Uruguayan constitutional referendum, 1917
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A constitutional referendum was held in Uruguay on 25 November 1917. Amongst the changes to the system of government, the new constitution would create a National Council of Administration (known as the colegiado) alongside the presidency. The National Council of Administration would have nine members; six from the first party and three from the second. The proposals were approved by 95.15% of voters. The result was confirmed by the Senate on 18 December, and the new constitution came into force on 1 March 1919.
The colegiado system had been first proposed by President José Batlle y Ordóñez in 1913, with the aim of creating an executive body similar to the Swiss Federal Council. Batlle had been opposed to the presidential system, believing that a collegiate body would lower the risk of a dictatorship emerging. Although the proposal was defeated in 1916, Batlle negotiated a compromise with the National Party to include the system in a new constitution.
As well as introducing the colegiado system, the new constitution determined that presidents could only serve a single term in office. It provided for a bicameral General Assembly with a term of four years, and introduced universal male suffrage. It also provided for the separation of church and state and allowed for constitutional amendments to be made with a two-thirds majority in both chambers of the General Assembly.
|Source: Direct Democracy|