. The APC failed to win parliamentary representation.

On 28 April, the newly elected General Council held its first session and elected Mr. Vicenç Mateu Zamora (DA) as its new Speaker.

On 12 May, it elected Mr. Antoni Martí (DA) as the new Prime Minister. His candidacy was backed by the DA and the Lauredian Union.
STATISTICS
Voter turnout
Round no 13 April 2011
Number of registered electors
Voters
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes
21'852
16'197 (74.12%)
687
15'510
Notes
Distribution of votes
Round no 1
Political Group Candidates Votes %
Democrats for Andorra (DA) 8'553 55.15
Social Democrat Party (PS) 5'397 34.80
Lauredian Union
Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Political Group Total National seats Parish seats
Democrats for Andorra (DA) 20 8 12
Social Democrat Party (PS) 6 6 0
Lauredian Union 2 0 2
Distribution of seats according to sex
Men
Women
Percent of women
14
14
50.00%
Distribution of seats according to age
21 to 30 years
31 to 40 years
41 to 50 years
51 to 60 years
1
10
11
6
Distribution of seats according to profession
Finance, management or business 11
Legal profession 5
Civil service and local authority administration 5
Education profession 2
Social workers 1
Architect, surveyor, engineer 1
Nursing 1
Economist 1
Physician, dentist 1
Comments
Sources:
General Council (04.05.2011, 12.05.2011, 03.11.2011)
http://www.eleccions.ad/EG_2011/index.htm

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