Chamber of Deputies of the Nation

Cámara de Diputados de la Nación
2021–2023 period
Type
Type
Term limits
None
Leadership
Sergio Massa, FdT
since 10 December 2019
1st Vice President
Omar De Marchi, PROJxC
since 09 December 2020
First Minority Leader
Máximo Kirchner, FdT
since 10 December 2019
Second Minority Leader
Cristian Ritondo, PROJxC
since 10 December 2019
Structure
Seats257 (List)
Political groups
Government (118)
  •   Frente de Todos (118)

Independents (15)

  •   Federal (8)
  •   United Provinces (5)
  •   SER (2)

Opposition (124)

Length of term
4 years
Elections
Party-list proportional representation
D'Hondt method
Last election
14 November 2021
(127 seats)
Meeting place
Chamber of Deputies, Congress Palace,
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Website
hcdn.gob.ar

Coordinates: 34°36′34.75″S 58°23′33.29″W / 34.6096528°S 58.3925806°W / -34.6096528; -58.3925806

The Chamber of Deputies (Spanish: Cámara de Diputados de la Nación), officially the Honorable Chamber of Deputies of the Argentine Nation, 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.

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

Main article: List of current Argentine deputies

130 of the current members of the Chamber of Deputies for the 2021–2023 period were elected in 2019 legislative election, while the remaining 127 were elected in 2021. The governing Frente de Todos coalition, to which President Alberto Fernández belongs, holds the first minority with 118 deputies, while the biggest opposition alliance, Juntos por el Cambio, counts with 117 – spread across 10 parliamentary blocs. In addition, a number of provincial parties and alliances count with representation, while smaller parties (such as the leftist Workers' Left Front, the libertarian Avanza Libertad and La Libertad Avanza fronts, and the minor SER party) count with minimal representation.

Inter-bloc Bloc Leader
Frente de Todos (118) Máximo Kirchner
Together for Change (116) PRO (53) Cristian Ritondo
Radical Civic Union (33) Mario Negri
Radical Evolution (12) Rodrigo de Loredo
Civic Coalition (11) Juan Manuel López
Federal Encounter (4) Margarita Stolbizer
Production and Labour (2) Marcelo Orrego
Advance San Luis (1) Claudio Poggi
United Republicans (1) Ricardo López Murphy
Fatherland Now (1) Carlos Raúl Zapata
Independent Paula Omodeo
Federal (8)
(President: Alejandro "Topo" Rodríguez)
Federal Córdoba (3) Carlos Gutiérrez
Bonaerense Identity (3) Alejandro "Topo" Rodríguez
Socialist Party (2) Enrique Estévez
United Provinces (5)
(President: Luis Di Giacomo)
Together We Are Río Negro (2) Luis Di Giacomo
Misiones Front for Concord (2) Diego Sartori
Neuquén People's Movement (1) Rolando Figueroa
Workers' Left Front–Unity (3) Myriam Bregman
Avanza Libertad (2) José Luis Espert
La Libertad Avanza (2) Javier Milei
SER – We Are Energy to Renovate (2) Felipe Álvarez
Workers' PartyFIT–U (1) Romina del Plá
Source: hcdn.gob.ar (last update: 11 December 2021)

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.[1]

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.[2]

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

See also: List of presidents of the Argentine Chamber of Deputies

The President of the Chamber is elected by a majority of the Chamber's members. Traditionally, the presidency is held by a member of the party or alliance of the national executive, though exceptions have occurred, such as in 2001, when the peronist Eduardo Camaño was elected president of the Chamber during the presidency of the radical Fernando de la Rúa.[3] The officeholders for this post since 1983 have been:

President Party Term start Term end Province
Juan Carlos Pugliese UCR 29 November 1983 3 April 1989  Buenos Aires Province
Leopoldo Moreau UCR 26 April 1989 6 July 1989  Buenos Aires Province
Alberto Pierri PJ 6 July 1989 1 December 1999  Buenos Aires Province
Rafael Pascual UCR 1 December 1999 5 December 2001  City of Buenos Aires
Eduardo Camaño PJ 5 December 2001 6 December 2005  Buenos Aires Province
Alberto Balestrini PJFPV 6 December 2005 12 December 2007  Buenos Aires Province
Eduardo Fellner PJFPV 12 December 2007 6 December 2011  Jujuy
Julián Domínguez PJFPV 6 December 2011 4 December 2015  Buenos Aires Province
Emilio Monzó PROC 4 December 2015 10 December 2019  Buenos Aires Province
Sergio Massa FDT 10 December 2019 incumbent  Buenos Aires Province

Current authorities

Leadership positions include:

Title Officeholder Party Province
Chamber President Sergio Massa Frente de Todos  Buenos Aires Province
First Vice-President Omar De Marchi PROJuntos por el Cambio  Mendoza
Second Vice-President José Luis Gioja Frente de Todos  San Juan
Third Vice-President Julio Cobos UCRJuntos por el Cambio  Mendoza
Parliamentary Secretary Eduardo Cergnul
Administrative Secretary Rodrigo Rodríguez
Coordinating Secretary

See also

References

  1. ^ Honorable Senado de la Nación: Constitución Nacional Archived 2012-05-13 at the Wayback Machine (in Spanish)
  2. ^ Indec: Historia de los censos Archived 2016-05-09 at the Wayback Machine (in Spanish)
  3. ^ Domínguez, Juan José (14 October 2021). "Santoro dijo que la propuesta de Vidal de exigir "la Presidencia de la Cámara de Diputados no había ocurrido nunca"". Chequeado (in Spanish). Retrieved 18 December 2021.