President of Colombia

The President of Colombia (Spanish: Presidente de Colombia), officially known as the President of the Republic of Colombia (Spanish: Presidente de la República de Colombia) is the head of state and head of government of Colombia. The office of president was established upon the ratification of the Constitution of 1819, by the Congress of Angostura, convened in December 1819, when Colombia was the "Gran Colombia". The first president, General Simón Bolívar,[3] took office in 1819. His position, initially self-proclaimed, was subsequently ratified by Congress.

The current president of the Republic of Colombia is Iván Duque Márquez, who took office on August 7, 2018.

President of the
Republic of Colombia
Presidente de la República de Colombia
Flag of the President of Colombia
Presidential Standard
Presidential Seal of Colombia
Presidential Seal
Iván Duque Márquez (Recortado)
Iván Duque Márquez

since August 7, 2018
StyleMr. President
(Señor Presidente)[1] His Excellency
ResidenceCasa de Nariño
AppointerPopular vote election
Term lengthFour years, single term
Inaugural holderSimón Bolívar
FormationDecember 17, 1819
DeputyVice President of Colombia
SalaryCOP$32.624.000 monthly[2]


According to the Colombian Constitution of 1991, Article 188, the President of Colombia is the head of state, head of government and Supreme Administrative Authority. The President of Colombia symbolizes the National Unity, and after taking an oath to the Constitution of Colombia and swearing to defend and protect the nation's laws, he is charged to guarantee and protect the rights and liberties of all Colombian nationals.[4]

The Administrative Department of the Presidency of Colombia has the commission to assist or support the President of Colombia on its constitutional mandated functions and legal issues.[4]

Article 115 states that the National Government is formed by the President of Colombia, the Vice President of Colombia, the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Colombia and the Directors of the Administrative Departments of Colombia. Any official from these entities constitute the Government of Colombia in any particular business.

Any act by the President of Colombia, in order to be legal and enforceable, must be sanctioned by any of the ministries or department directors, who will also be held responsible for the act. The only exception is if the President appoints or removes ministers, administrative departments' directors and any other officials appointed by him under his administrative authority. Governors of the Departments of Colombia, Mayors of Municipalities of Colombia, as well as regional Superintendents of Colombia, public establishments and industrial and commercial state owned enterprises, are all part of the executive branch of Colombia.

General description

The Colombian Constitution of 1991, coupled with several articles of amendment, establishes the requirements an eligible candidate must meet in order to become president, as well as the term of office, method of election, and powers.

Requirements for holding

Colombian Constitution of 1991 Article 191: states that the president must be a natural born citizen of Colombia and at least 30 years of age.[5]

Term of office and election

The President and Vice President serve a term of office of four years after being elected by popular vote. Since 2015, the president is restricted to a single four-year term and is barred from running for reelection, even for a nonconsecutive term.

Already the Constitution of 1991 limited presidents to a single term. However, on 24 November 2005, the Colombian Congress introduced the Electoral Guarantees Law (Ley de Garantias Electorales), which modified Article 152, of the Colombian Constitution of 1991 and allowed a president to run for a second term. The President or Vice President running for re-election must officially tell in the National Electoral Council and guarantee a fair competition for the other contenders. Participation of acting officials in political proselytism was standardized. If the president or vice president are not running for office, they are prohibited from participating on political proselytism. If one or both are participating, they can engage in political activity only four months before the primary elections. Also, if the president and/or vice president is running for office, he may participate in their political party's selection mechanism to postulate candidates. In 2010, the Constitutional Court of Colombia threw out a planned referendum to allow presidents to run for three consecutive terms. It ruled that Colombian presidents can only serve two terms, even if they are nonconsecutive. In 2015, a constitutional amendment repealed the 2004 changes and reverted to the original one-term limit.[6]

Line of succession


The Vice President of Colombia is the first in the presidential line of succession, becoming the new president of Colombia and completing the remaining term upon leaves of absence or death, resignation, or removal of the President, even if such a vacancy should occur before the President assumes office, as designated by Article 202 of the Constitution of 1991.

Further succession

In absence of both the President and the Vice President, Article 203 of the Constitution of 1991 establishes that the presidential office will be assumed by a minister in the order of precedence established by law. The assuming minister has to be a member of the same party or movement the original President belonged to, and will exercise the presidency until the Congress, within the 30 days following the presidential vacancy, elects a new Vice President who will assume the Presidency.

Current order

No. Office Current officer
1 Vice President Marta Lucía Ramírez
2 Minister of the Interior Nancy Patricia Gutiérrez
3 Minister of Foreign Affairs Carlos Holmes Trujillo
Minister of Finance and Public Credit Alberto Carrasquilla Barrera[a]
Minister of Justice and Law Gloria María Borrero[a]
Minister of National Defense Guillermo Botero[a]
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Andrés Valencia Pinzón[a]
Minister of Health and Social Protection Juan Pablo Uribe[a]
4 Minister of Labour Alicia Arango
Minister of Mines and Energy María Fernanda Suárez[a]
Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism José Manuel Restrepo Abondano[a]
Minister of National Education María Victoria Angulo[a]
Minister of Environment and Territorial Development Ricardo Lozano Picón[a]
Minister of Housing, City and Territory Jonathan Malagón[a]
Minister of Information Technologies and Communications Silvia Constaín[a]
Minister of Culture Carmen Vásquez[a]
Minister of Transport Ángela María Orozco[a]
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Not a member of the President's political party, therefore ineligible for presidential succession.
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Not a member of the President's political party, therefore ineligible for presidential succession.

Last election

Candidate Party/alliance First round Second round
Votes % Votes %
Iván Duque Márquez Grand Alliance for Colombia 7,569,693 39.14 10,373,080 53.98
Gustavo Petro List of Decency 4,851,254 25.09 8,034,189 41.81
Sergio Fajardo Colombia Coalition 4,589,696 23.73
Germán Vargas Lleras Mejor Vargas Lleras 1,407,840 7.28
Humberto De la Calle PLCASI 399,180 2.06
Jorge Antonio Trujillo We Are All Colombia 75,614 0.39
Promotores Voto En Blanco Party of Ethnic Reclamation "PRE" 60,312 0.31
Viviane Morales Hoyos Somos Región Colombia 41,458 0.21
Blank votes 341,087 1.76 808,104 4.21
Invalid votes 300,080 295,499
Total 19,336,134 100 19,510,684 100
Registered voters/turnout 36,227,267 53.37 36,783,940 53.04
Source: El Tiempo Government

See also


  1. ^ Desde 1958 el Presidente de Colombia, recibe tratamiento de Señor Presidente. Los presidentes de otras naciones y embajadores que visiten el país, reciben tratamiento de Excelencia.
  2. ^ "¿Sabe usted cuánto gana el presidente de Colombia?". El Universal.
  3. ^ Gobernantes Colombianos, Ignacio Arismendi Posada, Interprint Editors Ltd., Italgraf, Segunda Edición, Page 15, Bogotá, Colombia, 1983
  4. ^ a b "Departamento Administrativo de la Presidencia de la República : Nuestra Entidad" (in Spanish).
  5. ^ "Requisitos para ser candidato presidencial" (in Spanish).
  6. ^ "Constitución Política de 1991 (Artículo 197)". Secretaría General del Senado.

External links

Alfonso López Pumarejo

Alfonso López Pumarejo (31 January 1886 – 20 November 1959) was a Colombian political figure, who twice served as President of Colombia, as a member of the Colombian Liberal Party. He served as President of Colombia for the first time between 1934 and 1938 and again between 1942 and 1945.

Andrés Pastrana Arango

Andrés Pastrana Arango (born August 17, 1954) was the 30th President of Colombia from 1998 to 2002, following in the footsteps of his father, Misael Pastrana Borrero, who was president from 1970 to 1974. As of 2017, he is the last president to come from the Conservative Party.

Aquileo Parra

José Bonifacio Aquileo Elias Parra y Gómez de la Vega was a Colombian soldier, businessman and political figure. He was the President of Colombia between 1876 and 1878.

Carlos Lleras Restrepo

Carlos Alberto Lleras Restrepo (12 April 1908 – 27 September 1994) is a Colombian politician and lawyer who served the 22nd President of Colombia from 1966 to 1970.

César Gaviria

César Augusto Gaviria Trujillo (Spanish: [ˈsesaɾ auˈɣusto ɣaˈβiɾja tɾuˈxiʝo] ; born March 31, 1947) is a Colombian economist and politician who served as the President of Colombia from 1990 to 1994, Secretary General of the Organization of American States from 1994 to 2004 and National Director of the Colombian Liberal Party from 2005 to 2009. During his tenure as president, he summoned the Constituent Assembly of Colombia that enacted the Constitution of 1991.

Eduardo Santos

Eduardo Santos Montejo (Bogotá, August 28, 1888 – Bogotá, March 27, 1974) was a leading Colombian publisher and politician, active in the Colombian Liberal Party. He owned the prominent Bogotá newspaper El Tiempo, and served as the President of Colombia from August 1938 to August 1942, having been elected without opposition. He was the great-uncle of the 32nd president of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos (2010–2018) and former Colombian Vice President Francisco Santos Calderon (2002–2010).

El Tiempo (Colombia)

El Tiempo (English: The Time) is a nationally distributed broadsheet daily newspaper in Colombia. As of 2012, it had the highest circulation in Colombia with an average daily weekday of 1,137,483 readers, rising to 1,921,571 readers for the Sunday edition. After longtime rival El Espectador was reduced to a weekly publication following an internal financial crisis in 2001, El Tiempo enjoyed monopoly status in Colombian media as the only daily that circulated nationally, as most smaller dailies have limited distribution outside their own regions. However, El Espectador returned to the daily format on May 11, 2008.

From 1913 to 2007, El Tiempo's main shareholders were members of the Santos family. Several also participated in Colombian politics: Eduardo Santos Montejo was President of Colombia from 1938 to 1942. Francisco Santos Calderón served as Vice-President (2002–2010). And Juan Manuel Santos as Defense Minister (2006–2009) during Álvaro Uribe's administration. The latter was elected president in 2010.In 2007, Spanish Grupo Planeta acquired 55% of the Casa Editorial El Tiempo media group, including the newspaper and its associated TV channel Citytv Bogotá. In 2012, businessman Luis Carlos Sarmiento Angulo bought the shares of Planeta, the Santos family and other small shareholders, becoming the only owner of the newspaper.

Executive Branch of Colombia

The Executive Branch of Government in Colombia is one of the three branches of the government of Colombia under the Constitutional provision of separation of powers. The executive branch is led by the President of Colombia (elected by popular vote for a 4-year term) and its collaborating institutions; mainly the Council of Ministers (including Military and law enforcement agencies) and administrative departments supporting the executive branch (appointed by the president).

Each department (province) is led by a "department governor" with derogatory functions from the President of Colombia to govern in its respective department. Governors are elected representative of the municipalities that form a department. Each governor also appoints a local cabinet; the "department secretaries" to support its governing duties.

Furthermore, each municipality in Colombia is governed by a mayor (alcalde), which in turn derogates for the president of Colombia and the department governor within its municipal jurisdiction.

Francisco Santos Calderón

Francisco Santos Calderón (born October 14, 1961 in Bogotá), also known as Pacho Santos, is a Colombian politician and journalist. Santos was elected as Álvaro Uribe's second runner up and became Vice President in the Colombian elections of 2002. Santos was re-elected in the presidential elections of 2006 for a second term once again with President Uribe to continue as Vice President of Colombia. His great-uncle Eduardo Santos was President of Colombia from 1938 to 1942 and the succeeding president of Colombia (Juan Manuel Santos) is his cousin.

Germán Vargas Lleras

Germán Vargas Lleras (Spanish pronunciation: [xeɾˈmam ˈbaɾɣaz ˈʝeɾas]; born February 19, 1962) is a Colombian politician who recently served as Vice President of Colombia under President Juan Manuel Santos Calderón. A member of the Radical Change political party, he served four consecutive terms in the Senate, having been elected in 1994. German Vargas also served in the Cabinet as the Minister of Interior and then as the Minister of Housing, City and Territory. He was elected Vice President of Colombia in 2014, running alongside Juan Manuel Santos who was seeking re-election for a second term as President. On 15 March 2017, Vargas Lleras resigned as Vice President in order to be eligible to run for President in the 2018 Presidential elections.

Government entities of Colombia

The Government entities of Colombia (Spanish: Entidades Gubernamentales de Colombia) are entities of the government of Colombia. The government entities is made up by commissions, control agencies, administrative departments, directorates, funds, superintendencies, among other. Some of these agencies are under the supervision of the President of Colombia with special autonomy.

Guillermo León Valencia

Guillermo León Valencia Muñoz (27 April 1909 – 4 November 1971) was a Colombian politician, lawyer and diplomat who served as the 21st President of Colombia from 1962 to 1966.

Gustavo Rojas Pinilla

Gustavo Rojas Pinilla (12 March 1900 – 17 January 1975) was the 19th President of Colombia from June 1953 to May 1957. An Army General, he mounted a successful coup d'état against the incumbent President, Laureano Gómez Castro (1889—1965), imposing martial law and establishing a dictatorship-style government in Colombia.

Iván Duque Márquez

Iván Duque Márquez (Spanish pronunciation: [iˈβaŋ ˈ ˈmaɾkes]; born August 1, 1976) is a Colombian politician and lawyer who is the current President of Colombia, in office since 7 August 2018.

Formerly, he served, elected by his own party as a senator. He was the candidate from the Democratic Centre Party in the 2018 presidential election, where he was elected as Colombia's youngest president in recent history.

José Hilario López

José Hilario López Valdés (18 February 1798, Popayán, Cauca – 27 November 1869, Campoalegre, Huila) was a Colombian politician and military officer. He was the President of Colombia between 1849 and 1853.

José Vicente Concha

José Vicente Concha Ferreira (April 21, 1867 – December 8, 1929) was a Colombian politician who served as President of Colombia from 1914 to 1918. He was also a noted member of the Colombian Conservative Party.

Marco Fidel Suárez

Marco Fidel Suárez (April 23, 1855 – April 3, 1927) was a Colombian political figure. He served as president of Colombia from 1918 to 1921. He was born on April 23, 1855, in the town of Hatoviejo, Antioquia. His parents were Rosalía Suárez and José María Barrientos.

Rafael Núñez (politician)

Rafael Wenceslao Núñez Moledo (September 28, 1825 – September 18, 1894) was a Colombian author, lawyer, journalist and politician, who was elected president of Colombia in 1880 and in 1884.

Vice President of Colombia

The Vice President of Colombia is the first in the presidential line of succession, becoming the new President of Colombia upon leave of absence or death, resignation, or removal of the president, as designated by the Colombian Constitution of 1991 which also reinstated the vice president figure after almost a century of being abolished during the presidency of Rafael Núñez. The vice president cannot assume presidential functions on temporary absences of the president such as official trips abroad or vacations. In these cases, the president delegates functions to a cabinet member, usually the Minister of the Interior. Marta Lucía Ramírez is the current vice president.

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