The Congress of Colombia consists of the 102-seat Senate (Senado), and the 166-seat Chamber of Representatives (Cámara de Representantes). Members of both houses are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms. The Congress meets twice a year in two ordinary sessions: The first from July 20 to December 16, and the second from March 16 to June 20. The Executive branch can call for extraordinary sessions at any time, but never after June 20th in an election year. Every year on a July 20th the congress also internally elects the President of Congress.
Both houses of Congress meet at the neoclassical Capitolio Nacional ("National Capitol") building in central Bogotá, the construction of which began in 1847 and was not concluded until 1926. Every house has its own election procedure and individual powers that make them different from each other, which are further discussed in the article for each individual chamber.
The Senate has 102 elected members for four-year terms.
According to the Colombian Constitution, 100 senators (senador(es)) are elected from a single national candidate list. The remaining two are elected from a special list set aside for Indigenous peoples communities. Senators can be elected by Colombian citizens abroad.
The Chamber has 166 elected members for four-year terms.
According to the Colombian Constitution, every department is an electoral circumscription. There are also four special circumscriptions: One for Indian communities, one for Afro-Colombian communities (negritudes), one for other minorities and one for Colombian citizens abroad, which have become lately a coveted political group. There will be two representatives for each territorial circumscription, and every territorial circumscription will elect an additional member for every 250,000 residents or fraction greater than 125,000 residents in excess of the first 250,000 residents. The Afro-Colombian circunscription elects two representatives, and the Indian, other minority and expatriate circumscriptions elect one each.
To be a representative, a person must be a Colombian citizen (regardless of place of birth) who has attained the age of 25 years at the moment of election.