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Colombia: Amendments to Electoral Code

(Sept. 9, 2011) The Colombian government announced that in mid-September 2011 a bill on a new Electoral Code will be ready to be submitted to the country's Congress. (Gobierno Colombiano Envía Nuevo Código Electoral al Congreso, NOTICIAS LATINOAMERICA MSN (Aug. 30, 2011).)

The bill includes several major changes to the current electoral law, including:

• unification of the census through the creation of a single registry that will be used as the basis for all elections;

• the requirement that lists of candidates will have to include at least 30% women;

• a prohibition on Colombians with dual nationality running for office to be governors or majors in border areas; and

• granting of the vote to foreigners 18 years old or older with more then five years of residence in Colombia. (Gobierno Alista Nuevo Código Electoral, DIARIO EL ESPECTADOR (Aug. 30, 2011.)

The new code will also regulate in detail possible grounds for disqualification of candidates and candidates' access to political advertising. (NOTICIAS LATINOAMERICA MSN, supra.)