Country Risk

New Colombian legislature likely to support market-friendly policies, support for FARC peace agreement finely balanced

13 March 2018

Key Points

  • Both houses of the legislature have taken a shift to the right.
  • There will be a clear majority from the right and centre that favour Colombia’s macroeconomic stability and openness to foreign direct investment, including possible corporate tax cuts.
  • Support for the FARC peace process is finely balanced with single-digit majorities supporting its implementation; a full reversal is unlikely given constitutional constraints.
  • Left-of-Centre presidential candidate Gustavo Petro will struggle to form a ruling coalition (if he wins the May presidential election) without compromising on his state-interventionist economic policies.


On 11 March, legislative elections for the 171-seat House of Representatives and 107-seat Senate, as well as primaries for the May presidential election, were held.

Legislative election results

No single party reached a majority in either the House of Representatives or the Senate. President Juan Manuel Santos’s ruling National Unity (Unidad Nacional) coalition, comprised of the Party of the U (Partido de la U), the Liberal Party (Partido Liberal), and Citizens Option (Opción Ciudadana), lost their majority in both houses. In the House of Representatives, the Liberal Party will be the largest, with 35 seats, followed by the right-of-centre Democratic Centre (Centro Democrático: CD) with 32 seats and Radical Change (Cambio Radical: CR) with 30 seats. In the Senate, CD will be the largest party with 19 seats, followed by CR with 16 seats and the Conservative Party (Partido Conservador) with 15 seats.

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