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The Republic of Chile is a representative democracy with a presidential republic type of government. Citizens elect government officials and representatives every four years. The government is divided into three independent branches: the executive, legislative, and judiciary. The national capital of Chile is Santiago, where La Moneda Palace is the seat of government. Also in Santiago, is the Courts of Justice Palace which houses the judicial branch of Chile. West of Santiago is the port city of Valparaiso, housing the National Congress of Chile, where they draft and amend the laws of the country.
In the executive branch, the president administers both the state and the government. Election for presidency requires an absolute vote of the majority through a two-round system. The president can appoint or dismiss Cabinet members, Ambassadors, provincial and regional authorities, the Comptroller General of the Republic, the judges for the Supreme and Appellate courts, and the Commanders in Chiefs of the Armed Forces. The President will act as the Commander in Chief of the Armed forces in times of war. The President can also introduce bills, implement laws and submit constitutional amendments. Legislative duties are performed by the bicameral National Congress: 38 Senate members and 120 members for the Chamber of Deputies—elected through a closed party-list majority system according to district population size. This system also requires 40% of women candidates. This branch also ensures that the laws are carried out by the government. The judiciary’s Supreme court is composed of 21 judges appointed by the president with senate approval. Also part of the judicial branch is the Court of Appeals or Appellate Court; the military courts; and the Constitutional tribunal. The supreme court has authority over appellate and lower courts, but not on the Constitutional and Electoral courts. No jury trial exists in Chile but citizens are granted the right to counsel according to the constitution.
Chile is an active player in the Latin America Group. Chile is in good relations with its neighboring countries as part of the Andean Community of Nations, Community of Democracies, Economic Commission for Latin America, Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, Inter-American Development Bank, MercoSur, Organization of American States, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Central American Integration System, Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), and Union Latina. Colombia, Mexico, Peru also formed the Pacific Alliance with Chile. Chile has diplomatic relations with almost all states and bilateral relations with the Security Council, and most Asian, African, Middle Eastern, European, and Western states. Chile supports collective action in the United Nations since being a member in October 24, 1945.
Chile participates in different specialized agencies, such as the Conference on Disarmament, Food and Agriculture Organization, International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, International Monetary Fund, International Communications Union, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, World Bank Group and the World Trade Organization.
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