Allo' Expat Uruguay - Connecting Expats in Uruguay
Main Homepage
Allo' Expat Uruguay Logo

Subscribe to Allo' Expat Newsletter
Check our Rates
   Information Center Uruguay
Uruguay General Information
History of Uruguay
Uruguay Culture
Uruguay Cuisine
Uruguay Geography
Uruguay Population
Uruguay Government
Uruguay Economy
Uruguay Communications
Uruguay Transportation
Uruguay Military
Uruguay Transnational Issues
Uruguay Healthcare
Uruguay People, Languages & Religions
Uruguay Expatriates Handbook
Uruguay and Foreign Government
Uruguay General Listings
Uruguay Useful Tips
Uruguay Education & Medical
Uruguay Travel & Tourism Info
Uruguay Lifestyle & Leisure
Uruguay Business Matters
  Sponsored Links

Check our Rates

Government in Uruguay


Uruguay is a representative democratic republic with a presidential system. Uruguay's Constitution of 1967 created a strong presidency, subject to legislative and judicial balance. Many of these provisions were suspended in 1973 but re-established in 1985.

The President, who is both the head of state and the head of government, is elected by popular vote for a five-year term, with the Vice President elected on the same ticket. The President must act together with the Council of Ministers, which comprises cabinet ministers, appointed by the President. 13 ministers head various executive departments. The ministers can be removed by the General Assembly by a majority vote. Executive power is exercised by the President and a cabinet of 13 ministers. The Uruguayan constitution allows citizens to challenge laws approved by Parliament by use of a referendum or to propose changes to the Constitution by the use of a plebiscite.

The legislative power is constituted by the General Assembly (Asamblea General), composed of two chambers. The Chamber of Deputies (Cámara de Diputados) has 99 members, elected for a five-year term by proportional representation with at least two members per department. The Chamber of Senators (Cámara de Senadores) has 31 members; 30 members are elected for a five-year term by proportional representation and the Vice-president who presides over it.

The judicial arm is exercised by the Supreme Court, the Bench and judges nationwide. The members of the Supreme Court are elected by the General Assembly; the members of the Bench are selected by the Supreme Court with the consent of the Senate; and the judges are directly assigned by the Supreme Court.

Uruguay is divided into 19 departments whose local administrations replicate the division of the executive and legislative powers. Each department elects its own authorities through a universal suffrage system. The departmental executive authority resides in a superintendent and the legislative authority in a departmental board.


Country name : conventional long form: Oriental Republic of Uruguay

conventional short form: Uruguay

local long form: Republica Oriental del Uruguay

local short form: Uruguay

former: Banda Oriental, Cisplatine Province
Government type : constitutional republic
Capital : name: Montevideo

geographic coordinates: 34 51 S, 56 10 W

time difference: UTC-3 (2 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins first Sunday in October; ends second Sunday in March
Administrative divisions : 19 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento); Artigas, Canelones, Cerro Largo, Colonia, Durazno, Flores, Florida, Lavalleja, Maldonado, Montevideo, Paysandu, Rio Negro, Rivera, Rocha, Salto, San Jose, Soriano, Tacuarembo, Treinta y Tres
Independence : 25 August 1825 (from Brazil)
National holiday : Independence Day, 25 August (1825)
Constitution : several previous; latest approved by plebiscite 27 November 1966, effective 15 February 1967; amended several times, last in 2004 (2013)
Legal system : civil law system based on the Spanish civil code
International law organisation participation : accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Suffrage : 18 years of age; universal and compulsory
Executive branch : chief of state: President Jose "Pepe" Mujica Cordano (since 1 March 2010); Vice President Danilo Astori Saragoza (since 1 March 2010); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Jose "Pepe" Mujica Cordano (since 1 March 2010); Vice President Danilo Astori Saragoza (since 1 March 2010)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president with parliamentary approval

elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for five-year terms (may not serve consecutive terms); election last held on 29 November 2009 (next to be held in October 2014)

election results: Jose "Pepe" Mujica Cordano elected president; percent of vote - Jose "Pepe" Mujica Cordano 54.8%, Luis Alberto Lacalle 45.2%
Legislative branch : bicameral General Assembly or Asamblea General consists of Chamber of Senators or Camara de Senadores (30 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms; vice president has one vote in the Senate) and Chamber of Representatives or Camara de Representantes (99 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)

elections: Chamber of Senators - last held on 25 October 2009 (next to be held in October 2014); Chamber of Representatives - last held on 25 October 2009 (next to be held in October 2014)

election results: Chamber of Senators - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Frente Amplio 16, Blanco 9, Colorado Party 5; Chamber of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Frente Amplio 50, Blanco 30, Colorado Party 17, Independent Party 2
Judicial branch : highest court(s): Supreme Court of Justice (consists of 5 judges)

judge selection and term of office: judges nominated by the president and appointed in joint conference of the General Assembly; judges appointed for 10-year terms, with re-election after a lapse of 5 years following the previous term

subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal; District Courts (Juzagados Letrados); Peace Courts (Juzagados de Paz); Rural Courts (Juzgados Rurales)
Political parties and leaders : Broad Front (Frente Amplio) - formerly known as the Progressive Encounter/Broad Front Coalition or EP-FA [Monica Xavier] (a broad governing coalition that includes Popular Participation Movement (MPP), New Space Party (Nuevo Espacio) [Rafael Michelini], Progressive Alliance (Alianza Progresista) [Rodolfo Nin Novoa], Socialist Party [vacant], Communist Party [Eduardo Lorier], Uruguayan Assembly (Asamblea Uruguay) [Danilo Astori Saragoza] and Vertiente Artiguista [Enrique Rubio]);

Colorado Party (Vamos Uruguay) [Martha Montaner];

Independent Party [Pablo Mieres];

National Party or Blanco [Luis Alberto Heber]
Political pressure groups and leaders : Chamber of Commerce and Export of Agriproducts;

Chamber of Industries (manufacturer's association);

Exporters Union of Uruguay;

National Chamber of Commerce and Services;

PIT/CNT (powerful federation of Uruguayan Unions - umbrella labour organisation);

Rural Association of Uruguay (rancher's association);

Uruguayan Network of Political Women

other: B'nai Brith; Catholic Church; students
International organisation participation : CAN (associate), CD, CELAC, FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, LAES, LAIA, Mercosur, MIGA, MINURSO, MINUSTAH, MONUSCO, NAM (observer), OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNASUR, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNISFA, UNMOGIP, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US : chief of mission: Ambassador Carlos Alberto Gianelli Derois (since 11 September 2012)

chancery: 1913 I Street NW, Washington, DC 20006

telephone: [1] (202) 331-1313 through 1316

fax: [1] (202) 331-8142

consulate(s) general: Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York
Diplomatic representation from the US : chief of mission: Ambassador Julissa Reynoso (since 30 March 2012)

embassy: Lauro Muller 1776, Montevideo 11200

mailing address: APO AA 34035

telephone: [598] (2) 1770-2000

fax: [598] (2) 1770-2128
Flag description : nine equal horizontal stripes of white (top and bottom) alternating with blue; a white square in the upper hoist-side corner with a yellow sun bearing a human face known as the Sun of May with 16 rays that alternate between triangular and wavy; the stripes represent the nine original departments of Uruguay; the sun symbol evokes the legend of the sun breaking through the clouds on 25 May 1810 as independence was first declared from Spain (Uruguay subsequently won its independence from Brazil)

note: the banner was inspired by the national colours of Argentina and by the design of the US flag
National symbol(s) : Sun of May (a sun-with-face symbol)
National anthem : name: "Himno Nacional" (National Anthem of Uruguay)

lyrics/music: Francisco Esteban Acuna de Figueroa/Francisco Jose Debali

note: adopted 1848; the anthem is also known as "Orientales, la Patria o la tumba!" ("Uruguayans, the Fatherland or Death!"); it is the world's longest national anthem in terms of music (105 bars; almost five minutes); generally only the first verse and chorus are sung






copyrights ©
2015 | Policy