Election of the Captains Regent
Since 1945, the Captains Regent are directly elected by the Great and General Council (Parliament) during a sitting convened in March and September of each year. Each member of Parliament (Councillor) writes two names on a card. The pair of names that obtains an absolute majority of votes is elected.
Throughout the centuries, various systems were adopted for the election of the Captains Regent: in the early days they were elected by twelve Councillors; from 1483 to 1945, their election was generally determined by fate, since some pairs of Councillors, considered suitable to perform this delicate mandate, were chosen within the Council and among these the two new Captains Regent were drawn by lot.
Today, the Captains Regent are chosen by the political majority forming the Government coalition. On the contrary, in the past there were no political parties (which, in San Marino, started to be present within the Council only after 1906) and therefore the Captains Regent were elected according to the social class to which they belonged. The Statutes of 1600s established that the Council be made up of 40 Councillors coming from the Land of San Marino (i.e. residing in San Marino Città, the capital, or in Borgo Maggiore), and 20 coming from other areas of San Marino. These were the two classes making up the Council. From the seventeenth century onwards, however, it became customary to divide up the Council into three classes of 20 Councillors each: the noble class, composed of the members of San Marino wealthiest, cultured and influential families, the landowner class, i.e. the inhabitants of San Marino Città and Borgo Maggiore, who were not noble, and the peasant class, i.e. the inhabitants of San Marino countryside. The Captains Regent were elected on the basis of their belonging to one or another class, however one of them always came from the noble class, as this guaranteed the possession of skills, especially cultural, necessary to govern the Republic with competence and to maintain relations with the outside.
At the end of the election of the Captains Regent during the special sitting, their proclamation takes place. The Minister of Internal Affairs, preceded by three blasts on the trumpet, reads the following ritual formula from the balcony of the Government Building:
«By order of Their Excellencies the Captains Regent, I announce to the people of the free Land of San Marino that the Great and General Council, in its sitting of today, relying on the assistance of our glorious Patron, for the health and freedom of our old Republic, elected Captains Regent for the semester ..... ».
For more information: www.reggenzadellarepubblica.sm
Law no 15 of 24 march 1945 Reform of the system of election of the Captains Regen