Monaco has been governed as a constitutional monarchy since 1911, with the Prince as chief of state. The executive branch consists of a Minister of State (head of government), who presides over a four-member Council of Government (cabinet). The Minister of State, who is a French citizen appointed by the Prince for a 3-year term from among several senior French civil servants proposed by the French Government, is responsible for foreign relations. As the Prince's representative, the Minister of State also directs the executive services, commands the police, and presides (with voting powers) over the Council of Government. The three other members of the Council are responsible for financial and economic affairs, internal affairs, and public works and social affairs, respectively.
Under the 1962 constitution, the Prince shares his power with the unicameral National Council. The 18 members of this legislative body are elected from lists by universal suffrage for 5-year terms. If the Prince dissolves the National Council, new elections must be held within 3 months. Usually meeting twice annually, the Council votes on the budget and endorses laws proposed by the Prince.
Ordinances passed by the National Council are debated in the Council of Government, as are the ministerial decrees signed by the Minister of State. Once approved, the ordinances must be submitted to the Prince within 80 days for his signature, which makes them legally enforceable. If he does not express opposition within 10 days of submission, they become valid.
Legal power is invested in the Prince, who delegates legal procedures to the various courts, which dispense justice in his name. The independence of the judges is guaranteed by the constitution. The Supreme Court is composed of five chief members and two assistant judges named by the Prince on the basis of nominations by the National Council and other government bodies. The Supreme Court is the highest court for judicial appeals and also interprets the constitution when necessary. Monaco's legal system, closely related to that of France, is patterned after the Napoleonic Code.
The principality's local affairs (i.e., the administration of the four quarters of Monaco-Ville, La Condamine, Monte Carlo, and Fontvieille) are directed by the Communal Council, which consists of 15 elected members and is presided over by the Mayor.
conventional long form: Principality of Monaco
conventional short form: Monaco
local long form: Principauté de Monaco
local short form: Monaco
Data code: MN
Government type: constitutional monarchy
Administrative divisions: none; there are no first-order administrative divisions as defined by the US Government, but there are four quarters (quartiers, singular - quartier); Fontvieille, La Condamine, Monaco-Ville, Monte-Carlo
Independence: 1419 (beginning of the rule by the House of Grimaldi)
National holiday: National Day, 19 November
Constitution: 17 December 1962
Legal system: based on French law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage: 21 years of age; universal
chief of state: Prince RAINIER III (since 9 May 1949); Heir Apparent Prince ALBERT Alexandre Louis Pierre, son of the monarch (born 14 March 1958)
head of government: Minister of State Michel LEVEQUE (since 3 February 1997)
cabinet: Council of Government is under the authority of the monarch
elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; minister of state appointed by the monarch from a list of three French national candidates presented by the French Government
unicameral National Council or Conseil National (18 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 1 and 8 February 1998 (next to be held NA January 2003)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - UND 18
Judicial branch: Supreme Court or Tribunal Supreme, judges named by the monarch on the basis of nominations by the National Council
Political parties and leaders: National and Democratic Union or UND [Jean-Louis CAMPORA]
International organization participation: ACCT, ECE, IAEA, ICAO, ICRM, IFRCS, IHO, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, International Criminal Police Organization - Interpol, IOC, ITU, OPCW, OSCE, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO
Flag description: two equal horizontal bands of red (top) and white; similar to the flag of Indonesia which is longer and the flag of Poland which is white (top) and red
- See also : Monaco