Uruguayan constitutional referendum, 1917

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A constitutional referendum was held in Uruguay on 25 November 1917.[1] 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.[2] 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.[3] The result was confirmed by the Senate on 18 December, and the new constitution came into force on 1 March 1919.[3]


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.[2] Batlle had been opposed to the presidential system, believing that a collegiate body would lower the risk of a dictatorship emerging.[2] Although the proposal was defeated in 1916, Batlle negotiated a compromise with the National Party to include the system in a new constitution.[2]

New constitution

As well as introducing the colegiado system, the new constitution determined that presidents could only serve a single term in office.[3] It provided for a bicameral General Assembly with a term of four years, and introduced universal male suffrage.[3] 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.[3]


Choice Votes %
Invalid/blank votes
Registered voters/turnout233'85038.20
Source: Direct Democracy

See also


  1. Nohlen, D (2005) Elections in the Americas: A data handbook, Volume II, p494 ISBN 978-0-19-928358-3
  2. 1 2 3 4 The Constitution Library of Congress Country Studies
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 Uruguay, 25 November 1917: Constitution Direct Democracy (German)
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