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Travel & Tourism . Tourist Guide to the Country

Colombia Government




Colombia    Government Top of Page
Country name: conventional long form:  Republic of Colombia

conventional short form:  Colombia

local long form:  Republica de Colombia

local short form:  Colombia
Government type: republic; executive branch dominates government structure
Capital: Bogota
Administrative divisions: 32 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento) and 1 capital district* (distrito capital); Amazonas, Antioquia, Arauca, Atlantico, Bolivar, Boyaca, Caldas, Caqueta, Casanare, Cauca, Cesar, Choco, Cordoba, Cundinamarca, Guainia, Guaviare, Huila, La Guajira, Magdalena, Meta, Narino, Norte de Santander, Putumayo, Quindio, Risaralda, San Andres y Providencia, Distrito Capital de Santa Fe de Bogota*, Santander, Sucre, Tolima, Valle del Cauca, Vaupes, Vichada
Independence: 20 July 1810 (from Spain)
National holiday: Independence Day, 20 July (1810)
Constitution: 5 July 1991
Legal system: based on Spanish law; a new criminal code modeled after US procedures was enacted in 1992-93; judicial review of executive and legislative acts; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state:  President Andres PASTRANA (since 7 August 1998); Vice President Gustavo BELL Lemus (since 7 August 1998); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

head of government:  President Andres PASTRANA (since 7 August 1998); Vice President Gustavo BELL Lemus (since 7 August 1998); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

cabinet:  Cabinet Cabinet consists of a coalition of the two dominant parties - the PL and PSC - and independents

elections:  president elected by popular vote for a four-year term; election last held 31 May 1998 (next to be held NA May 2002); vice president elected by popular vote for a four-year term in a new procedure that replaces the traditional designation of vice presidents by newly elected presidents; election last held 31 May 1998 (next to be held NA May 2002)

election results:  no candidate received more than 50% of the total vote, therefore, a run-off election to select a president from the two leading candidates was held 21 June 1998; Andres PASTRANA elected president; percent of vote - 50.3%; Gustavo BELL elected vice president; percent of vote - 50.3%
Legislative branch: bicameral Congress or Congreso consists of the Senate or Senado (102 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms) and the House of Representatives or Camara de Representantes (163 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)

elections:  Senate - last held 8 March 1998 (next to be held NA March 2002); House of Representatives - last held 8 March 1998 (next to be held NA March 2002)

election results:  Senate - percent of vote by party - PL 50%, PSC 24%, smaller parties (many aligned with conservatives) 26%; seats by party - PL 58, PSC 28, smaller parties 16; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - PL 52%, PSC 17%, other 31%; seats by party - PL 98, PSC 52, indigenous parties 2, others 11
Judicial branch: four, coequal, supreme judicial organs; Supreme Court of Justice or Corte Suprema de Justical (highest court of criminal law; judges are selected from the nominees of the Higher Council of Justice for eight-year terms); Council of State (highest court of administrative law, judges are selected from the nominees of the Higher Council of Justice for eight-year terms); Constitutional Court (guards integrity and supremacy of the constitution, rules on constitutionality of laws, amendments to the constitution, and international treaties); Higher Council of Justice (administers and disciplines the civilian judiciary; members of the disciplinary chamber resolve jurisdictional conflicts arising between other courts; members are elected by three sister courts and Congress for eight-year terms)
Political parties and leaders: Conservative Party or PSC [Ciro RAMIREZ Anzon]; Liberal Party or PL [Luis Guillermo VELEZ]; Patriotic Union or UP is a legal political party formed by Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia or FARC and Colombian Communist Party or PCC [Jaime CAICEDO]; 19 of April Movement or M-19 [Antonio NAVARRO Wolff]
Political pressure groups and leaders: two largest insurgent groups active in Colombia - National Liberation Army or ELN and Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia or FARC; largest paramilitary group is United Self-Defense Groups of Colombia or AUC
International organization participation: BCIE, CAN, Caricom (observer), CCC, CDB, ECLAC, FAO, G- 3, G-11, G-24, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, LAES, LAIA, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, RG, UN, UN Security Council (temporary), UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNU, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission:  Ambassador Luis Alberto MORENO Mejia

chancery:  2118 Leroy Place NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone:  [1] (202) 387-8338

FAX:  [1] (202) 232-8643

consulate(s) general:  Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco, San Juan (Puerto Rico), and Washington, DC

consulate(s):  Atlanta
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission:  Ambassador Anne W. PATTERSON

embassy:  Calle 22D-BIS, numbers 47-51, Apartado Aereo 3831

mailing address:  Carrera 45 #22D-45, Bogota, D.C., APO AA 34038

telephone:  [57] (1) 315-0811

FAX:  [57] (1) 315-2197
Flag description: three horizontal bands of yellow (top, double-width), blue, and red; similar to the flag of Ecuador, which is longer and bears the Ecuadorian coat of arms superimposed in the center

 

Countryfacts Information Courtesy: CIA Worldbook








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