Colombia Government: from the All Country Info reference guide to country facts

Colombia Government

Colombia Government: A summary of information about Colombia Government, from government research data as well as independent research and other sources.

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Colombia: Government

Country name
conventional long form: Republic of Colombia
conventional short form: Colombia
local long form: Republica de Colombia
local short form: Colombia
Data code
CO
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
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 NA March 1998 (next to be held NA March
2002); House of Representatives - last held NA 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
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
Political parties and leaders
Democratic Alliance-April 19 Movement
or AD/M-19 is a coalition of small leftist parties and dissident
liberals and conservatives [Carlos Franco ECHAVARRIA, Antonio NAVARRO
Wolff, Otty PATINO, Carlos Alonso LUCIO]; Liberal Party or PL [Jose
Fernando BAUTISTA]; New Democratic Force or NDF ; Patriotic
Union or UP is a legal political party formed by Revolutionary Armed
Forces of Colombia or FARC and Colombian Communist Party or PCC [Aida
ABELLA]; Social Conservative Party or PSC [Dr. Eugenio MERLANO de la
Ossa]
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
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, 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:  (202) 387-8338
FAX:  (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 Curtis Warren KAMMAN
embassy: Calle 22D-BIS, numbers 47-51, Apartado Aereo 3831
mailing address: APO AA 34038
telephone:  (1) 315-0811
FAX:  (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
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