President of Colombia

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President of the
Republic of Colombia
Presidente de la
República de Colombia
Flag of the President of Colombia.svg
Presidential Standard
Presidential Seal of Colombia.svg
Presidential Seal
Juan Manuel Santos and Lula (cropped).jpg
Juan Manuel Santos

since August 7, 2010

Mr. President
(Señor Presidente)[1]

His Excellency
Residence Casa de Nariño
Appointer Popular vote election
Term length One 4-year term
Inaugural holder Simón Bolívar
Formation December 17, 1819
Deputy Vice President of Colombia
Salary $35,275,000[2]
Website The Presidency
Coat of arms of Colombia.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of

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 "la 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 Juan Manuel Santos, who took office on August 7, 2010. Ivan Duque is the President-elect having won the 2018 presidential election on June 17, 2018 and will assume office on August 7, 2018.


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 Oscar Naranjo
Minister of the Interior Guillermo Rivera Flórez[a]
Minister of Foreign Affairs María Ángela Holguín[a]
Minister of Finance and Public Credit Mauricio Cárdenas Santamaría[a]
Minister of Justice and Law Enrique Gil Botero[a]
Minister of National Defense Luis Carlos Villegas[a]
2 Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Juan Guillermo Zuluaga
Minister of Health and Social Protection Alejandro Gaviria Uribe[a]
Minister of Labour Griselda Restrepo[a]
Minister of Mines and Energy Germán Arce Zapata[a]
3 Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism María Lorena Gutiérrez
4 Minister of National Education Yaneth Giha Tovar
Minister of Environment and Territorial Development Luis Gilberto Murillo[a]
Minister of Housing, City and Territory Camilo Sanchez Ortega[a]
Minister of Information Technologies and Communications Juan Sebastián Rozo[a]
5 Minister of Transport Germán Cardona
Minister of Culture Mariana Garcés Córdoba[a]
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Not a member of the President's political party, therefore ineligible for presidential succession.

Last election

e • d Summary of the 25 May 2014 and 15 June 2014 Colombian presidential election results
Candidates – Parties First round Second round
Votes % Votes %
Juan Manuel SantosSocial Party of National Unity (Partido de «la U») 3,301,815 25.69 7,816,986 50.95
Óscar Iván Zuluaga - Democratic Center (Centro Democrático) 3,759,971 29.25 6,905,001 45.00
Marta Lucía RamírezColombian Conservative Party (Partido Conservador Colombiano) 1,995,698 15.52  
Clara López ObregónAlternative Democratic Pole (Polo Democrático Alternativo) 1,958,414 15.23
Enrique Peñalosa - Colombian Green Party (Partido Verde Colombiano) 1,065,142 8.28
Total votes for candidates 12,081,040 94.01 14,721,526 95.96
Blank votes 770,610 5.99 619,396 4.03
Total valid votes 12,851,650 97.24 15,341,383 97.12
Null votes 311,758 2.35 403,405 2.55
Unmarked ballots 52,994 0.40 50,152 0.31
Turnout 13,216,402 40.07% 15,794,940 47.89%
Source: Registraduría Nacional del Estado Civil, Registraduría Nacional del Estado Civil

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

  • Presidencia de la Republica de Colombia (in Spanish)
  • Georgetown University – Requisites to be President of Colombia
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