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Colima Government and politics

The Constitution of the State of Colima provides that the government of Colima consists of three powers: the executive, the legislative and the judiciary.

Executive power rests in the Governor of Colima, who is directly elected by the citizens, using a secret ballot, to a 6-year term with no possibility of reelection. Legislative power rests in the Congress of Colima which is a unicameral legislature composed of 25 deputies. Judicial power is invested in the Superior Court of Justice of Colima.

With formal separation of powers and check-and-balances provisions, the state of Colima has a unicameral (one chamber) state congress and a strong executive power. The congress is elected every three years for nonrenewable terms. Sixteen of its twenty-five members are elected in single member districts; nine are elected by proportional representation. Because the PRI has exercised control of the powerful governor's office since the end of the revolution, the legislature has not been able to act independently. As politics become more competitive in Colima, the legislature should be more likely to act independently of the governor.

There are ten municipalities, each with a local government. These local governments have limited authority over administrative decisions. Tight control of budgets by the state government reduces the local authorities' leverage and influence. Municipal president and council members are elected for nonrenewable three-year terms.

The three main political parties in all of Mexico are the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), the National Action Party (PAN), and Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD). The PRI has dominated Colima politics since the end of the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920). All Colima governors have belonged to that party. Despite more guarantees for opposition parties and free and fair elections since the early 1990s, the PRI continues to dominate politics in the state. A joint PAN-PRD effort to win the gubernatorial race in 2003 failed. The PRI candidate successfully defeated the opposition consensus candidate.

Judicial System

The highest court in Colima is the Superior Tribunal of Justice. Its members are appointed for nonrenewable six-year terms by the governor with congressional approval. Only qualified attorneys can be appointed to those posts. In addition, an electoral tribunal and several different local courts make up the judiciary in Colima. Yet, as is the case with the other state level powers, the dominance enjoyed by the PRI throughout most of the 20th century has made it difficult for any branch of government to function independently.


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Address: Privada Los Naranjos #30, Santiago, Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico  28860
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