|First Deputy Prime Minister of Spain
Vicepresidente Primero del Gobierno de España
|Government of Spain|
Council of Ministers
|Residence||Semillas Building, Palacio de la Moncloa|
|Nominator||The Prime Minister|
Countersigned by the Prime Minister of Spain
|Term length||No fixed term|
No term limits are imposed on the office.
|Constituting instrument||Constitution of 1978|
|Formation||3 October 1840|
|First holder||Joaquín María Ferrer|
|Unofficial names||Deputy Prime Minister of Spain|
The First Deputy Prime Minister of Spain, officially First Vice President of the Government of Spain, (Spanish: Vicepresidente Primero del Gobierno de España) is the second in command to the Prime Minister of Spain, assuming its duties when the Prime Minister is absent or incapable of exercising power.
The person for the post is usually handpicked by the Prime Minister from the members of the Cabinet and appointed by the Monarch before whom it takes oath. When there are more than one Deputy Prime Minister, they are typically called First Deputy Prime Minister, Second Deputy Prime Minister, etc, though alternative names have also been used (i.e. Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, Deputy Prime Minister for Territorial Policy, etc.). The Headquarters of the Deputy Prime Minister's Office is the Semillas Building, in La Moncloa Complex.
The office of Deputy Prime Minister, like the premiership, dates back to the 19th century. A part of the doctrine considers that the creation of the office was in 1925, after the dictator Miguel Primo de Rivera ended with the military government and establish a civil government. However, the historical evidences prove that between 1840 and 1841 the office already existed under the name of Vice President of the Council of Ministers, holding this position the future prime minister Joaquín María Ferrer. After Deputy Prime Minister Ferrer, the office was not used again or was collected by any Constitution or subsequent law until the 20th century.
Assuming the objectives for which the Military Directorate was created were completed, Primo de Rivera transformed the Government of Spain into a civil government in 1925, reestablishing the Council of Ministers, the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and re-creating the Vice Presidency, whose objective was to replace to the president in cases of absence or illness. This vice-president, said article 3 of the Royal Decree, was appointed by the president from among the members of the Council of Ministers. The Vice Presidency was vested in the Under Secretary of the Interior, Severiano Martínez Anido, who combined the position with that of Interior Minister.
With the resignation of Primo de Rivera and the fall of the monarchy, the Second Republic was established in Spain, which did not foresee at any time the existence of this position, however, in December 1933, Prime Minister Lerroux appointed Diego Martínez Barrio Vice President of the Council of Ministers, a position to which he resigned only three months later.
At the same time as the Presidency, the Vice Presidency changed its name with the Law of January 30, 1938 to Vice Presidency of the Government and, with the formation of the first Franco government, this position was granted to general Francisco Gómez-Jordana Sousa. From 1938 to 1981 the position was occupied by military officials, with the exception of the vice presidents Torcuato Fernández Miranda (1973-1973) and José García Hernández (1974-1975). Since 1981, with a democracy markedly established in society, Prime Minister Calvo-Sotelo appointed a civilian as Deputy, definitively separating the military power from the executive power, a situation that remains today.
As of November 2020, there are ten living former Spanish Deputy Prime Ministers:
Rodolfo Martín Villa
In office: 1981-1982
In office: 1982-1991
In office: 1991-1995
In office: 1996-2000
In office: 2000-2003
In office: 2003-2004
María Teresa Fernández de la Vega
In office: 2004-2010
In office: 2011
Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría
In office: 2011-2018
The most recent Deputy Prime Minister to die was Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba (served 2010-2011) on 10 May 2019, aged 67.