Officially: República de Colombia.
Seat of government: Bogotá.
Status: Democratic.
Structure: The president is elected directly. The legislature (Congreso) comprises the Cámara de Representantes, elected in geographical constituencies, and the Senado, elected by party list.
Chief governing parties: Centro Democratico; Cambio Radical; Partido Conservador Colombiano.
Head of government: Iván Duque Márquez, CD, president (since 2018).
Other significant congressional parties: Partido Liberal Colombiano; Partido Social de Unidad Nacional (Partido de la U); Partido Verde.
Assessment: A functioning democracy that has long controlled only a part of the country that it is considered to govern. Colombia-wide elections have been held five times now, the first two (2002, 2006) won by rightist Álvaro Uribe Vélez (2002-10). Paramilitaries had pressured citizens to vote for Uribe in the first election, and against Liberal leader Horacio Serpa. A constitutional change allowed Uribe to seek a second term, which he won. A 2010 presidential election to replace Uribe went to a runoff between the Uribista Juan Manuel Santos Calderón (2010-8) and Antanas Mockus of the Partido Verde, which Santos won handily. The governing coalition had a three-fifths majority in both chambers of Congress after the 2010 and 2014 elections. In 2014, Santos was narrowly reelected in a runoff, having actually finished second in the first round to Óscar Iván Zuluaga Escobar of CD. The continuing influence of Uribe is largely owing to his forceful approach to the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia. Santos, however, successfully negotiated a peace deal with the FARC. The first version was narrowly rejected in a 2016 referendum, with Uribe in opposition, but a final deal was ratified later in 2016 by the legislature. Presidents after Santos are again limited to single terms. The 2018 presidential election ended in a runoff between Duque, another Uribe protégé, and Gustavo Petro of Colombia Humana.
FH: 3-4, partly free (democratic). Econ: 6.54 (60), flawed democracy.
Updated: 2021 June 18.