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Colombia Government Profile 2000

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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 [leader NA]; 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:[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 Curtis Warren KAMMAN
embassy:Calle 22D-BIS, numbers 47-51, Apartado Aereo 3831
mailing address: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


Source: CIA World Factbook
Unless otherwise noted, information in this page is accurate as of May 15, 2007


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