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COLOMBIA
Cámara de Representantes (House of Representatives)

This page contains the full text of the PARLINE database entry on the selected parliamentary chamber, with the exception of Specialized bodies modules which, because of their excessive length, can be only viewed and printed separately.

Modules:
GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE PARLIAMENTARY CHAMBER

Parliament name (generic / translated) Congreso / Congress
More photos  >>>
Structure of parliament Bicameral
Chamber name (generic / translated) Cámara de Representantes / House of Representatives
Related chamber (for bicameral parliaments) Senado de la República / Senate
Affiliation to the IPU Yes
Affiliation date(s) 1931 - 1935
1973 - 1977
1979 -
LEADERSHIP
President Miguel Angel Pinto Hernández (M) 
Notes 20 July 2016 - 20 July 2017
Secretary General Jorge Humberto Mantilla Serrano (M) 
Notes Elected on 20 July 2014, re-elected on 20 July 2016.
COMPOSITION
Members (statutory / current number) 166 / 166
PERCENTAGE OF WOMEN


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Women (current number) 33 (19.88%)
Mode of designation directly elected 166
Term 4 years
Last renewal dates 9 March 2014
(View details)
CONTACT INFORMATION
Address Cámara de Representantes
Capitolio Nacional
Kra 7 No 8 - 68
BOGOTA
(Export mailing lists)
Phone (57 1) 382 3000
382 4000
382 5000
Fax (57 1) 382 52 59
E-mail presidencia@camara.gov.co
Website
http://www.camara.gov.co/

ELECTORAL SYSTEM

Parliament name (generic / translated) Congreso / Congress
Structure of parliament Bicameral
Chamber name (generic / translated) Cámara de Representantes / House of Representatives
Related chamber (for bicameral parliaments) Senado de la República / Senate
LEGAL FRAMEWORK
Electoral law 1 January 1900
Last amendment: 1990
Mode of designation directly elected 166
Constituencies 33 multi-member constituencies corresponding to the country's departments and the nation's capital; each department has at least 2 Representatives.
There is an additional Representative for every 250,000 inhabitants or for each fraction of more than 125,000 inhabitants that the department has above the first 250,000.
Voting system Proportional: Party-list proportional representation system, with remaining seats allocated on the basis of greatest remainders.
Vacancies arising between general elections are filled by the "next-in-line" candidates of the same party that held the seat in question.
Voting is not compulsory.
Voter requirements - age: 18 years
- Colombian citizenship
- full possession of civil and political rights
- disqualifications: members of the armed forces on active duty, police officers
CANDIDATES
Eligibility - qualified electors
- age: 25 years
- Colombian citizenship
- citizens of "good standing"
- ineligibility: imprisonment (except for political or similar crimes)
Incompatibilities - public officials and their relatives
- certain public employees (in preceding 12 months)
- government contractors
Candidacy requirements (data unavailable)

LAST ELECTIONS

Parliament name (generic / translated) Congreso / Congress
Structure of parliament Bicameral
Chamber name (generic / translated) Cámara de Representantes / House of Representatives
Related chamber (for bicameral parliaments) Senado de la República / Senate
BACKGROUND
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) 9 March 2014
Timing and scope of renewal According to the preliminary results, the National Unity coalition retained the majority in both houses of Congress. It took a total of 119 seats in the 166-member House of Representatives and 65 seats in the 102-member Senate. The coalition comprises President Juan Manuel Santos’ Social Party of National Unity (Partido de la U), the Conservative Party (CP), the Liberal Party (PL) and the Radical Change (RC). The Democratic Centre, led by former President Álvaro Uribe, took 19 seats in the House and 20 in the Senate.

The ongoing peace talks between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) were a central issue in the election campaign. In November 2013, the government started peace talks with the FARC, while stating that its military operations would continue until a final deal was reached. Former President Uribe’s Democratic Centre campaigned under the slogan "No to impunity", opposing any peace agreement that would grant amnesty to FARC members or allow them to enter politics.

In the run-off presidential elections held on 15 June, President Santos was re-elected President for a second term, defeating Mr. Óscar Iván Zuluaga (Democratic Centre).
Date of previous elections: 14 March 2010

Date of dissolution of the outgoing legislature: N/A

Timing of election: Upon normal expiry

Expected date of next elections: March 2018

Number of seats at stake: 166 (full renewal)

Number of candidates: 1,528

Percentage of women candidates: Not available.

Number of parties contesting the election: 18

Number of parties winning seats: 14

Alternation of power: No

Date of the first session of the new parliament: 20 July 2014

Name of the new Speaker: Mr. Fabio Raúl Amín Saleme (Liberal Party)
STATISTICS
Voter turnout
Round no 19 March 2014
Number of registered electors
Voters
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes
32'835'856
14'309'641 (43.58%)

Notes
Distribution of votes
Round no 1
Political group Candidates Votes % of votes
Liberal Party (PL)
Social Party of National Unity (Partido de la U)
Conservative Party (PC)
Democratic Centre
Radical Change (RC)
Green Party
Citizens' Option Party (POC)
100 per cent for Colombia Political Movement
Independent Absolute Renovation Movement (MIRA)
Alternative Democratic Pole
Indigenous Authorities of Colombia
Independent Social Alliance Party (ASI)
For a Better Huila
Regional Integration
Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Political Group Total of seats
Liberal Party (PL) 39
Social Party of National Unity (Partido de la U) 37
Conservative Party (PC) 27
Democratic Centre 19
Radical Change (RC) 16
Green Party 6
Citizens' Option Party (POC) 6
100 per cent for Colombia Political Movement 3
Independent Absolute Renovation Movement (MIRA) 3
Alternative Democratic Pole 3
Indigenous Authorities of Colombia 2
Independent Social Alliance Party (ASI) 1
For a Better Huila 1
Regional Integration 1
Distribution of seats according to sex
Men

Women

Percent of women
133

33

19.88%
Distribution of seats according to age
Distribution of seats according to profession
Comments
Sources:
House of Representatives (23.07.2014)
http://www.camara.gov.co/portal2011/representantes/representantes-camara-2014-2018
http://www.registraduria.gov.co

PRESIDENCY OF THE PARLIAMENTARY CHAMBER

Parliament name (generic / translated) Congreso / Congress
Structure of parliament Bicameral
Chamber name (generic / translated) Cámara de Representantes / House of Representatives
Related chamber (for bicameral parliaments) Senado de la República / Senate
APPOINTMENT AND TERM OF OFFICE
Title Speaker of the House of Representatives
Term - duration: 1 year (term of session), expires on 20 July (ineligible for re-election)
- reasons for interruption of the term: resignation, death, dissolution
Appointment - elected by the Members of the House
Eligibility - any Member may be a candidate
- notification of candidature must be made the day of the election
Voting system - free formal vote by secret or public ballot
- direct, one-round majority vote
Procedures / results - the outgoing Speaker and the Clerk preside over the House during the voting
- the Clerk supervises the voting together with the Speaker's office and the committee of tellers appointed to this end
- the Clerk announces the results without delay
- the results cannot be challenged
STATUS
Status - ranks fourth in the hierarchy of State
- ranks second in the order of precedence between the Speakers of the two Chambers
- the Speaker of the Senate presides over joint meetings of both Chambers
- represents the House with the public authorities
- represents the House in international bodies
- in the absence of the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker can assume his/her role and functions
Board - the Governing Board is set up under and regulated by a law
- consists of three Members and the Clerk: Chairman (First Deputy Speaker, Second Deputy Speaker, Clerk)
- elected for a one year term, ineligible for re-election
- meets once weekly, and at the Speaker's initiative
Material facilities - allowance equivalent to that of the members
- official car
- secretaries and advisers
- bodyguards
FUNCTIONS
Organization of parliamentary business - convenes sessions
- establishes and modifies the agenda
- organizes the debates and sets speaking time
- examines the admissibility of bills and amendments
- refers texts to an arbitration body
- examines the admissibility of requests for setting up committees and/or committees of enquiry, proposes or decides on the setting-up of such committees
Chairing of public sittings - can open, adjourn and close sittings
- ensures respect for provisions of the Constitution and Standing Orders
- takes disciplinary measures in the event of disturbance, and lifts such measures
- establishes the list of speakers, gives and withdraws permission to speak
- establishes the order in which amendments are taken up, together with the Clerk
- calls for a vote, decides how it is to be carried out, verifies the voting procedure and cancels a vote in the event of irregularities
- has discretionary power (like any Member of the House) to give the floor outside the agenda and thus organizes impromptu debates
Special powers - is responsible for establishing the budget, together with the Budget and Financial Division
- is responsible for relations with foreign Parliaments
- is responsible for safety, and in this capacity, can call the police in the event of disturbance in the Chamber
Speaking and voting rights, other functions - takes the floor in legislative debates

- provides guidelines for the interpretation or completion of the text under discussion
- takes part in voting as a member of the House
- proposes bills or amendments
- intervenes in the parliamentary oversight procedure as a member of the House
- can express an opinion on the constitutionality of laws
- is not empowered to appoint the members of the Constitutional Court, but can vote for and elect the members of other courts or bodies (Comptroller-General of the Republic, Vice-President of the Republic, Magistrate of the Jurisdictional Chamber of the High Council of the Magistrature, Ombudsman, etc.)

This page was last updated on 21 July 2016
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