State and politics
According to the Constitution, the President of France
and the Spanish bishop of Urgel are still the country's
heads of state, but their positions are essentially formal.
The legislative power lies with a Parliament, the General
Council (Consell General), whose 28 members are elected in
general elections every four years. The Executive holds the
Government, which is responsible to the General Council. The
Head of Government (Cap de Govern) appoints other members of
government, who may not simultaneously be members of the
Only in 1993 were political parties allowed in Andorra.
Also see AbbreviationFinder for abbreviation of AD and its meanings of Andorra. General elections to Parliament were held later that year.
The policy was dominated during the 1990s and most of the
first decade of the 2000s by the Andorra Liberal Party (PLA),
which was government-led in 1994–97, 1997–2001, 2001–05, and
2005–09. In the 2009 election, the Social Democratic Party (PSD),
led by Jaume Bartumeu, prevailed after voting on promises of
reforms of Andorra's tax system and financial sector rules,
with the aim of creating a more diverse economy and washing
away the country's reputation of being a tax haven. The
Bartumeu government, however, lacked a majority in
Parliament and therefore failed to push through its budget,
leading to re-election in 2011. The election became a major
victory for the newly formed Party of Democrats for Andorra
(DA), which received 55 percent of the vote. DA's leader
AntonÝ Marti was appointed new Prime Minister. The party was
formed through a merger of the PLA and the Christian
Democratic Party New Center as well as some defunct Social
Democrats. The DA retained government power even after the
2015 election, despite the party backing by just over 15
Since 1993 Andorra has been a member of the UN and of the
Council of Europe. In 1994, cooperation agreements were
signed with both France and Spain. Andorra has a customs
union with the EU since 1991 and since 2005 a cooperation
agreement with the EU that regulates other areas such as
education, transport and the environment.
The basis of the legal system consists of Roman law and
customary law, as it was written down in the 18th century.
It is closely related to Catalan customary law. Andorra has
different courts for litigation and criminal cases. In
litigation, the plaintiff may, in his or her own choice,
bring an action either at Batlle franšais or
Batlle episcopal, appointed by the respective regent.
The appellate judge is alternately appointed by one of the
regents for a five-year term. The third and last instance is
in France (Perpignan) or with the bishop of Urgel, also in
this instance according to the appeal of the appellant. The
death penalty was abolished in 1990; the last execution took
place in 1943.