Argentine Chamber of Deputies

The Chamber of Deputies (Spanish: Cámara de Diputados de la Nación) is the lower house of the Argentine National Congress (Spanish: Congreso de la Nación). It is made up of 257 national deputies who are elected in multi-member constituencies corresponding with the territories of the 23 provinces of Argentina (plus the Federal Capital) by party list proportional representation. Elections to the Chamber are held every two years, so that half of its members are up in each election, making it a rare example of staggered elections used in a lower house.

Chamber of Deputies of the Nation

Cámara de Diputados de la Nación
2019–2021 period
Type
Type
of the National Congress of Argentina
Term limits
None
Leadership
President
Sergio Massa, FdT
since 10 December 2019
1st Vice President
Omar De Marchi, PRO - JxC
since 09 December 2020
First Minority Leader
Máximo Kirchner, FdT
since 10 December 2019
Second Minority Leader
Mario Negri, UCR - JxC
since 10 December 2019
Structure
Seats257 (List)
Political groups
Government (119)
  •   Frente de Todos

Opposition (138)

  •   Juntos por el Cambio (115)
  •   Federal Consensus (11)
  •   Federal Unity for Development (6)
  •   Federal Action (2)
  •   IS–Left Front (2)
  •   Party for Social Justice (1)
  •   Neuquén People's Movement (1)
Length of term
4 years
Elections
Party-list proportional representation
D'Hondt method
Last election
27 October 2019
(130 seats)
Next election
14 November 2021
(127 seats)
Meeting place
Chamber of Deputies, Congress Palace,
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Website
hcdn.gob.ar

The Constitution of Argentina lays out certain attributions that are unique to the Chamber of Deputies. The Chamber holds exclusive rights to levy taxes; to draft troops; and to accuse the President, cabinet ministers, and members of the Supreme Court before the Senate. Additionally, the Chamber of Deputies receives for consideration bills presented by popular initiative.

The Chamber of Deputies is presided over by the President of the Chamber (Spanish: Presidente de la Cámara), who is deputized by three Vice Presidents.

Current composition

It has 257 seats and one-half of the members are elected every two years to serve four-year terms by the people of each district (23 provinces and the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires) using proportional representation, D'Hondt formula with a 3% of the district registered voters threshold, and the following distribution:

By province

Province Deputies Population (2010)
Buenos Aires City 24 2,890,151
Buenos Aires 70 15,625,084
Catamarca 5 367,828
Chaco 7 1,053,466
Chubut 5 506,668
Córdoba 18 3,304,825
Corrientes 7 993,338
Entre Ríos 9 1,236,300
Formosa 5 527,895
Jujuy 6 672,260
La Pampa 5 316,940
La Rioja 5 331,847
Mendoza 10 1,741,610
Misiones 7 1,097,829
Neuquén 5 550,334
Río Negro 5 633,374
Salta 7 1,215,207
San Juan 6 680,427
San Luis 5 431,588
Santa Cruz 5 272,524
Santa Fe 19 3,200,736
Santiago del Estero 7 896,461
Tierra del Fuego 5 126,190
Tucumán 9 1,448,200

By political groups

All data from official website.[1]

Alliance Party Leader
Everybody's Front (119) Máximo Kirchner
Together for Change (115)
(President: Mario Negri)
PRO (53) Cristian Ritondo
Radical Civic Union (46) Mario Negri
Civic Coalition (14) Maximiliano Ferraro
Civic and Social Front of Catamarca (1) Eduardo Brizuela del Moral
Production and Labour (1) Humberto Orrego
Federal (11)
(President: Eduardo Bucca)
Federal Córdoba (4) Carlos Mario Gutiérrez
Federal Consensus (3) Alejandro "Topo" Rodríguez
Justicialist (2) Miguel Zottos
Progressive, Civic and Social Front (1) Luis Contigiani
Socialist Party (1) Enrique Estevez
Federal Unity for Development (6)
(President: José Luis Ramón)
Misiones Front for Concord (3) Ricardo Wellbach
Federal Unity and Equity (2) José Luis Ramón
Together We Are Río Negro (1) Luis Di Giacomo
Federal Action (2) Felipe Álvarez
Socialist Left–Left Front (2) Juan Carlos Giordano
Party for Social Justice (1) Beatriz Ávila
Neuquén People's Movement (1) Alma Sapag

Requirements

In order for an Argentine citizen to be elected to congress, they have to fulfill certain requirements: He or she has to be at least twenty five years old with at least four years of active citizenship and it has to be naturalized in the province that is being elected to or at least have two years of immediate residency in said province, according to art. 48 of the Argentine Constitution.

History

The Chamber of Deputies was provided for in the Constitution of Argentina, ratified on May 1, 1853. Eligibility requisites are that members be at least twenty-five years old, and have been a resident of the province they represent for at least two years; as congressional seats are elected at-large, members nominally represent their province, rather than a district.[2]

Otherwise patterned after Article One of the United States Constitution per legal scholar Juan Bautista Alberdi's treatise, Bases de la Constitución Argentina, the chamber was originally apportioned in one seat per 33,000 inhabitants. The constitution made no provision for a national census, however, and because the Argentine population doubled every twenty years from 1870 to 1930 as a result of immigration (disproportionately benefiting Buenos Aires and the Pampas area provinces), censuses were conducted generationally, rather than every decade, until 1947.[3]

Apportionment controversy

The distribution of the Chamber of Deputies is regulated since 1982 by Law 22.847, also called Ley Bignone, enacted by the last Argentine dictator, General Reynaldo Bignone, ahead of the 1983 general elections. This law established that, initially, each province shall have one deputy per 161,000 inhabitants, with standard rounding; after this is calculated, each province is granted three more deputies. If a province has fewer than five deputies, the number of deputies for that province is increased to reach that minimum.

Controversially, apportionment remains based on the 1980 population census, and has not been modified since 1983; national censuses since then have been conducted in 1991, 2001, and 2010. The minimum of five seat per province allots the smaller ones a disproportionately large representation, as well. Accordingly, this distribution does not reflect Argentina's current population balance.

Presidents of the Chamber

The President of the Chamber is elected by the majority caucus. The officeholders for this post since 1983 have been:

Term beganTerm endedOfficeholderPartyProvince
December 10, 1983April 3, 1989Juan Carlos PuglieseUCR Buenos Aires Province
April 3, 1989July 8, 1989Leopoldo MoreauUCR Buenos Aires Province
July 8, 1989December 10, 1999Alberto PierriPJ Buenos Aires Province
December 10, 1999December 10, 2001Rafael PascualUCR City of Buenos Aires
December 10, 2001December 10, 2005Eduardo CamañoPJ Buenos Aires Province
December 10, 2005December 10, 2007Alberto BalestriniFPV - PJ Buenos Aires Province
December 10, 2007December 6, 2011Eduardo FellnerFPV - PJ Jujuy
December 6, 2011December 4, 2015Julián DomínguezFPV - PJ Buenos Aires Province
December 4, 2015 December 4, 2019 Emilio Monzó PRO-Cambiemos  Buenos Aires Province
December 4, 2015 incumbent Sergio Massa Everybody's Front  Buenos Aires Province

Current authorities

Leadership positions include:

TitleOfficeholderPartyProvince
Chamber PresidentSergio MassaEverybody's Front Buenos Aires Province
First Vice-PresidentOmar De MarchiPRO-Together for Change Mendoza
Second Vice-PresidentJosé Luis GiojaEverybody's Front San Juan
Third Vice-PresidentAlfredo CornejoUCR-Together for Change Mendoza
Parliamentary SecretaryEduardo Cergnul
Administrative SecretaryRodrigo Rodríguez
Coordinating Secretary

See also

References

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