Electoral process

Political formations

Section 6 of the Spanish Constitution establishes that:

"Political parties are the expression of political pluralism they contribute to the formation and expression of the will of the people and are a fundamental instrument for political participation. Their creation and the exercise of their activities are free in so far as they respect the Constitution and the Law. Their internal structure and operation must be democratic".

Additionally, article 44 of the Organic Law on the General Electoral System (henceforth, LOREG) establishes the different types of formation that may concur in an electoral process:

  • Parties and Federations registered in the corresponding Registry
  • Electoral Coalitions.
  • Groups of Voters.

Organic Law 6/2002, of 27 June, on Political Parties, establishes that "political parties may form and register federations, confederations and unified parties in compliance with the provisions of this chapter and by prior express agreement of the competent institutions".

Political parties are private bodies with an associative base that forms an essential part of the constitutional architecture and grants them a certain institutional guarantee, the organisation and operation of which must be democratic and in compliance with the Constitution and its Laws.

Their ultimate goal is to combine convictions and efforts so as to influence in the democratic direction of public issues, in addition to contributing to institutional functioning and promoting changes and improvements in the course of their political mandates.

They are governed by the principle of Freedom, which has three dimensions:

  • Positive creative freedom ("Spanish citizens may freely create political parties under the provisions of the Constitution and the current Organic Law").
  • Positive freedom of affiliation ("Affiliation to a political party is free and voluntary").
  • Negative associative or participative freedom ("No one can be forced to form, join or remain in a party").


- Organic Law 5/1985 (Ley Orgánica 5/1985), of 19 June, on the General Electoral System.

- Organic Law 1/2002 (Ley Orgánica 1/2002), regulating the Right of Association.

- Organic Law 6/2002 (Ley Orgánica 6/2002), of 27 June, on Political Parties.

- Organic Law 3/1987 (Ley Orgánica 3/1987), of 2 July, on the Financing of Political Parties.

- Organic Law 2/2011 (Ley Orgánica 2/2011), of 28 January, modifying Organic Law 5/1985 (Ley Orgánica 5/1985), of 19 June, on the General Election Regime.

- Organic Law 3/2011 (Ley Orgánica 3/2011), of 28 January, modifying Organic Law 5/1985 (Ley Orgánica 5/1985), of 19 June, on the General Election Regime.

- Royal Decree 2281/1976 (Real Decreto 2281/1976), of 16 September, regulating the Registration of Political Associations.

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