Politics of Monaco

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The politics of Monaco take place within the framework of a constitutional monarchy, with the Prince of Monaco as head of state, with some powers devolved to several advisory and legislative bodies.


Historically, the princes of the ruling House of Grimaldi were autocrats of an absolute monarchy until the first Constitution of Monaco was adopted in 1911. A second constitution was granted by Prince Rainier III on December 17, 1962, outlining legislative, judicial, and executive branches of government, which consist of several administrative offices and a number of councils. The Prince as head of state retains most of the country's governing power; however, the principality's judicial and legislative bodies may operate independently of his control.

Government of Monaco

Executive branch

Main office holders
Office Name Party Since
Prince Albert II 6 April 2005
Acting Minister of State Gilles Tonelli Independent 16 December 2015
Minister of State-designate Serge Telle Independent 1 February 2016

The Council of Government is under the authority of the prince. The title and position of prince is hereditary, the minister of state appointed by the monarch from a list of three French or Monegasque national candidates presented by the French government. Until the 2002 amendment to the Monegasque constitution, only French nationals were eligible for the post. The prince is advised by the Crown Council of Monaco.

Legislative branch

The unicameral National Council (Conseil National) has 24 seats. The members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms. The Council can be disbanded by the Prince of Monaco provided that he hosts elections within 3 months. Uniquely, Monegasque legislators can be members of multiple political parties. Currently the administrative party, Horizon Monaco, (right-wing) holds 20 seats. The opposition party, Union Monégasque, (center) holds 3 seats. Renaissance represents the principality's largest employer SBM, and currently holds 1 seat.

Political parties and elections

Party Votes % Seats +/–
Horizon Monaco 56,472 50.34 20 +15
Union Monégasque 43,743 38.99 3 –11
Renaissance 11,964 10.67 1
Invalid/blank votes 222
Total 5,088 100 24 0
Registered voters/turnout 6,825 74.55
Source: Mairie de Monaco

Judicial branch

The supreme courts are the Judicial revision court (Cour de révision judiciaire), which hears civil and criminal cases (as well as some administrative cases), and the Supreme tribunal (tribunal suprême), which performs judicial review. Both courts are staffed by French judges (appointed among judges of French courts, members of the Conseil d'État and university professors).

Political Spectrum

Monacans tend to be more conservative due to their alignment with the Roman Catholic church. There are no official left-wing parties although Union Monégasque is considered the "most liberal".

Administrative divisions

There are no first-order administrative divisions in the principality, which is instead traditionally divided into four quarters (French: quartiers, singular quartier): Fontvieille, La Condamine, Monaco-Ville and Monte-Carlo, with the suburb Moneghetti (part of La Condamine) colloquially seen as an unofficial, fifth quarter. They have a joint Communal Council of Monaco.

The principality is, for administrative and official purposes, currently divided into ten wards:

LGBT rights and Abortion

Public attitudes in Monaco about LGBT rights and abortion tend to be influenced by the Catholic Church, although not a member of the European Union, Monaco also has strong ties to France, which has more liberal polices in these areas. Thus there is a mixture of both conservative and liberal attitudes in Monaco concerning these issues.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in Monaco may face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Both male and female same-sex sexual activity are legal in Monaco, when conducted in private between consenting adults. Cross-dressing is likewise not expressly illegal, but the law does not allow for transgender people to change their identity after gender reassignment surgery.

Monaco is scheduled to adopt anti-discrimination laws that will include "sexual orientation" as a protected category in areas such as employment, education, housing, health care, banking or public accommodations. Same-sex couples and households headed by same-sex couples are not eligible for any of the same legal protections available to opposite-sex married couples, although there has been some discussion in the Monaco parliament about offering same-sex couples limited legal protections under the cohabitation law. The French government provides for the nation's defense, which allows openly gay, lesbian, and bisexual people to serve.

Abortion in Monaco is only allowed in cases of rape, fetal deformity or illness, or fatal danger to the mother. The most recent abortion legislation was enacted on 8 April 2009; before then Monaco had one of the strictest abortion laws in Europe, only allowing the procedure if there was a risk of fatality for the mother.

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, Council of Europe.


External links