President of Colombia


July 5, 2022

The President of the Republic of Colombia is the Head of State and Government of Colombia.


Electoral system

The President of Colombia is elected by first past the post in two rounds for a non-renewable term of four years. Is elected the candidate having gathered the absolute majority in the first round or, failing that, the one having gathered the most votes during a second round organized between the two candidates who came first in the first. Colombia recognizes blank votes as valid votes, included in the calculation of the results. The candidate who wins the second round can therefore be declared elected with a percentage of the votes cast below 50%. In addition, if the total of blank votes reaches the absolute majority of “valid” votes, a new ballot is held in which the previous candidates cannot stand again. However, this provision does not apply twice in a row: during this new election, the candidate having received the most votes in the second round is declared elected regardless of the percentage of blank votes. Any person who is at least thirty years old and holds Colombian nationality by birth can run for the presidency. Each candidate for the presidency presents himself with a running mate, candidate for the post of vice-president. Since the constitutional reform of 2015, the unsuccessful candidate in the second round becomes an ex officio member of the Senate and his running mate becomes an ex officio member of the House of Representatives.

Number of mandates

Apart from a brief period from 2004 to 2015, Colombia's constitutional history is marked by the ban on an elected president standing for re-election. The Constitution of Cúcuta of 1821 thus limits the president, head of the executive power of Gran Colombia, to a mandate of four years not renewable consecutively. The 1991 Constitution in its initial version subsequently establishes a strict limitation to a single four-year term. A constitutional revision carried out under the presidency of Álvaro Uribe in 2004 broke with this tradition by authorizing the president to serve a second consecutive term. Five years later, a second attempt to revise the constitution aimed at authorizing a third term via a popular initiative referendum caused considerable controversy in the country before being rejected by the Constitutional Court in February 2010. Under the second mandate of Uribe's successor, Juan Manuel Santos, the parliament carried out a new constitutional revision in 2015, restoring the limitation in force before 2004. The limitation to a single mandate was reinforced on this occasion, which could no longer be lifted only by means of a referendum or a constituent assembly. A vice president who has assumed presidential powers for more than three months, whether consecutive or not, is also subject to a ban on running. This reform also establishes nationality by birth and the minimum age of thirty as conditions for candidacy.

List of Presidents

This list section presents the Colombian Heads of State or independent entities that preceded it in the current Colombian territory: United Provinces of New Granada (1810-1816); Gran Colombia (1819-1831); Republic of New Granada (1830-1858); Granada Confederation (1858-1863); United States of Colombia (1863-1886); Republic of Colombia (since 1886).

Presidents of the United Provinces of New Granada

Presidents of Gran Colombia

Presidents of the Republic of New Granada

Presidents of the Granada Confederation

Presidents of the United States of Colombia

Presidents of the Republic of Colombia