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Chile Government
Capital:
Santiago
Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Chile
conventional short form: Chile
local long form: Republica de Chile
local short form: Chile
Government type:
republic
Administrative divisions:
13 regions (regiones, singular - region); Aisen del General Carlos Ibanez del Campo, Antofagasta, Araucania, Atacama, Bio-Bio, Coquimbo, Libertador General Bernardo O'Higgins, Los Lagos, Magallanes y de la Antartica Chilena, Maule, Region Metropolitana (Santiago), Tarapaca, Valparaiso
note: the US does not recognize claims to Antarctica
Independence:
18 September 1810 (from Spain)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 18 September (1810)
Constitution:
11 September 1980, effective 11 March 1981, amended 30 July 1989, 1993, and 1997
Legal system:
based on Code of 1857 derived from Spanish law and subsequent codes influenced by French and Austrian law; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
note: Chile is in the process of completely overhauling its criminal justice system; a new, US-style adversarial system is being gradually implemented throughout the country with the final stage of implementation in the Santiago metropolitan region expected in June 2005
Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal and compulsory
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Ricardo LAGOS Escobar (since 11 March 2000); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Ricardo LAGOS Escobar (since 11 March 2000); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president
election results: Ricardo LAGOS Escobar elected president; percent of vote - Ricardo LAGOS Escobar 51.32%, Joaquin LAVIN 48.68%
elections: president elected by popular vote for a six-year term; election last held 12 December 1999, with runoff election held 16 January 2000 (next to be held NA December 2005)
Legislative branch:
bicameral National Congress or Congreso Nacional consists of the Senate or Senado (48 seats, 38 elected by popular vote, 9 designated members, and 1 former president who has served a full six-year term and is senator for life); elected members serve eight-year terms (one-half elected every four years) and the Chamber of Deputies or Camara de Diputados (120 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - CPD 20 (PDC 12, PS 5, PPD 3), APC 16 (UDI 9, RN 7), independents 2; Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - CPD 62 (PDC 24, PPD 21, PS 11, PRSD 6), UDI 35, RN 22, independent 1
elections: Senate - last held 16 December 2001 (next to be held NA December 2005); Chamber of Deputies - last held 16 December 2001 (next to be held NA December 2005)
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court or Corte Suprema (judges are appointed by the president and ratified by the Senate from lists of candidates provided by the court itself; the president of the Supreme Court is elected by the 21-member court); Constitutional Tribunal
Political parties and leaders:
Alliance for Chile ("Alianza") or APC - including RN and UDI; Christian Democratic Party or PDC [Adolfo ZALDIVAR]; Coalition of Parties for Democracy ("Concertacion") or CPD - including PDC, PS, PPD, PRSD; Communist Party or PC [Gladys MARIN]; Independent Democratic Union or UDI [Pablo LONGUEIRA]; National Renewal or RN [Sebastian PINERA]; Party for Democracy or PPD [Victor BARRUETO]; Radical Social Democratic Party or PRSD [Orlando CANTUARIAS]; Socialist Party or PS [Gonzalo MARTNER]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
revitalized university student federations at all major universities; Roman Catholic Church; United Labor Central or CUT includes trade unionists from the country's five largest labor confederations
International organization participation:
APEC, BIS, FAO, G-15, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt (signatory), ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, LAES, LAIA, Mercosur (associate), MONUC, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, RG, UN, UN Security Council (temporary), UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMOGIP, UNTSO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Andres BIANCHI
chancery: 1732 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and San Juan (Puerto Rico)
FAX: [1] (202) 887-5579
telephone: [1] (202) 785-1746
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador William R. BROWNFIELD
embassy: Avenida Andres Bello 2800, Las Condes, Santiago
mailing address: APO AA 34033
telephone: [56] (2) 232-2600
FAX: [56] (2) 330-3710
Flag description:
two equal horizontal bands of white (top) and red; there is a blue square the same height as the white band at the hoist-side end of the white band; the square bears a white five-pointed star in the center representing a guide to progress and honor; blue symbolizes the sky, white is for the snow-covered andes, and red stands for the blood spilled to achieve independence; design was influenced by the us flag
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