Presidential Designate

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The Presidential Designate (Spanish: Designado Presidencial) was a Colombian elected official, chosen by the Senate to ensure the presidential line of succession. The title of Presidential Designate did not bring any official office or duties, its sole purpose was to replace the President in his absence, death, or inability to hold office.


The title was instituted by the Colombian Constitution of 1863, to modify the presidential line of succession. In 1858 the office of the office Vice President of Colombia was abolished, and the line of succession was broken and modified, making the heads of the Ministries of Colombia the successors to the presidency, going from oldest to youngest. The new constitution called for annual elections of the First, Second, and Third Presidential Designates to confirm a transition of power. After the ratification of the Colombian Constitution of 1886, the vice-presidency was reinstituted, but because of the resignation of vice president Eliseo Payán in 1887, Congress was forced to elect interim presidential designates once again. In 1905, President Rafael Reyes abolished once again the vice presidency, and amended the constitution to allow him to choose the presidential designates, but after his overthrow, in 1909, Congress reinstituted the titles of First and Second Presidential Designates, giving Senate the task of electing new ones every two years. Because of constitutional reforms, the title of Second Presidential Designate was terminated, leaving just one presidential designate. The Colombian Constitution of 1991, reestablished the vice presidency, but it allowed the election of a presidential designate until the end of the term of President César Gaviria. The last Presidential Designate was Juan Manuel Santos, who is also the current President of Colombia.

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