Dominant executive

Colombia is a presidential democracy in which the executive holds significant power over the legislature.

The legislature is formed of a bicameral Congress – with a Senate, and a Chamber of Representatives. Members of Congress are elected for four year terms (in the same year as the president).

Congressmen are elected by geographical area, on a proportional basis. The last congressional elections took place in 2010.

Current representation

These elections gave the party of the U the largest number of seats in both houses:

With 27 of the 102 available in the Senate, and 48 of the 165 in the Representatives.

The Conservative and the Liberals are the second and third largest parties in both houses (Senate – Con 23, Lib 17, Representatives – Lib 38, Con 36).


The President, naturally, chooses his cabinet, and in the case of Juan Manual Santos, his ministers are taken from a cross-section of the parties in his coalition.

Useful link to keep up to date with President Santos (available in English).

Additional pages will provide more detail on the way congress works, and laws are passed, and will also provide greater detail on the way President Santos governs.