Politics of Colombia

The politics of Colombia take place in a framework of a presidential representative democratic republic, whereby the President of Colombia is both head of state and head of government, and of a multi-party system. Executive power is carried out by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the two chambers of congress, the Senate and the House of Representatives of Colombia. The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature.

The Economist Intelligence Unit rated Colombia a "flawed democracy" in 2022.[1][2]

Constitutional reformsEdit

Colombia's present constitution, enacted on July 5, 1991, strengthened the administration of justice with the provision for introduction of an adversarial system which ultimately is to entirely replace the existing Napoleonic Code. Other significant reforms[3] under the new constitution provide for civil divorce, dual nationality, the election of a vice president, and the election of departmental governors. The constitution expanded citizens' basic rights, including that of "tutela," under which an immediate court action can be requested by individuals feeling that their constitutional rights are being violated and if there is no other legal recourse.

The national government has separate executive, legislative, and judicial branches.

Executive branchEdit

The president is elected for a single four-year term. Between 2005 and 2015, the president could be re-elected for a second term. The 1991 constitution reestablished the position of vice president, who is elected on the same ticket as the president. By law, the vice president will succeed in the event of the president's resignation, illness, or death.

Since 2015, the president is barred from running for reelection, even for a nonconsecutive term.[4]

Legislative branchEdit

Colombia's bicameral Congress consists of a 108-member Senate of Colombia and a 172-member Chamber of Representatives of Colombia. Senators are elected on the basis of a nationwide ballot, while representatives are elected in multi member districts co-located within the 32 national departments. The country's capital is a separate capital district and elects its own representatives. Members may be re-elected indefinitely, and, in contrast to the previous system, there are no alternate congressmen. Congress meets twice a year, and the president has the power to call it into special session when needed.

Political parties and electionsEdit

2018 Presidential electionEdit

Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Center   Iván Duque 4,044,509 67.76%
Independent   Marta Lucía Ramírez 1,538,882 25.78%
La Patria de Pie   Alejandro Ordóñez 385,110 6.45%
Source: Semana

Duque won the nomination, and following his victory, he selected the runner-up, Ramírez, to be the alliance's vice presidential nominee.[5]

2018 Legislative ElectionEdit


{{#section-h:2018 Colombian par

Chamber of RepresentativesEdit

Colombian Liberal Party2,447,29816.5335
Democratic Center2,380,29016.0832
Radical Change2,141,10814.4730
Social Party of National Unity1,824,57012.3325
Colombian Conservative Party1,802,89412.1821
Green Alliance880,3545.959
Independent Movement of Absolute Renovation576,9983.901
Alternative Democratic Pole438,2832.962
Citizen Option307,4782.082
List of Decency Coalition (ASIUPMAIS)260,7121.762
Fair and Free Colombia191,1091.291
Partido Somos159,9671.080
Independent Social Alliance Movement109,2580.740
Alternative Santandereana Coalition (AVPDAASI)70,5020.481
List of Decency Coalition (UPMAIS)48,3180.330
Indigenous and Social Alternative Movement43,7760.301
Patriotic Union42,1140.280
Common Alternative Revolutionary Force33,9510.235
Todos Somos Colombia16,2710.110
Indigenous Authorities of Colombia11,0820.070
Regional Integration Movement3,1230.020
Vice-presidential runner-up1
Blank votes815,5025.51
Valid votes14,801,29886.95
Invalid votes2,222,41113.05
Total votes17,023,709100.00
Registered voters/turnout36,025,31847.25
Afro-Colombian seats
C.C. Ancestral De Comunidades Negras Playa Renaciente32,2438.121
Consejo Comunitario La Mamuncia25,4286.401
C.C. De La Comunidad Negra De La Plata Bahía Málaga17,4774.400
Consejo Comunitario Del Rio Yurumangui14,0483.540
C.C. De Comun. Negras Palenque Vda. Las Trescientas Y Mun. Galapa13,1223.300
Consejo Comunitario Mayor De Certegui11,3402.860
Consejo Comunitario De Alejandro Duran Diaz8,6042.170
Todos Somos Colombia7,5781.910
Corporación Poder Ciudadano7,0481.780
Consejo Comunitario Renacer Negro6,4141.620
Consejo Comunitario Bocas Del Atrato Y Leoncito4,2191.060
Consejo Comunitario Ma Kankamana De San Basilio De Palenque4,1791.050
C.C. De La Comunidad Negra De La Calle Larga Rio Dagua3,5390.890
C.C. De Los Corregimientos De San Antonio Y El Castillo3,4370.870
Consejo Comunitario Los Andes3,3910.850
C. C. De La Comun. Negra De Tierra Baja Mi Territorio Ancestral3,3250.840
Consejo Comunitario Veredas Unidas Un Bien Común3,2010.810
Consejo Comunitario Imbilpi Del Carmen2,7110.680
Consejo Comunitario De La Comunidad Negra De Limones2,6180.660
Consejo Comunitario Tablon Salado2,2250.560
Fund. Afrocolombiana Liberal De Desarrollo Social (Afrocodes)2,1620.540
Kusuto Magende Cokumalu De Luruaco2,1360.540
Consejo Comunitario De Las Baras1,9890.500
Consejo Comunitario De Comunidades Negras Obatala1,7660.440
Cuenca Del Rio Iscuande1,6670.420
Org. Social De Comunidades Negras "Nelson Mandela"1,6190.410
Consejo Comunitario De Comunidades Negras Santo Domingo1,5050.380
C.C. General Del Río Baudó Y Sus Afluentes "Acaba"1,4280.360
Blank votes206,63552.04
Indigenous seat
Indigenous and Social Alternative Movement99,18225.681
Indigenous Authorities of Colombia45,35811.750
Taita Zipa Foundation2,6100.680
Casiyouren Traditional Authority1,9460.500
Blank votes228,48859.17
Source: MOE, MOE
  1. ^ The Raizal seat was not filled.

Judicial branchEdit

The civilian judiciary is a separate and independent branch of government. Guidelines and the general structure for Colombia's administration of justice are set out in Law 270 of March 7, 1996. Colombia's legal system has recently begun to incorporate some elements of an oral, accusatory system. The judicial branch's general structure is composed of four distinct jurisdictions (ordinary, administrative, constitutional, and special). Colombia's highest judicial organs are the Supreme Court, the Council of State, the Constitutional Court, and the Superior Judicial Council. Although all the high courts technically oversee separate jurisdictions, the Constitutional Court has a broad spectrum of judicial oversight which often allows it to rule on issues overseen by different jurisdictions and even weigh in directly in the rulings of other high courts.[6]

International organization participationEdit


United Nations

World Bank




  1. ^ "Democracy Index 2022: Frontline democracy and the battle for Ukraine" (PDF). Economist Intelligence Unit. 2023. Retrieved 2023-02-09.
  2. ^ wola (2020-05-04). "Illegal Surveillance by Colombia's Military is Unacceptable". WOLA. Retrieved 2020-05-10.
  3. ^ Bruce M. Wilson, "Institutional Reform and Rights Revolutions in Latin America: The Cases of Costa Rica and Colombia", Journal of Politics in Latin America, ISSN 1868-4890
  4. ^ L, Elizabeth Reyes (4 June 2015). "Colombian lawmakers approve a one-term limit for presidents". EL PAÍS English Edition.
  5. ^ "2018 Colombian elections: A test for peace?" (PDF). European Parliamentary Research Service. Retrieved 18 September 2022.
  6. ^ Botero Marino, Botero Marino; Fernando Jaramillo. "El Conflicto de las Cortes Colombianas en Torno a la Tutela Contra Sentencias" (PDF). Retrieved 5 October 2015.

External linksEdit