The Senate is “the Chamber for territorial representation” according to Sect. 69, subs.1, of the Constitution, elected for a four-year mandate (like Congress) and it consists of two categories (said Section, subss. 2 to 5):
- Directly elected” senators (i.e. elected by the people) in the 50 provinces making up the Spanish territory, each of them being an electoral constituency under the Constitution, and in the cities of Ceuta and Melilla. Each continental province (that is to say excluding the Balearic and the Canary Islands and the two aforesaid cities), Madrid of course among them, elects 4 (four) senators.
- “Indirectly elected” senators, i.e. those elected by each of the 17 regional Assemblies, all of these being entitled to one senator and each of them to one additional senator for every million of residents in the respective self-governing Region.
As the Community of Madrid (a one-province Community) already has more than 6,000,000 (six million) inhabitants, it sends a total 11 (eleven) senators, 4 of them by direct election, the remaining 7 by indirect election.
Senators elected by Regional Communities (i.e. “indirectly elected”).
The Constitution does not lay down any specific requirement, condition or procedure as to who may or may not be elected -and exactly how in the affirmative case- as senator by regional asemblies; more over, it explicitly leaves this point to each Devolution Statute by saying (Sect. 69, subs.5) “The appointment shall be made by the Legislative Assembly........in the manner provided for in the Statutes...”.
In the specific case of Madrid, the Statute of Devolution (Sects. 12, subs. 2. paragr. g, and 16, subs. 3. paragr. i) makes it a mandatory condition for election as senator by and on behalf of the Assembly to be already a member thereof. This means that in the Madrid Community, contrary to the position in other self-governing Communities:
Nobody can become “autonomous” senator without being a member of the Assembly on the date of election, and that
If the senator ceases to be a member of the regional Assembly for asny reason whatsoever, he (or she) autmatically loses his (or her) seat as senator.
The maximum delay to elect “autonomous” senators is one month from the date on which the Assembly has held its opening or inaugural sitting.
The appointment is conducted according to the provisions of Sect. 225 of the Assembly’s Rules of Procedure, in the following stages:
Parliamentary groups send their proposals, i.e. their lists of candidates to the Bureau of the House, on a proportional representation basis, that is to say, no group is allowed to put forward more candidates in proportion to the total number allocated to the regional Assembly than the number resulting from the percentage of the group’s members to the Assembly’s total membership.
The Bureau examines the groups proposals
The Bureau submits to the full House the final list of candidates.
The Plenum votes on the list as a whole.
The Speaker delivers their credentials to senators so elected
The Speaker formally sends the names of senators so elected to the Speaker of the Senate.