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. 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.
Whilst the referendum campaign remained unofficial, it was encouraged by the Ministry of Government. Voters cast votes with six ballots for various levels of government. The campaign encouraged them to add a seventh ballot, "la séptima papeleta", with their referendum vote on it.
The campaign was marked by violence from left- and right-wing paramilitary groups linked to drug cartels. Several politicians were killed. Two days before the election the 19th of April Movement signed a peace treaty with the government and participated in the elections.
|Colombian Liberal Party||4,470,853||58.54||66||+8|
|Social Conservative Party||2,383,363||31.21||38||–5|
|Conservative National Movement||147,953||1.94||1||New|
|Colombian Communist Party||35,274||0.46||0||New|
|Metapolitical Unitary Movement||23,264||0.30||0||New|
|National Popular Alliance||492||0.01||0||New|
|Coalitions of parties||358,246||4.69||7||–|
Chamber of RepresentativesEdit
|Colombian Liberal Party||4,500,985||59.12||119||+21|
|Social Conservative Party||2,381,898||31.28||62||–18|
|Conservative National Movement||148,046||1.94||3||New|
|Metapolitical Unitary Movement||22,571||0.30||0||New|
|National Popular Alliance||601||0.01||0||New|
|Coalitions of parties||301,659||3.96||10||–|
|Source: Direct Democracy|
Following the unofficial referendum, President Virgilio Barco Vargas issued decree 927 on 3 May calling for a referendum on electing a Constitutional Assembly alongside the presidential elections on 27 May. 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. The Assembly was elected in December 1990, and produced the 1991 constitution.
- Elections in 1990 IPU
- Colombia, 11 March 1990 Direct Democracy (in German)
- Elections and Events 1990-1994 UC San Diego
- Dieter Nohlen (2005) Elections in the Americas: A data handbook, Volume II, pp333–346 ISBN 978-0-19-928358-3
- Colombia, 27 May 1990: Election of a Constitutional Assembly Direct Democracy (in German)