Spain has a hereditary monarch and a bicameral parliament, the Cortes Generales or National Assembly. The executive branch consists of a Council of Ministers presided over by the President of Government (comparable to a prime minister), proposed by the monarch and elected by the National Assembly following legislative elections.
The legislative branch is made up of the Congress of Deputies (Congreso de los Diputados) with 350 members, elected by popular vote on block lists by proportional representation to serve four-year terms, and a Senate or Senado with 259 seats of which 208 are directly elected by popular vote and the other 51 appointed by the regional legislatures to also serve four-year terms.
Head of State: Juan Carlos I. - King, Head of Government: José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero (PSOE) - Prime Minister, Governing Party: PSOE
Last national elections 2008
Last European Parliament election June 2009 See: • http://www.europarl.europa.eu/parliament/archive/elections2009/en/spain_en.html • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Parliament_election,_2009_(Spain)
|The Spanish Senate - source|
Spain is, at present, what is called a State of Autonomies, formally unitary but, in fact, functioning as a Federation of Autonomous Communities, each one with different powers (for instance, some have their own educational and health systems, others do not) and laws. There are some differences within this system, since power has been devolved from the centre to the periphery asymmetrically. With some autonomous governments (especially those dominated by nationalist parties) seeking a more federalist—or even confederate—kind of relationship with Spain, the Central Government is dealing with these autonomous governments for the transference of more autonomy. This novel system of asymmetrical devolution has been described as "co-constitutionalism" and has similarities with the devolution process adopted and being used by the United Kingdom since 1997.