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BOLIVIA
Cámara de Senadores (Chamber of Senators)

Modules:
GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE PARLIAMENTARY CHAMBER

Parliament name (generic / translated) Asamblea Legislativa Plurinacional / Plurinational Legislative Assembly
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Structure of parliament Bicameral
Chamber name (generic / translated) Cámara de Senadores / Chamber of Senators
Related chamber (for bicameral parliaments) Cámara de Diputados / Chamber of Deputies
Affiliation to the IPU Yes
Affiliation date(s) 1979 - 1980
1983 -
LEADERSHIP
President Eugenio Rojas Apaza (M) 
Notes 21 Jan 2014 -
Secretary General Alexander Ramírez Arispe (M) 
COMPOSITION
Members (statutory / current number) 36 / 36
PERCENTAGE OF WOMEN


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Women (current number) 17 (47.22%)
Mode of designation directly elected 36
Term 5 years
Last renewal dates 12 October 2014
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CONTACT INFORMATION
Address Senado Nacional
Palacio Legislativo
Plaza Murillo
LA PAZ-BOLIVIA
(Export mailing lists)
Phone (591 2) 214 3002
Fax (591 2) 214 3006
E-mail presidencia@senado.bo
Website
http://www.senado.bo/

ELECTORAL SYSTEM

Parliament name (generic / translated) Asamblea Legislativa Plurinacional / Plurinational Legislative Assembly
Structure of parliament Bicameral
Chamber name (generic / translated) Cámara de Senadores / Chamber of Senators
Related chamber (for bicameral parliaments) Cámara de Diputados / Chamber of Deputies
LEGAL FRAMEWORK
Electoral law 30 April 2002
Mode of designation directly elected 36
Constituencies 9 multi-member (4 seats each) constituencies corresponding to the country's departments.
Voting system Majority: Direct party-list majority system, with two seats awarded to the majority party (i.e., that obtaining the most votes) and one to the second-placed party in each constituency.
Vacancies arising between general elections are filled by substitutes elected at the same time as titular members of Congress or, failing this, by the "next-in-line" candidate on the same party list.
Voting is compulsory.
Voter requirements - age: 18 years
- Bolivian citizenship
CANDIDATES
Eligibility - age: 35 years
- Bolivian citizenship by birth
- fulfilment of military obligations
- literacy
- full possession of civil rights
- ineligibility: arrest, imprisonment
Incompatibilities - Government minister
- diplomat
- civil servant or employee
- military or police officer on active duty
- contractor for public works or services
- manager or administrator of a State-related company or enterprise
- certain ecclesiastics
Candidacy requirements - nomination by political parties, coalition of parties or duly-recognised civic institutions

LAST ELECTIONS

Parliament name (generic / translated) Asamblea Legislativa Plurinacional / Plurinational Legislative Assembly
Structure of parliament Bicameral
Chamber name (generic / translated) Cámara de Senadores / Chamber of Senators
Related chamber (for bicameral parliaments) Cámara de Diputados / Chamber of Deputies
BACKGROUND
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) 12 October 2014
Timing and scope of renewal Elections were held for all the seats in the Senate. The previous elections had been held in December 2009.
Text is being prepared.
STATISTICS
Voter turnout
Distribution of votes
Distribution of seats
Distribution of seats according to sex
Men

Women

Percent of women
19

17

47.22%
Distribution of seats according to age
Distribution of seats according to profession
Comments
Source: Plurinational Legislative Assembly (17.11.2014)

PRESIDENCY OF THE PARLIAMENTARY CHAMBER

Parliament name (generic / translated) Asamblea Legislativa Plurinacional / Plurinational Legislative Assembly
Structure of parliament Bicameral
Chamber name (generic / translated) Cámara de Senadores / Chamber of Senators
Related chamber (for bicameral parliaments) Cámara de Diputados / Chamber of Deputies
APPOINTMENT AND TERM OF OFFICE
Title President of the Senate
Term - duration: 1 year
- reasons for interruption of the term: resignation, death, dissolution
Appointment - elected by all the Senators
- after validation of mandates
- after Senators are sworn in
Eligibility - any Senator can be a candidate
Voting system - formal vote by secret ballot
Procedures / results - the eldest Senator presides over the Senate during the voting
STATUS
Status - ranks second in the hierarchy of State (Vice President of the Republic)
- represents the Senate with the public authorities
- represents the Senate in international bodies
- in the absence of the President, the Vice Presidents can assume his/her role and functions
Board - the Governing Board is regulated by the Standing Orders
- consists of the President, two Vice Presidents and three Secretaries
- duration: 1 year
Material facilities NA (no information received)
FUNCTIONS
Organization of parliamentary business - organizes the debates and sets speaking time
- examines the admissibility of bills and amendments
- refers texts to a committee for study
- the Board can :
* convenes sessions
* establishes and modifies the agenda
Chairing of public sittings - can open, adjourn and close sittings
- makes announcements concerning the Senate
- takes disciplinary measures in the event of disturbance, and lifts such measures
- establishes the list of speakers, gives and withdraws permission to speak
- calls for a vote, decides how it is to be carried out, verifies the voting procedure and cancels a vote in the event of irregularities
- checks the quorum
- authenticates the adopted texts and the records of debates
- has discretionary power to give the floor outside the agenda and thus organizes impromptu debates
- the Board can :
* ensures respect for provisions of the Constitution and Standing Orders
Special powers - the Board can :
* is responsible for establishing the budget
* organizes the services of Parliament
- is responsible for safety, and in this capacity, can call the police in the event of disturbance in the Senate
Speaking and voting rights, other functions - takes part in voting in the event of a tied vote or where voting is by secret ballot
- provides guidelines for the interpretation or completion of the text under discussion
- transmits laws to the Executive for promulgation

PARLIAMENTARY MANDATE

Parliament name (generic / translated) Asamblea Legislativa Plurinacional / Plurinational Legislative Assembly
Structure of parliament Bicameral
Chamber name (generic / translated) Cámara de Senadores / Chamber of Senators
Related chamber (for bicameral parliaments) Cámara de Diputados / Chamber of Deputies
NATURE
Nature of the mandate · Free representation
Start of the mandate · When the Senators take the oath
Validation of mandates · Validation by the Chamber of Senators and, in the event of challenge or the emergence of grounds for annulment, by the National Electoral Court (Art. 67, No. 1 of the Constitution of 02.02.1967, as amended up to and including 06.02.1995, Art. 196, and 247 (2) in connection with Art. 121 and 123 of the Electoral Law)
· Procedure (Art. 67, No. 1 of the Constitution, Art. 247 (4) of the Electoral Law)
End of the mandate · On the day when the legal term of the House ends (see Art. 65 in connection with Art. 60 (7) of the Constitution and Art. 127 of the Electoral Law)
Can MPs resign? Yes · Of their own free will (Art. 57 of the Constitution)
· Procedure: resignation before the President of the Chamber of Senators who informs the plenary
· Authority competent to accept the resignation: the resignation need not be accepted
Can MPs lose their mandate ? Yes (a) Definitive exclusion from Parliament by the latter: definitive removal for misconduct (Art. 67, No. 4 of the Constitution; see Code of conduct)
(b) Loss of mandate for incompatibilities (Art. 49, and 54 in connection with Art. 67, No. 4 of the Constitution; see above)
STATUS OF MEMBERS
Rank in hierarchy · Within Parliament:
1. The President
2. The Vice-Presidents (2)
3. The Secretaries (3)
4. The other Senators
· Outside Parliament:
Indemnities, facilities and services · Diplomatic or official passport
· Basic salary: BOB 20.800 + Sitting Allowance: BOB 1 per sitting
· No exemption from tax
· Private Pension Fund (AFP)
· Other facilities:
(a) Secretariat
(b) Assistants
(c) Official car for the President and the Vice-Presidents
(d) Security guards for the President and the Vice-Presidents
(e) Postal and telephone services
(f) Travel and transport
(g) Others: medical care, funeral costs
Obligation to declare personal assets Yes
Parliamentary immunity - parliamentary non-accountability · The concept does exist (Art. 51 of the Constitution, Rule of the Rules of Debate of the Chamber of Senators)
· Parliamentary non-accountability applies to words spoken and written by Senators both within and outside Parliament.
· Derogations: offence or insult (Rule 47 of the Rules of Debate of the Chamber of Senators, see Discipline)
· Non-accountability takes effect on the day when the mandate begins and offers, after the expiry of the mandate, protection against prosecution for opinions expressed during the exercise of the mandate.
Parliamentary immunity - parliamentary inviolability · The concept does exist (Art. 52 and 53 of the Constitution).
· It applies to criminal and civil proceedings, covers all offences and protects Senators from arrest and from being held in preventive custody, from the opening of judicial proceedings against them and, in civil matters, also from the requirement to give bond.
· No derogations are foreseen.
· Parliamentary inviolability does not prevent Senators from being called as witnesses before a judge or tribunal.
· Protection is provided from the start to the end of the mandate, but for the suing and the requirement to give bond in civil matters only during a period beginning sixty days before the meeting of Congress and ending at the time the Senator returns to his residence. It (does not) also cover(s) judicial proceedings instituted against Senators before their election.
· Parliamentary immunity (inviolability) can be lifted (Art. 52 of the Constitution):
- Competent authority: the Chamber of Senators
- Procedure (Art. 52 of the Constitution, Rule 107 of the Rules of Debate of the Chamber of Senators): decision by a two-thirds vote. In this case, Senators can(not) be heard. They do (not) have means of appeal.

EXERCISE OF THE MANDATE
Training · There is neither a training/initiation process on parliamentary practices and procedures for Senators, nor a handbook of parliamentary procedure.
Participation in the work of the Parliament · Penalties foreseen in case of lack of quorum (Rule 33 of the Rules of Debate of the Chamber of Senators): publication of the names of those absent
· Body competent to judge such cases/to impose penalties:
Discipline · The rules governing discipline within Parliament are contained in Rule 47 of the Rules of Debate of the Chamber of Senators.
· Disciplinary measures foreseen:
- Interruption (Rule 47 of the Rules of Debate of the Chamber of Senators)
- Call to order (Rule 47 of the Rules of Debate of the Chamber of Senators)
- Withdrawal of the floor for the rest of the debate (Rule 47 of the Rules of Debate of the Chamber of Senators)
· Specific cases:
- Offence or insult (Rule 47 of the Rules of Debate of the Chamber of Senators): all disciplinary measures
· Competent body to judge such cases/to impose penalties:
- Interruption, offence or insult: any Senator
- Call to order, withdrawal of the floor for the rest of the debate, offence or insult: the President, after a decision of the Chamber of Senators
· Procedure (Rule 47 of the Rules of Debate of the Chamber of Senators)
Code (rules) of conduct · This concept does not exist in the country's juridical system but there are some relevant provisions (Art. 49, 54, and 67, No. 4 of the Constitution).
· Penalties foreseen for violation of the rules of conduct:
- Temporary removal (Art. 67, No. 4 of the Constitution; misconduct)
- Definitive removal (Art. 67, No. 4 of the Constitution; misconduct)
- Loss of mandate (Art. 49, and 54 in connection with Art. 67, No. 4 of the Constitution; incompatibilities)
· Competent body to judge such cases/to impose penalties: the Chamber of Senators
· Procedure (Art. 67, No. 4 of the Constitution). In this case, Senators have (no) means of recourse.
Relations between MPs and pressure group · There are no legal provisions in this field.

This page was last updated on 18 November 2014
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