Senate of Chile

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Senate of Chile
Senado de la República de Chile
Type
Type Upper House
Leadership
President of the Senate Guido Girardi, PPD
Since March 15, 2011
Vice-President of the Senate Juan Pablo Letelier, PS
Since March 15, 2011
Structure
Seats 38
Political groups Concertación
Coalition for Change
Elections
Last election November 17, 2013
Meeting place
Camara-senadores-chile.JPG
Senate Chamber
National Congress of Chile
Valparaíso
Chile
Website
http://www.senado.cl
Coat of arms of Chile.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Chile

The Senate of the Republic of Chile is the upper house of Chile's bicameral National Congress, as established in the current Constitution of Chile.

Composition[edit]

According to the present Constitution of Chile, the Senate is composed of thirty-eight directly elected senators, chosen by universal popular suffrage vote in 19 senatorial circumscriptions. These serve eight-year terms, with half of them being replaced every fourth year. They must be eligible to vote, have completed secondary school, or its equivalent, and be at least 35 years old.

The Senate sessions at the new (1990) National Congress located in the port city of Valparaíso that replaced the old National Congress located in downtown Santiago, the nation's capital.

Abolition of the unelected[edit]

Amendments to the Constitution, approved by a joint session of Congress on August 16, 2005, eliminated non-directly elected senators from March 11, 2006, the day 20 newly elected senators were sworn in, leaving the total number of senators at 38, all directly elected. Previously, according to the Constitution of 1980, "designated" or "institutional" senators were appointed to the chamber. Two former heads of state, Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle and Augusto Pinochet, were installed as senators for life. Pinochet later resigned from this position and Frei lost his seat in the 2005 reform. However, Frei remained in the Senate by winning an elective seat.

Historical evolution[edit]

The Senate of Chile was created in 1812 to support the formulations of policies of the Government Junta. Since then it has undergone several constitutional reorganizations that have altered the scope of its constitutional powers, its composition and the generation of its members.

First senate[edit]

Created by Article 7 of the Provisional Constitutional Manual of 1812. It was composed of seven titular members (one for each province) and three alternate members and was supposed to serve as a counterbalance to the executive power of the Government Junta. The senators were directly nominated by the provinces in agreement with the central government. It functioned from November, 1812 to January, 1814, when it was reorganized to better respond to the problems caused by the successive military defeats at the hands of the advancing Spanish Army.

Consultive senate[edit]

Created by Article 13 of the Provisional Government Manual of 1814. As its predecessor, it was composed of seven titular members (only) nominated by the provinces in lists of three from which they were selected by the Supreme Director. It functioned from March to July, 1814, when the Spanish Army captured Santiago, putting an end to the Patria Vieja government.

First conservative senate[edit]

Created by Title III of the Constitution of 1818. It was composed of five titular members and five alternate members selected directly by the Supreme Director. It was supposed to function only when the lower house was not in function or could not meet, and had the power to enact "provisory rules" that had the same effect as laws (hence the "conservative" moniker, because it "conserved" the power.) It functioned from October, 1818 to May, 1822.

Political composition (2006-2010)[edit]

Senators (2006-2010)[edit]

Senate composition from March 11, 2006 to March 11, 2010.

Constituency Region Name Party Last elected
1 Arica and Parinacota
Tarapacá
Fulvio Rossi PS 2009
Jaime Orpis Bouchon UDI 2009
2 Antofagasta Carlos Cantero Ojeda Ind.[1] 2005
José Antonio Gómez Urrutia
(Vice-President, March 11, 2010–March 15, 2011; March 20, 2013-present)
PRSD 2005
3 Atacama Isabel Allende PS 2009
Baldo Prokurica Prokurica
(Vice-President, March 12, 2008-March 13, 2009)
RN 2009
4 Coquimbo Gonzalo Uriarte UDI 2005
Jorge Pizarro Soto
(President, March 11, 2010–March 15, 2011; March 20, 2013-present)
PDC 2005
5 Valparaíso Ignacio Walker PDC 2009
Lily Pérez RN 2009
6 Ricardo L. Weber PPD 2009
Francisco Chahuan RN 2009
7 Santiago Guido Girardi Lavín
(President, March 15, 2011–March 20, 2012)
PPD 2005
Jovino Novoa Vásquez
(President, March 13, 2009–March 11, 2010)
UDI 2005
8 Ena von Baer UDI 2005
Soledad Alvear Valenzuela PDC 2005
9 O'Higgins Alejandro García-Huidobro UDI 2005
Juan Pablo Letelier Morel
(Vice-President, March 15, 2011–March 20, 2012)
PS 2005
10 Maule Ximena Rincón PDC 2009
Juan Antonio Coloma Correa UDI 2009
11 Andrés Zaldívar PDC 2009
Hernán Larraín Fernández UDI 2009
12 Biobío Alejandro Navarro Brain
(Vice-President, March 20, 2012–March 20, 2013)
MAS[2] 2005
Hosain Sabag Castillo PDC 2005
13 Mariano Ruiz-Esquide Jara PDC 2005
Víctor Pérez Varela UDI 2005
14 Araucanía Jaime Quintana PPD 2009
Alberto Espina Otero RN 2009
15 Eugenio Tuma PPD 2009
José García Ruminot RN 2009
16 Los Ríos
(plus District 55)
Carlos Larraín Peña RN 2005
Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle
(President, March 11, 2006-March 12, 2008)
PDC 2005
17 Los Lagos
(minus District 55)
Camilo Escalona Medina
(President, March 20, 2012–March 20, 2013)
PS 2005
Carlos Kuschel Silva RN 2005
18 Aisén Patricio Walker PDC 2009
Antonio Horvath Kiss RN 2001
19 Magallanes Carlos Bianchi Chelech
(Vice-President, March 13, 2009–March 11, 2010)
Ind. 2005
Pedro Muñoz Aburto PS 2005

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Elected as RN member, but quit the party in November 2007, after conflicts with the party leadership.
  2. ^ Elected as a PS member, but quit the party in November 2008 to form his own political party, Broad Social Movement (MAS). He has pledged he will remain loyal to President Michelle Bachelet.

External links[edit]