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Colombia

Colombia Government Stats

Profile:

Juan Manuel Santos, who won an easy victory in the second round of presidential elections in June 2010, is no stranger to high office.

He comes from a powerful Colombian family. His great-uncle, Eduardo Santos, was president from 1938 to 1942 and owned the country's largest newspaper, El Tiempo.

Mr Santos himself held a number of ministerial posts, most prominently defence minister in 2006-2009 under President Alvaro Uribe. He played a key role in implementing the president's tough policies against Colombia's main left-wing rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc).

He oversaw Operation Checkmate, the successful rescue by the military of 15 high-profile hostages, and was also in charge when the military mounted a controversial air raid into Ecuador that resulted in the death of senior Farc figure Raul Reyes.

The improved security achieved during his term as defence minister earned him considerable credit and helped to pave his way to the presidency.

During his campaign for the presidency, Mr Santos insisted that he would continue the policies of President Uribe, with a strong emphasis on combating the drugs trade and Farc.

Shortly before taking office in August 2010, he rejected a Farc offer of peace talks, saying that the rebels would have to release all their hostages before any talks could take place. When Farc showed signs of doing so in early 2012, the government and Congress put a law in place that allowed talks to begin.

President Santos has also promised to develop the country's infrastructure and to create more jobs, vowing to make Colombians less dependent on the informal economy.

Definitions

  • Administrative divisions: This entry generally gives the numbers, designatory terms, and first-order administrative divisions as approved by the US Board on Geographic Names (BGN). Changes that have been reported but not yet acted on by BGN are noted.
  • Capital city > Geographic coordinates: This entry gives the name of the seat of government, its geographic coordinates, the time difference relative to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and the time observed in Washington, DC, and, if applicable, information on daylight saving time (DST). Where appropriate, a special note has been added to highlight those countries that have multiple time zones.
  • Constitution: The dates of adoption, revisions, and major amendments to a nation's constitution
  • Diplomatic representation from the US > Mailing address: This entry includes the chief of mission, embassy address, mailing address, telephone number, FAX number, branch office locations, consulate general locations, and consulate locations.
  • Executive branch > Cabinet: Cabinet includes the official name for any body of high-ranking advisers roughly comparable to a U.S. Cabinet. Also notes the method for selection of members.
  • Executive branch > Elections: Elections includes the nature of election process or accession to power, date of the last election, and date of the next election
  • Executive branch > Head of government: Head of government includes the name and title of the top administrative leader who is designated to manage the day-to-day activities of the government. For example, in the UK, the monarch is the chief of state, and the prime minister is the head of government. In the US, the president is both the chief of state and the head of government.
  • Government type: A description of the basic form of government (e.g., republic, constitutional monarchy, federal republic, parliamentary democracy, military dictatorship).
  • Independence: For most countries, this entry gives the date that sovereignty was achieved and from which nation, empire, or trusteeship. For the other countries, the date given may not represent "independence" in the strict sense, but rather some significant nationhood event such as the traditional founding date or the date of unification, federation, confederation, establishment, fundamental change in the form of government, or state succession. Dependent areas include the notation "none" followed by the nature of their dependency status. "
  • Judicial branch: The name(s) of the highest court(s) and a brief description of the selection process for members.
  • Legal system: A brief description of the legal system's historical roots, role in government, and acceptance of International Court of Justice (ICJ) jurisdiction.
  • Legislative branch: This entry contains information on the structure (unicameral, bicameral, tricameral), formal name, number of seats, and term of office. Elections includes the nature of election process or accession to power, date of the last election, and date of the next election. Election results includes the percent of vote and/or number of seats held by each party in the last election.
  • Political parties and leaders: Significant political organizations and their leaders.
  • Political pressure groups and leaders: Organizations with leaders involved in politics, but not standing for legislative election.
  • Suffrage: The age at enfranchisement and whether the right to vote is universal or restricted
STAT AMOUNT DATE RANK HISTORY
Administrative divisions 32 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento) and 1 capital district* (distrito capital); Amazonas, Antioquia, Arauca, Atlantico, Bogota*, Bolivar, Boyaca, Caldas, Caqueta, Casanare, Cauca, Cesar, Choco, Cordoba, Cundinamarca, Guainia, Guaviare, Huila, La Guajira, Magdalena, Meta, Narino, Norte de Santander, Putumayo, Quindio, Risaralda, Archipielago de San Andres, Providencia y Santa Catalina (colloquially San Andres y Providencia), Santander, Sucre, Tolima, Valle del Cauca, Vaupes, Vichada 2013
Capital city > Geographic coordinates 4 36 N, 74 05 W 2008
Constitution several previous; latest promulgated 5 July 1991; amended many times, last in 2011 2013
Diplomatic representation from the US > Mailing address Carrera 45 No. 24B-27, Bogota, D.C. 2013
Executive branch > Cabinet Cabinet appointed by the president 2013
Executive branch > Elections president and vice president elected by popular vote for a four-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 30 May 2010 with a runoff election 20 June 2010 (next to be held in May 2014) 2013
Executive branch > Head of government President Juan Manuel SANTOS Calderon (since 7 August 2010); Vice President Angelino GARZON (since 7 August 2010) 2013
Government type republic; executive branch dominates government structure 2013
Independence 20 July 1810 (from Spain) 2013
Judicial branch four roughly coequal, supreme judicial organs; Supreme Court of Justice or Corte Suprema de Justicia (highest court of criminal law; judges are selected by their peers from the nominees of the Superior Judicial Council for eight-year terms); Council of State (highest court of administrative law; judges are selected from the nominees of the Superior Judicial Council 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); Superior Judicial Council (administers and disciplines the civilian judiciary; resolves jurisdictional conflicts arising between other courts; members are elected by three sister courts and Congress for eight-year terms) 2012
Legal system civil law system influenced by the Spanish and French civil codes 2013
Legislative branch bicameral Congress or Congreso consists of the Senate or Senado 2011
Political parties and leaders Alternative Democratic Pole or PDA [Clara LOPEZ]
Conservative Party or PC [Efrain CEPEDA Sarabia]
Green Party [Jorge LONDONO Ulloa; Enrique PENALOSA]
Liberal Party or PL [Simon GAVIRIA Munoz]
National Integration Party or PIN [Angel ALIRIO Moreno]
Radical Change or CR [Antonio GUERRA de la Espriella]
Social National Unity Party or U Party [Juan Francisco LOZANO Ramirez]
2013
Political pressure groups and leaders Central Union of Workers or CUT
Colombian Confederation of Workers or CTC
General Confederation of Workers or CGT
National Liberation Army or ELN
Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia or FARC
2013
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal 2013

SOURCES: CIA World Factbooks 18 December 2003 to 28 March 2011

Citation

"Colombia Government Stats", NationMaster. Retrieved from http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Colombia/Government