The Aragonese Corts (Spanish: Cortes de Aragón, Aragonese: Cortz d'Aragón, Catalan: Corts d'Aragó) is the regional parliament for the Spanish autonomous community of Aragon. The Corts traces its history back to meetings summoned by the Kings of Aragon which began in 1162. Abolished in 1707, the Corts were revived in 1983 following the passing of a Statute of Autonomy.
The King of Aragon was bound to summon the Corts at least once every five years, and, following the union with Catalonia, annually. The main business of the Corts was judicial: solving disputes between individuals or towns or dealing with complaints or grievances concerning the King's officers or Estates. The Corts also approved legislation and voted on tax issues. The Corts was organised into four Estates or branches: the clergy, the great nobles (Spanish: Ricos hombres), the Knights and the towns.
For the more important laws, unanimity was required between each of the Corts' four Estates ('nemine descriptante'). Each member could veto any law, in which case the decision would be recorded as 'unamiter excepto N.N.' which allowed for further debates and discussions, although these too often ended in stalemates with no agreement being reached. In such cases, the decision was referred to a permanent committee which consisted of two representatives of each Estate who would judge whether the existing majority will was sound or not. These Corts were the model for the parliaments of Sardinia and Sicily. The Corts survived until 1707 when Philip V issued the Nueva Planta decrees, centralising political power and abolishing the former regional assemblies of the Crown of Aragon.
The modern Corts were established in 1983 under Article 12 of the Statute of Autonomy for Aragon. This stature also sets out the functions of the Aragonese assembly in Article 16 and these include the election of the President of Aragon, approving the actions and legislation of the President, creating legislation, amending the Constitution of Aragon and supervising any relevant planning or economic projects. It must monitor borrowing and spending and appoint an Auditor General for Aragon. Additionally the legislature must elect the appropriate number of Senators to serve in the Spanish Senate.
Speakers of the Corts
- Antonio Embid Irujo (1983-1987) - (Spanish Socialist Workers' Party, PSOE)
- Juan Bautista Monserrat Mesanza (1987-1991) - (Democratic and Social Centre)
- Ángel Cristóbal Montes (1991-1995) - (People's Party)
- Emilio Eiroa García (1995-1999) - (Aragonese Party)
- José María Mur (1999-2003) - (Aragonese Party)
- Francisco Pina Cuenca (2003 - 2011) - (PSOE)
- José Ángel Biel (2011–present) - (Aragonese Party)
Party strength (1983-present)
Presidents and Governments of Aragon
- 1983-1987 Santiago Marraco, PSOE government
- 1987-1991 Hipólito Gómez de las Roces initially a PAR government with support from PP. From March 1989 a coalition of PAR and PP ruled.
- 1991-1993 Emilio Eiroa (PAR), PAR-PP coalition. In September 1993 a former PP deputy together with IU and PSOE deputies passed a no-confidence motion.
- 1993-1995 José Marco, PSOE government with IU support. Marco resigned in January 1995.
- 1995 Ramón Tejedor, PSOE government with IU support from January 1995 until elections in May 1995.
- 1995-1999 Santiago Lanzuela Marina, PP government with initial support from PAR.
- 1999-2011 Marcelino Iglesias (PSOE), PSOE-PAR coalition
- 2011–present Luisa Fernanda Rudi Ubeda (PP), PP-PAR coalition
- Colomer, Josep Maria (2003). Political Institutions: Democracy and Social Choice. Oxford University Press. p. 77. ISBN 978-0-19-924184-2. Retrieved 2009-08-09.
- Marriott, John Arthur Ransome (1970). This Realm of England; Monarchy, Aristocracy, Democracy. Ayer Publishing. p. 108. ISBN 978-0-8369-5611-5. Retrieved 2009-08-09.
- Aragonese Statute of Autonomy