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Venezuela's Political System

After the 1999 Constitution, Venezuela is a democratic federal republic. The supreme formal and real authority is added to a president, elected in the general election for six years. Following a referendum on constitutional amendments in 2009, there is the possibility of re-election without restriction for a number of key offices, including the presidential office.

Political System of Venezuela

The president appoints the government and is the military commander. Legislative authority has been added to the National Assembly (Asamblea Nacional). It has one chamber (until 2000 there were two chambers) with 167 members, who are elected in the general election for five years.

Since the election of Hugo Chávez in 1998 and the drafting of a new constitution adopted by referendum in 2000, a number of political battles have been fought around the political system and the constitution. In 2007, for example, a referendum was held on a number of proposals for amendments to the Constitution. The proposals were drafted by the National Assembly and by Chávez himself. These were rejected by barely a margin. In 2009, the most controversial proposal was put forward for a new referendum and approved, which meant that holders of political office, including the president, could run for re-election. In 2017, to the great opposition of the opposition, the Maduro government printed elections for the Constitutional Assembly. This stripped the opposition-dominated National Assembly of power.

Lots

Since 1959, when Marcos Pérez Jiménez's military regime ended, politics has traditionally been dominated by two parties, the Democratic Action (AD) and the Christian Social Party (COPEI). In 1998 and 2006, Hugo Chávez won the presidential election of the Movement for the Fifth Republic Party (Movimiento V República, MVR).

In 2012, Hugo Chávez won the presidential election of the Venezuelan Socialist Party (PSOV). In April 2013, Nicolas Maduro won the presidential election for the same party after Chavez died in March 2013. Central opposition parties are Justice First (Justicia Primero) and New Age (Un Nuevo Tiempo) and Democratic Action (AD). See ABBREVIATIONFINDER for how VZ can stand for Venezuela.

Administrative division

Venezuela is divided into 22 states, as well as the federal area (the capital) and 72 federal areas (islands in the Antilles). Each state is led by a people-elected council and a elected governor. The states are further divided into municipalities (alcaldias) and boroughs (parroquias) with elected leaders.

Local democracy

At local level, the population has the opportunity to organize and constitute itself through elections such as municipal councils (consejos comunales) and municipalities (comunas). These bodies are regulated by the Law for Municipal Councils (Ley de los Consejos Comunales) of 2009 and the Law for Municipalities (Ley de las Comunas) of 2010.

Judiciary

The judiciary is national and consists of Supreme Court, convicts and several secondary courts for civil and criminal cases in the states, as well as local first instance courts. There are several special courts: military courts, youth courts, labor courts, administrative courts, financial courts and agricultural courts. The Supreme Court has 32 judges. A judicial committee appoints the members of lower courts. There is also an ombudsman who, together with the Auditor General and the Attorney General, monitors the constitution.

Venezuela's defense

Venezuela has a military service after being selected with 30 months' initial service. The total force figures for Venezuela's armed forces are 123,000 active personnel, with a reserve of 8,000 personnel (2018, IISS). In addition, 220,000 semi-military come in a national militia.

Army

The army has a workforce of around 63,000 active personnel. Materials include 173 tanks (81 AMX-30, and 92 T-72), 109 light tanks (31 AMX-13, and 78 Scorpion), 237 storm tanks (123 BMP-3, and 114 BTR-80), 81 armored personnel vehicles, and 60 self-propelled artillery. In addition, the Army has heavy artillery, 28 light transport aircraft, and 51 helicopters, including ten Mi-35 combat helicopters.

Air Force

The Air Force has a personnel force of 11,500 active personnel. Material comprising 21 fighters of a F-16, 23 fighter aircraft of the type Su-30, seven attack aircraft of the type of the OV-10 Bronco, four EK-planes, one tanker, 75 transport, 84 trainers (of which 42 can be used as light attack aircraft), and 31 helicopters.

Air Force command

The air defense command uses personnel from the other defense branches. Materials include long range anti-aircraft missiles and anti-aircraft artillery.

The Navy

The Navy has a workforce of about 25,500 active personnel, including 1,000 Coast Guard personnel and about 15,000 Marines. The fleet included two tactical underwater boats, six frigates, ten patrol vessels, seven landings, and ten logistics and auxiliary vessels. In addition, the Navy has two maritime patrol aircraft, seven light transport aircraft and 18 helicopters.

The naval forces have materials that include 10 light tanks, 21 storm tanks, light artillery, 23 patrol vessels and 14 landings.

National Guard

The National Guard has a workforce of 23,000 active personnel. Materials include 44 armored personnel vehicles, 34 patrol vessels, 34 light transport aircraft, three training aircraft and 37 helicopters.

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