Constitution of the Andorinhões

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Constitution of the Constitutional State of the Andorinhões
Original titleConstituição do Estado Constitucional dos Andorinhões
JurisdictionThe Andorinhões
Ratified21 November 1991
Date effective5 June 1992
Head of stateGovernor
ChambersUnicameral National Assembly
ExecutiveGovernment, headed by a President
JudiciaryConstitutional Tribunal, Supreme Tribunal of Justice and lower general tribunals
FederalismUnitary state
Electoral collegeYes
First legislature27 May 1992
First executive7 September 1992
Last amended2015
Author(s)National Assembly of the Andorinhões

The present Constitution of the Andorinhões was adopted in 1992 after the Democratic Revolution. It is renowned for its Part II: Fundamental Rights and Duties which is an extensive and modern bill of rights.

Former Andorinhean Constitutions

Holy Charter of 1487

The Holy Charter of 1487 (Santa Carta da Terra Soberana da Santa Cruz, "Holy Charter of the Sovereign Land of the Holy Cross") is the first "constitution" of the Andorinhões. Being drafted on the Charter of the Order of the Holy Cross, it established a form of government separate from the Order which previously ruled directly on the lands. It established a Chancellor as head of state and head of government.

Constitution of 1914

The Andorinhean Constitution of 1914 (Constituição Republicana de Merleta, "Republican Constitution of Martlet") is the first official codified constitution of the Andorinhões. It established the republican form of government with an elected President.

Constitution of 1971

The Andorinhean Constitution of 1971 (Constituição das Ilhas Merletas "Constitution of the Martlets Islands) is the second codified constitution of the Andorinhões.

Constitution of 1973

The Andorinhean Constitution of 1973 (Constituição Popular do Povo das Ilhas Andorinhas "Popular Constitution of the People of the Islands Andorignas) is the third codified constitution of the Andorinhões. Following the coup d'état by Octávio Forte, a constitution was established which abolished elections and political parties and established a dictatorship with Forte as both the head of state and head of government.

Revised Constitution of 1990

The Andorinhean Revised Constitution of 1990 (Constituição Revisada "Revised Constitution) is a lightly modified constitution which abolished the disposition which prevented the formation of political parties and democratic elections. Following the death of Octávio Forte, political pressure was mounting against the government to introduce changes into the political system. This led to the Democratic Revolution asking for a new form of government.

Constitution of 1992

1st review (2000)

2nd review (2015)


The Andorinhean Constitution includes the Preamble and XXX articles. The articles are organized in the Fundamental Principles, six parts plus the Final and Transitory Dispositions. The parts are subdivided in titles and some of the titles are subdivided in chapters and sections.


The preamble to the Constitution consists of the enacting formula:


The successive proclamations of the Sovereign State of the Holy Cross, the Martletan Republic, the Socialist Republic of the Martlets Islands and the People’s Republic of the Andorignas represents some of the apex moments in the History of the Andorinhean Nation. A feature of our identity and revitalization of our condition as a People sharing the steadfast hope of crafting on these isles the conditions for a dignifying existence for all, Independence also gave way to the Andorinhões becoming a full-fledged member of the international community.

Nevertheless, the affirmation of the independent State and the forming of a pluralist democratic regime were never coincidental, as prior to the organization of political power, the philosophy and principles characteristic of one-party-rule regimes had always been followed.

The exercise of power within the framework of such a model demonstrated the need to work drastic changes into the organization of the political and social life of the State. In the Andorinhões, the political openness was announced in the year nineteen hundred and ninety, leading to the creation of institutional conditions necessary for the first legislative and executive elections, within a context of political competition.

Consequently, on 3 March, the Interim General Secretary approved the General Decree no.5/90, which, having revoked Article 5 of the Constitution and institutionalized the principle of pluralism, embodied a new type of political regime.

Conceived as an instrument designed to make for viable democratic elections and transition to a new model of organization of the nation’s political and social life, this Constitutional Law did not, however, fail to institute a different system of government, and another form of suffrage, on the eve of elections for a new legislative assembly.

It was against this backdrop that the first legislative elections were held in August 1991, followed by the executive elections in September. The expressive participation of the populations in these elections demonstrated clearly the nation’s choice for change of the political regime.

Nevertheless, the precise historical context in which the parties were recognized, through a partial revision of the Constitution, as the main instrument in the formation of the political will for governance, let to pluralist democracy living on together with certain rules and principles that were typical of the former regime.

Notwithstanding the social and political reality in which the country found itself, a process of rapid and monumental transformations was afoot, as the populations and the emergent political forces embraced the values that characterized a State of Democratic Law and which, by their content, were already shaping a de facto model that was not reflected in the text of the Constitution.

The present Constitutional Law is thus designed to equip the country with a normative framework, the value of which is based, not particularly on the harmony found in the printed text but on the new established model. The choice for a Constitution laying down the structuring principles of a pluralist democracy, leaving out the cyclical options of governance, will allow for the needed stability of a country with few resources and for political alternation without disruptions.

Accepting fully, the principle of popular sovereignty, the present text of the Constitution enshrines a State of Democratic Law, with a vast catalogue of citizens’ rights, freedoms and guarantees, a concept of urthian dignity as an absolute value which prevails over the State itself, a system of government based on the balance of powers amongst the various organs of sovereignty, a strong and independent judicial power, a local power whose office holders are elected by the communities and are accountable to them, a Public Administration devoted to serving the citizens and conceived as an instrument of development, and a system of safeguards for the protection of the Constitution, characteristic of a regime of pluralist democracy.

Thus, this Constitutional Law formally embodies the profound political changes brought about in the country and creates the institutional conditions for the exercise of power and citizenship, in a climate of liberty, peace and justice, which are the foundations of the whole economic, social and cultural development of the Andorinhões.

Part I: Fundamental Principles

Part I of the Constitution defines the fundamental principles. It includes 15 articles (Article 1 to Article 15), subdivided in two titles : On the Constitutional State and International Relations and International Law.

The first title consists of matters relating to the foundation of the Constitutional State, it's organization as a State of Democratic Law, its sovereignty and constitutionality, the exercise of political power, the exercise of citizenship, its territory, the fundamental tasks of the State, the National symbols, the official languages, the status of São João das Ilhas as capital of the nation and the special status of the Order of the Holy Cross.

The second title consists of matters relating to the international relations of the Andorinhões, the incorporation of international law and international treaties and agreements within the legal system of the nation and the accession of the Andorinhões to international treaties or agreements.

Part II: Fundamental Rights and Duties

Part II of the Constitution defines the fundamental rights and duties. It includes 76 articles (16th to 91st), subdivided in five titles : General Principles, On Individual Rights, Liberties and Guarantees, Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and Duties, Fundamental Duties and On the Family.

The first title consists of matters relating to recognition of the rights, liberties and guarantees, their scope and their protection. It establishes the principles on the access of justice, the principles of universality and equality as well as creating the position of Provider of Justice. It also provides a right to resistance.

The second title states the rights, liberties and guaranties, namely the individual ones (Chapter I), the political participation ones (Chapter II) and the workers ones (Chapter III). The first chapter includes the rights to life, to liberty, to nationality, to privacy among others. It also provides the freedoms of expression, of information, of conscience, to learn, of association and of assembly among others. The chapter also includes provisions for the application of criminal law, the principles of criminal procedures and the procedures of expulsion and extradition. The second chapter includes the rights to participate in political life, to public functions and elected offices, to form political parties, to broadcasting time, of petition and popular action and guarantees the freedom of the press. The third chapter includes the rights to work, to pay and to strike and the freedom of professional and trade union association among others.

The third title states the economic, social and cultural rights and duties, such as the rights to private property, to social security, to health, to housing, to the environment, to education and to culture among others. It also states the rights of some categories of people such as children, the disabled or the elderly.

The fourth title consists of matters relating to the duties of the people such as the duties towards one's peers, the Nation and the community and towards the authorities.

The fifth title consists of matters relating to the family, namely its protection and by the society and by the State, the tasks of the State towards the family and establishes principles on parenthood and childhood.

Part III: Economical and Financial Organization

Part III defines the economical and financial organization and includes 4 articles (92nd to 95th).

It consists of the general principles of economic organization, of the fiscal system and the State Budget as well as the creation of the Bank of the Andorinhões.

Part IV: Exercise of the Political Power

Part IV defines the exercise of the political power and includes 24 articles (96th to 119th) subdivided in one title : Forms of Exercise of the Political Power.

The sole title states the forms of exercise of the political power, namely the general and common principles (Chapter I), the referendum (Chapter II) and the suffrage (Chapter III), especially its general principles (Section I), the election of the Governor (Section II) and the election of the Deputies (Section III). The first chapters consists of matters related to the electoral census, the electoral campaign, the supervision and judgement of elections. It also establishes the electoral constituencies and creates the Office of Elections. The second chapter consists of matters related to the referendums. The third chapter consists, in the first section, of matters related to the suffrage such as the conversion of votes, the introduction of candidates and their immunity and the scheduling of dates of elections. In its second section, it consists of matters related to the election of the Governor namely, the election method, the eligibility, the election date and the system of election. In its third section, it consists of matters related to the election of the Deputies, its suffrage by lists, the conditions of eligibility and states the right to opposition.

Part V: Organization of the Political Power

The Part V defines the organization of the political power and includes XX articles (XXth to XXth), subdivided in ten titles.

Title I refers to the general and common principles.

Title II refers to the Governor, namely its definition, mandate and inauguration (Chapter I), its statute (Chapter II) and its competence (Chapter III).

Title III refers to the National Assembly, namely its definition, composition and dissolution (Chapter I), its organization (Chapter II), its functioning (Chapter III), its drafting of acts (Chapter IV), especially its initiative of the law and referendum (Section I) and its discussion and vote (Section II), as well as the statute of its deputies (Chapter V), its competence (Chapter VI), especially its competence in the practice of organizational and functional acts (Section I) and its legislative and political competence (Section II).

Title IV refers to the Government, namely its function, political responsibility, composition and organization (Chapter I), especially its function and responsibility (Section I) and its composition and organization (Section II), as well as the commencement and termination of its functions (Chapter II), the formation and continuation of government (Chapter III), especially its formation (Section I), the political and criminal responsibility of its members (Section II) and its motion or confidence, of censure and its resignation (Section III), as well as its competence (Chapter IV).

Title V refers to the judicial power, namely its general principles (Chapter I), the organization of the Tribunals (Chapter II), the statute of its judges (Chapter III), the Public Ministry (Chapter IV) and the attorneys (Chapter V).

Title VI refers to the local power.

Title VII refers to the public administration.

Title VIII refers to the national defense.

Title IX refers to the auxiliary organs of organs of political power, namely the Commission of the State (Chapter I) and the Commission of the economy, the society and the environment (Chapter II).

Title X refers to the form and hierarchy of the acts, namely the acts of the governor (Chapter I), the form of legislative and normative acts (Chapter II), the resolutions and motions (Chapter III) and their hierarchy and publication (Chapter IV).

Part VI: Guarantees of Defence and Revision of the Constitution

The Part VI defines the guarantees of defence and revision of the Constitution and includes XX articles (XXth to XXth) subdivided in three title.

Title I refers to the state of siege and state of emergency.

Title II refers to the review of the constitutionality.

Title III refers to the revision of the Constitution.

Part VII: Final and Transitory Dispositions

The Part VI is the last part of the Constitution, covering XX articles (XXth to XXth), defines the final and transitory dispositions.

Appendix I: Lyrics of the National Anthem

Appendix II: Constitution of the Sovereign Possessions of the Order of the Holy Cross

See also