Basque Parliament
The Basque Parliament is the legislative body of the Basque Autonomous Community
Basque Country (autonomous community)
The Basque Country is an autonomous community of northern Spain. It includes the Basque provinces of Álava, Biscay and Gipuzkoa, also called Historical Territories....

 of Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 and the elected assembly to which the Basque Government
Basque Government
The Basque Government is the governing body of the Basque Autonomous Community of Spain. The head of this government is the lehendakari or Basque president that is appointed by the Basque Parliament every four years...

 is responsible.

The Parliament meets in the Basque capital, Vitoria-Gasteiz, although the first session of the modern assembly, as constituted by the Statute of Autonomy of the Basque Country
Statute of Autonomy of the Basque Country
The Statute of Autonomy of the Basque Country is the legal document organizing the political system of the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country' which includes the historical territories of Alava, Biscay and Gipuzkoa. It forms the region into one of the autonomous communities envisioned in...

, was held in Guernica
Guernica (city)
Guernica is a town in the province of Biscay, in the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country, Spain. The town of Guernica is united in one municipality with neighbouring Lumo, Gernika-Lumo...

 – the symbolic centre of Basque freedoms – on 31 March 1980.
Later in 1980 it started meeting at the premises of the Alavese government.
In 1982, it got its own site in a former high school.
The symbol of the Parliament is an oak
An oak is a tree or shrub in the genus Quercus , of which about 600 species exist. "Oak" may also appear in the names of species in related genera, notably Lithocarpus...

en sculpture by Nestor Basterretxea representing a stylized tree, an allusion to the tradition of Basque political assemblies meeting under a tree, as in Guernica
Gernikako Arbola
Gernikako Arbola is an oak tree that symbolizes traditional freedoms for the Biscayan people, and by extension for the Basque people as a whole...


It is composed of seventy-five deputies representing citizens from the three provinces of the Basque autonomous community. Each province – Álava
Álava is a province of Spain and a historical territory of the Basque Country, heir of the ancient Lord of Álava. Its capital city is Vitoria-Gasteiz which is also the capital of the autonomous community...

, Gipuzkoa and Biscay
Biscay is a province of Spain and a historical territory of the Basque Country, heir of the ancient Lord of Biscay. Its capital city is Bilbao...

 – elects the same number of deputies, despite their having very different levels of population.
This was chosen to earn support from Álava and Navarre
Navarre , officially the Chartered Community of Navarre is an autonomous community in northern Spain, bordering the Basque Country, La Rioja, and Aragon in Spain and Aquitaine in France...

, less populated territories where Basque nationalism
Basque nationalism
Basque nationalism is a political movement advocating for either further political autonomy or, chiefly, full independence of the Basque Country in the wider sense...

 has less followers.
Navarre did not join the autonomous community though. The elections are held using closed list
Closed list
Closed list describes the variant of party-list proportional representation where voters can only vote for political parties as a whole and thus have no influence on the party-supplied order in which party candidates are elected...

 proportional representation
Proportional representation
Proportional representation is a concept in voting systems used to elect an assembly or council. PR means that the number of seats won by a party or group of candidates is proportionate to the number of votes received. For example, under a PR voting system if 30% of voters support a particular...

 with seats allocated on a Provincial basis using the D'Hondt method
D'Hondt method
The d'Hondt method is a highest averages method for allocating seats in party-list proportional representation. The method described is named after Belgian mathematician Victor D'Hondt who described it in 1878...

 of allocation. In order to qualify for seats in a particular province, electoral lists must receive at least 3% of the votes cast in that province including votes "en blanco" i.e. for "none of the above." From 1984 to 2001, the Election threshold
Election threshold
In party-list proportional representation systems, an election threshold is a clause that stipulates that a party must receive a minimum percentage of votes, either nationally or within a particular district, to obtain any seats in the parliament...

 was 5% in each province.
Sessions of the Basque Parliament are conducted in both Basque and Spanish, with translation services.

The current Speaker
Speaker (politics)
The term speaker is a title often given to the presiding officer of a deliberative assembly, especially a legislative body. The speaker's official role is to moderate debate, make rulings on procedure, announce the results of votes, and the like. The speaker decides who may speak and has the...

 of the Basque Parliament is Arantza Quiroga Cia
Arantza Quiroga Cía
Arantza Quiroga Cía is the current President of the Basque Parliament, an office commonly known in the Anglophone world by the name of "Speaker of the Parliament". Mrs...

, who was elected on the PP
People's Party (Spain)
The People's Party is a conservative political party in Spain.The People's Party was a re-foundation in 1989 of the People's Alliance , a party led and founded by Manuel Fraga Iribarne, a former Minister of Tourism during Francisco Franco's dictatorship...

 ticket in 2009
Basque parliamentary election, 2009
Elections to the Basque regional parliament were held in the Basque Country on 1 March 2009.Shortly before the election, two parties reportedly tied to ETA – D3M and Askatasuna, "Freedom" – were banned by a court ruling from standing in the election.-Results:In stark contrast with the latest...

. Thanks to an electoral norm aimed at promoting gender equality within the parliament, the ranks of women and men are close (34 to 41), and in the 2005-2009 term women were in the majority (38-37).

See also

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.