1990 Colombian Constitutional Assembly election

Constitutional Assembly elections were held in Colombia on 9 December 1990 alongside a referendum on the Assembly itself.[1][2] The Assembly sat from February to July 1991 and drew up the 1991 constitution.

BackgroundEdit

After the murder of presidential candidate Luis Carlos Galán in August 1989, students started a movement calling for a referendum "for peace and democracy" to be held on 21 January 1990.[3] However, under pressure from drug cartels, the government rejected the proposal. The students then set up the "We can still save Colombia" movement, which called for a referendum alongside the general elections on 11 March 1990 on establishing a Constitutional Assembly. The referendum saw 2,235,493 voted in favour and 117,000 vote against.[3]

Following the unofficial referendum, President Virgilio Barco Vargas issued decree 927 on 3 May calling a referendum on electing a Constitutional Assembly alongside the presidential elections on 27 May.[4] Although this was in violation of article 218 of the constitution, which gave Congress sole rights to reform the constitution, the referendum was approved by the Supreme Court.[4]

After 95% of voters approved of the election of the Assembly, elections were set for December. However, new President César Gaviria chose to reinforce the legitimacy of the Assembly by holding a second referendum on its election.[5] Only those who voted "yes" in the referendum could then cast a vote for the Assembly.[4]

The Assembly was elected by proportional representation in a single nationwide constituency.[6]

ResultsEdit

Constitutional AssemblyEdit

PartyVotes%Seats
Colombian Liberal Party1,070,19329.0324
19th of April Movement992,61326.9319
National Salvation Movement574,41115.5811
Colombian Conservative Party423,77511.509
Christian Union Movement115,2013.132
Patriotic Union95,0882.582
United Student Movement64,7111.761
National Indigenous Organization of Colombia31,7830.861
Movement for a New Country for the Children24,6250.671
Indigenous Authorities of Colombia22,4430.611
Metapolitical Unitary Movement20,2250.550
Socialist Workers' Party5,1530.140
Independents208,1345.650
Blank votes37,7351.02
Reserved seats for guerrilla groups4
Total3,686,090100.0075
Valid votes3,686,09099.34
Invalid votes24,4670.66
Total votes3,710,557100.00
Registered voters/turnout14,237,11026.06
Source: Nohlen

Following the elections, four seats were given to guerrilla groups; two to the Popular Liberation Army, one to the Movimiento Armado Quintin Lame and one to the Workers Revolutionary Party.[7]

ReferendumEdit

Choice Votes %
For 2,988,963 97.58
Against 74,055 2.42
Invalid/blank votes
Total 3,710,557 100
Registered voters/turnout 14,237,110 26.06
Source: Direct Democracy

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Elections and Events 1990-1994 UC San Diego
  2. ^ Colombia, 9 December 1990: Election of a Constitutional Assembly Direct Democracy (in German)
  3. ^ a b Colombia, 11 March 1990 Direct Democracy (in German)
  4. ^ a b c Colombia, 27 May 1990: Election of a Constitutional Assembly Direct Democracy (in German)
  5. ^ Anita Breuer (2007) Institutions of Direct Democracy and Accountability in Latin America’s Presidential Democracies Democratization, Vol 14, No 4, August 2007, pp 554–579
  6. ^ Dieter Nohlen (2005) Elections in the Americas: A data handbook, Volume II, p320 ISBN 978-0-19-928358-3
  7. ^ Nohlen, p321