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Constitution

Plaid Cymru – the Party of Wales

1: Name

The party shall be called 'Plaid Cymru - The Party of Wales' (hereinafter also called “the Party”).

2: Aims

As the National Party of Wales, the Party’s aims shall be:

2.1
To secure independence for Wales in Europe.

2.2
To ensure economic prosperity, social justice and the health of the natural environment, based on decentralist socialism.

2.3
To build a national community based on equal citizenship, respect for different traditions and cultures and the equal worth of all individuals, whatever their race, nationality, gender, colour, creed, sexuality, age, ability or social background. These are the Party’s core values.

2.4
To create a bilingual society by promoting the revival of the Welsh language.

2.5
To promote Wales’s contribution to the global community and to attain membership of the United Nations.

3: Methods

3.1
Plaid Cymru - The Party of Wales shall pursue its aims by means of political activity, democratically organised by members of the party freely associating together according to the provisions of this Constitution.

3.2
All the party’s activities shall be conducted in a manner consistent with the principle of equality of opportunity for all members.

4: Membership

4.1
Procedures governing applications to become a member of Plaid Cymru - The Party of Wales and the renewal of membership for those legally entitled to be members of political parties in Wales, are described in the Standing Orders for Membership, Standards & Discipline.

4.2
The following principles shall govern those Standing Orders:

4.2i
A member agrees to further the aims of the party as described in this Constitution

4.2ii
A member shall not be a member of any other political organisation contesting elections in opposition to Plaid Cymru - The Party of Wales

4.2iii
A member agrees to abide by the Constitution and Standing Orders of the party.

4.2iv
A member shall pay the annual membership fee, as determined from time to time by the National Council.

4.2v
A member shall have been accepted into membership by the appropriate body as defined in Standing Orders

4.3
Any applicant for membership or for renewal of membership who is denied such membership shall have a right of appeal as described in Standing Orders for Membership, Standards & Discipline.

5: Discipline

5.1
Disciplinary measures may be taken against a member by the appropriate body defined in Standing Orders where a member no longer complies with the requirements of paragraph 4, or whose behaviour is otherwise damaging to the party.

5.2
Any member so disciplined shall have a right of appeal as described in Standing Orders for Membership, Standards & Discipline.

6: Principal Levels of Local Organisation

6.1
The primary level of organisation for the party shall be the Constituency which shall be responsible for the party's activity within its defined area of operation.

6.2
Constituencies shall be coterminous with the boundaries of the single member constituencies of the National Assembly for Wales.

6.3
Branches may be established by the Constituency Committee.

6.4
Each Constituency and Branch shall conduct its affairs according to the party's Constitution and Standing Orders and shall have the necessary arrangements in place to conform with the registration and accounting requirements of current legislation.

7: Constituency Committees

7.1
A Constituency Committee shall be formed for each current National Assembly Constituency.

7.2
Such committees shall be elected from amongst the membership in accordance with the Standing Orders for Constituencies, which shall have as a minimum requirement the need for each recognised branch within the constituency to be represented.

7.3
The conduct of Constituency Committees is described in the Standing Orders for Constituencies

7.4
Constituency Committees shall be responsible within their areas for:

7.4i
Co-ordinating the party's political strategy, electoral and campaigning activities, recruitment and retention of members, political education, policy development and debate.

7.4ii
Developing the Branch network as appropriate and helping weaker Branches within its area.

7.4iii
Supporting the work of the Branches within the Constituency, including their work in fundraising, social events, local campaigns and maintenance of voter recognition and campaigning software

7.5
Each Constituency Committee shall pay an annual affiliation fee to the Party.

7.6
A branch operating outside of the borders of Wales may apply to the National Executive Committee for designation as a constituency/branch.

8: Branches

8.1
Constituency Committees may, and are encouraged to recognise, establish, develop and support a network of branches that provide locally rooted mechanisms for the delivery of the political strategy including such aspects as income generation and close identification with the electorate.

8.2
Such branches will normally, but not exclusively be based on individual electoral wards or combinations of wards.

8.3
The characteristics which would enable a Constituency Committee to recognise a Branch will include the following requirements:

8.3i
A Branch will have at least 10 current members, as recorded by the party's National Office

8.3ii
A Branch will have paid the current registration fee as set by National Council.

8.4
The Constituency Committee may set additional criteria for recognition of branches based on the operational and political strategies it adopts, subject to agreement by the National Executive.

8.5
The conduct of Branches is described in the Standing Orders for Branches

9: County Committees

9.1
In those areas of Wales where Constituency Committees are not coterminous with the boundaries of Unitary Authorities, a County Committee shall be formed encompassing representatives of branches within the geographical area of the County or County Borough Council.

9.2
The primary purpose of these committees shall be to provide both support and scrutiny to elected councillors and to identify core policy areas within the remit of the Local Authority which can form the basis of local campaigning by branches and constituencies

9.3
These committees shall operate in accordance with the Standing Orders for County Committees.

10: National Assembly Electoral Regions

10.1
The National Executive Committee shall make such arrangements as it considers appropriate for the organisation of regional list elections, the creation of campaign teams and for liaison between any members elected from the list and the membership in the region.

10.2
The arrangements need not be the same for all regions provided that each region shall have one clearly identified person, operating with the authority of the National Executive, carrying responsibility to lead on these matters.

11: National Sections

11.1
Members of the party wishing to cater for specific interests may form sections, which may apply to the National Council for recognition as official National Sections of the party.

11.2
The National Council may recognise official National Sections where National Council has agreed the Constitution and Standing Orders by which the Section abides.

11.3
The status of Official National Sections shall be reviewed each year in the Annual General Meeting of National Council.

11.4
All Official Sections will submit an annual report in the internal session at the Conference.

11.5
If the members of the Section resolve to wind up a Section by a resolution of the appropriate authority of that Section, the outgoing chair will inform the Chief Executive of its decision and all the resources of the Section will be transferred to the party nationally.

11.6
The National Council may resolve to abolish any Section, and upon doing so all the resources of the Section abolished will be transferred to the party nationally.

12: National Council

12.1
There shall be a National Council which shall be responsible for:

12.1i
Confirming the party's strategy following proposals by the National Executive.

12.1ii
Agreeing the membership of the National Policy Forum and debating policy initiatives.

12.1iii
Approving the party's election manifestos.

12.1iv
Implementing any decisions which the Conference has directed to it.

12.1v
Other such functions attributed to it elsewhere in this Constitution and Standing Orders.

12.2
The conduct and constitution of National Council are described in the Standing Orders for National Council.

13: National Executive Committee

13.1
There shall be a National Executive Committee which shall be responsible for

13.1i
Agreeing the strategic and political direction of the party and presenting it for approval to the National Council

13.1ii
Ensuring that decisions of Conference and National Council are implemented.

13.1iii
Managing the party’s organisation and finances.

13.1iv
Scrutinising the work all individuals and teams charged with the implementation of the strategy.

13.1v
Organising and directing national campaigns.

13.1vi
The employment and direction of staff.

13.1vii
The ownership and management of the party's national assets.

13.2
The conduct and constitution of National Executive are described in the Standing Orders for National Executive.

14: Leader’s Team

14.1
There shall be a Leader’s Team which shall be responsible for overseeing the day-to-day political tactics of the Party and the executive implementation of the Party’s strategy.

14.2
The Leader’s Team shall include:

• The Leader of the Party
• The Chair of the Party
• The Parliamentary Leader
• The European Parliamentary Leader
• The Chief Executive (non-voting)

14.3
The Leader’s Team may co-opt further members on a temporary or permanent basis subject to ratification by the National Executive.

14.4
Full minutes of the Leader’s Team will be prepared and circulated to the National Executive, and be subject to the NEC’s scrutiny via the Leader.

15: Conference

15.1
Conference shall be the highest authority of the party and as such will be open to all members.

15.2
Conference shall be responsible for:

15.2i
Determining the party's policy

15.2ii
Electing National Officers

15.3
The conduct and constitution of Conference are described in the Standing Orders for Conference.

16: National Officers

16.1
The party shall have National Officers as described in 16.3 below, elected according to the Rules for the Election of National Officers, in order to fulfil the functions described in the National Officers’ Job Descriptions

16.2
It is the aim of the party that it should have a gender balanced list of National Officers

16.3

16.3i
Leader: The Leader shall be the Leader of the Party’s group in the National Assembly

16.3ii
Chair: The Chair shall take responsibility for internal party machinery and for representing the voice of the members

16.3.iii
Deputy Chair. A Deputy Chair may be elected by members of the National Executive Committee from amongst its members. When the Chair is a man, the Deputy shall be a woman and vice versa. The role of Deputy Chair shall be additional to the role by which the person is a member of the NEC.

16.3iv
Regional Representatives: There shall be 10 Regional Representatives – two from each Electoral Region elected having due regard to gender balance

16.3v
Treasurer

16.3vi
Directors. Conference shall elect a number of Directors, each responsible for a defined field of activity agreed by National Council

16.3vii
Chair of Steering Committee

16.4
Conference may also elect an Honorary President following nomination by the National Executive, in recognition of distinguished service to the party.

17: Standing Orders and Rules

17.1
The National Executive Committee shall draw up and maintain Standing Orders and Rules covering the following

17.1i
The conduct and constitution of all bodies referred to in this Constitution

17.1ii
Approving membership, including provision for discipline and standards

17.1iii
Selection of candidates to stand at any election in the name of the party

17.1iv
Conduct of the party’s elected members and groups at all levels of government

17.1v
Job descriptions for national officers of the party and any other roles it may consider necessary

17.1vi
Any other aspect of the party’s activity which it considers necessary or appropriate

17.2
All such Rules shall be based on the principles laid down in this Constitution

17.3
All such Rules shall be submitted to the National Council for amendment and/or adoption

17.4
The Standing Orders of Conference shall be laid down and changed only by Conference in its role as the highest authority of the party, as laid down in clause 15 of this Constitution.

17.5
All of the above sets of rules and Standing Orders in 17.1 above may be amended by simple majority of those present and voting in the appropriate approving body.

17.6
All Standing Orders and Rules referred to above shall have the same status as if they were incorporated in this Constitution, and will be binding on the structures and procedures of the party to which they refer. The only feature of them that differs from the main body of the Constitution is the process for drafting and Amendment.

17.7
In the event of any conflict between such Standing Orders or Rules and this Constitution the interpretation set out in this Constitution shall prevail

18: Amending the Constitution

18.1
This Constitution may not be changed except by a vote of at least two-thirds of the delegates present and voting at Conference.

19: Interpretation

19.1
In the event of any discrepancy between the Welsh and English versions of this Constitution or of the documents referred to in 16 above, the version first drafted shall be preferred. Each document shall identify in a footnote the language in which it was first drafted.

19.2
Should any question arise regarding the interpretation of the Constitution or the documents referred to in 17 above, the chair of the meeting (or between meetings, the Chair of the party) shall adjudicate on the question and his or her adjudication shall be final unless a motion is passed requiring the person to vacate the Chair. All such adjudications shall be reported to the National Executive, which shall propose action to remove any ambiguity.

20: Emergencies

20.1
In the event of an emergency where there is a need to act quickly in the interests of the party, the National Executive Committee shall have the power to make temporary amendments to any of the party’s standing orders.

20.2
A simple majority of the members of the National Executive Committee, voting either at a formal meeting or by any other means outside of a meeting shall be enough to determine that an emergency exists, and to agree on any necessary changes.

20.3
The National Executive Committee must submit a report of any decisions made under this clause to the next meeting of the National Council.

*This document was originally drafted in English