Referendum for a National Constituent Assembly

The National Constituent Assembly is the result of a mass expression by citizens, according to polling results, for the writing of a new Constitution for Colombia - replacing the Constitution of 1886. This Assembly materialized thanks to the exigency of the citizenry with the Seventh Papeleta, a proposal originating from students proposing the inclusion of a seventh vote in the elections of March 11, 1990 that requested the convening of a Constituent Assembly. Although this mechanism did not have legal support; citizens responded en masse to the proposal. Responding to these indications of public discontent, President Virgilio Barco decided to call a referendum to officially vote for the formation of the National Constituent Assembly during the following presidential elections in May 1990, in which the citizens approved its formation with more than 5 million votes and a concurrence of more than 97%. In compliance with this decision, on December 9, 1990, during the government of César Gaviria Trujillo, citizens of Colombian voted for the democratic formation of a group of leaders in charge of discussing and writing the new Constitution. The constituency consisted of 70 democratically elected members, who came from diverse political currents. The writing of the new Constitution was completed over the course of 150 days until July 4, 1991.

Institutional design


Formalization: is the innovation embedded in the constitution or legislation, in an administrative act, or not formalized at all?

Frequency: how often does the innovation take place: only once, sporadically, or is it permanent or regular?

Mode of Selection of Participants: is the innovation open to all participants, access is restricted to some kind of condition, or both methods apply?

Type of participants: those who participate are individual citizens, civil society organizations, private stakeholders or a combination of those?

Decisiveness: does the innovation takes binding, non-binding or no decision at all?

Co-governance: is there involvement of the government in the process or not?

embedded in the constitution/legislation 
Mode of selection of participants
Type of participants
democratic innovation yields a binding decision  


  • Deliberation
  • Direct Voting
  • E-Participation
  • Citizen Representation


  • Accountability
  • Responsiveness
  • Rule of Law
  • Political Inclusion
  • Social Equality

Policy cycle

Agenda setting
Formulation and decision-making
Policy Evaluation


How to quote

Do you want to use the data from this website? Here’s how to cite:

Pogrebinschi, Thamy. (2017). LATINNO Dataset. Berlin: WZB.

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