Officially known as the Kingdom of Spain, the Spanish government is a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy. Along with its Upper and Lower Houses of Parliament the country also has a prime minister as well as a reigning king. Its current democracy has been in effect since December 29, 1978 and was facilitated by the passage of Spain’s constitutional referendum.

The electoral system in Spain consists of general elections, local elections, elections to the legislatures of the autonomous communities, as well as elections to the European Parliament. Spain’s prime minister has no fix limits as to his/her term while members of the Congress of Deputies are elected every four years with no restrictions on how many times they can run. Spain’s multi-party electoral system includes several political parties competing for votes. Among its current parties are the conservative People’s Party, the liberal Ciudadanos, left wing Podemos, and moderate Spanish Socialist Workers' Party.

Spain’s house of parliament is known as Cortes Generales. The Upper House of the legislature meets in the Palacio del Senado, located in the Plaza de la Marina Española in the capital city of Madrid. The building’s history can be traced back to its time when it served as a convent school in 1590 but the structure wasn’t used as a parliament building until 1814. The official residence of the Prime Minister of Spain, the Palace of Moncloa, became the home of Spain’s legislative head of state in 1977. Although the Royal Palace of Madrid is the official residence of Spain’s reigning monarch the palace is currently used solely for ceremonial purposes. Felipe VI and his family actually reside in Zarzuela Palace on the edge of the city of Madrid.

The major political parties of Spain include the People's Party, the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party, United We Can, and Citizens. Spain has a multiparty system.

This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018

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