Colombia is a presidential democratic republic and a state with decentralized government. The existing political system has been the result of the modernization process launched by the adoption of the Constitution in 1991. In 1998 the president, vice-president, Congress and regional councils were elected in accordance with rules of the new constitution. The new constitution describes the country as a social state, a unitary and decentralized republic with partial autonomy of regional authorities, which is based on participative and pluralist democracy. The internal policy of the country was mainly characterized by constant efforts to consolidate reforms in the political and economic areas. When president Uribe took his office in 2002, the international position of Colombia improved, continuous efforts were made to reflect the economic results in the social area and to fight drug-traffickers and related terrorism. The policy of Uribe administration is reflected in uncompromising military approach to the solution of internal political situation, open armed fight against FARC and ELN guerrillas, pressure on the observance of human rights, and the fight against drug trafficking.
The country’s government has three branches: executive, legislative and judicial. The judicial power is exercised by the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court, the Attorney General’s Office, and the Council of State which is responsible for the state administration issues. The president of the republic is the head of the Columbian government consisting of 13 ministers. Each of 32 departments (departamento in Spanish) is headed by a governor. Colombia is a country with political plurality. The government members include, in addition to the Conservative Party, representatives of the opposition Liberal Party and Independents. The Congress is composed of the Senate and the House of Representatives consisting of 8 standing committees. The House of Representatives and the Senate have 162 and 102 members, respectively.