Politically, Catalonia is an Autonomous Region whose functions and powers are carried out in accordance with the Statute of Autonomy and the Spanish Constitution. Catalan self-government is structured around the institution of the Catalan regional government known as the Generalitat, the traditional system that was restored with the return of democracy in 1977. The Generalitat of Catalonia comprises three basic institutions: • The Parliament: which currently consists of 135 members elected in regional elections by the citizens of Catalonia through free, equal, direct, secret and universal suffrage. As the forum of political debate, its mission is to exercise legislative power, control the executive power and approve the Generalitat´s budgets. • The Presidency of the Government: this office is the highest representative of the Generalitat and an ordinary representative of the Spanish state in Catalonia. Elected by a majority vote of the Catalan Parliament at the proposal of the head of Parliament, the President´s primary function is to lead the government’s actions. • The Government or Executive Council: the upper collective body, presided and composed by the consellers or councillors; it directs the political action and the Administration of the Generalitat. The Generalitat is also made up of several control institutions, such as the Sindicatura de Greuges (which guarantees the rights of the citizens vis-à-vis the institutions), the Sindicatura de Comptes (responsible for monitoring the finances of the Catalan institutions) and the Consell de Garanties Estatutàries (designed to oversee the conformity of the Generalitat’s provisions with the Statute of Autonomy and the Constitution). The Statute recognises the Val d’Aran as having its own legal character which is embodied in a specific political organisation. This is the Conselh Generau, or General Council, a government institution which exercises its powers with complete autonomy.