Following the Constitution of 1966, with amendments in
1997, Uruguay is a democratic, presidential and unified
state republic. The president is elected in the general and
direct elections for five years and must have an absolute
majority (possibly through another round of elections). He
is the head of state and the real leader of the country. He
appoints the members of the government and heads the
meetings of the government. Legislative authority has been
added to Congress, which has two chambers, a House of
Representatives (99 members) and a Senate (30 elected
members). The members of both chambers are elected in the
general and direct elections for five years; the elected
vice president becomes president of the senate, which thus
has 31 members. Uruguay is the most European-dominated
country in South America and has democratic traditions
dating back to the 19th century. The policy has been
dominated by two parties, the Colorado Party (the "reds",
liberally) and the national party (the Blanco party, the
"whites", moderately conservative); their rivalry led
several times in the 19th century to civil war. However,
during periods of the 20th century, the parties have ruled
Also see Uruguay Political Reviews.
Administratively, the country is divided into 19
ministries. The ministries have elected department heads and
a municipal intendante (intendante municipal) as
executive leader in the ministries, a role that combines the
role of governor and mayor. After the constitutional
amendments in 1997, the ministries gained greater autonomy. Also see AbbreviationFinder for abbreviation of UY and its meanings of Uruguay.
There are separate civil and criminal courts, juvenile
courts and labor courts. The capital of each department, as
well as some other cities, has its own departmental court.
There are seven appeals, all with three judges. The Supreme
Court of Justice is the highest general court. It has
original jurisdiction in i.a. constitutional cases, and
otherwise hears appeals from the appeals courts. It has five
judges, elected for ten years by Congress. There are
separate administrative courts, with the supreme
administrative court as the final court. It is also a
separate electoral court.
In Uruguay, military service is voluntary. The country is
participating in peacekeeping UN operations. The total force
figures for Uruguay's armed forces are 21,000 active
personnel (2018, IISS). In addition, 1400 semi-military
forces are arriving.
The army has a workforce of 13,500 active personnel.
Material comprising 15 tanks of type Ti 67, 38 facilitate
tanks (16 M24 Chaffee and 22 M41 Walker Bulldog), 15
reconnaissance vehicles, 18 armored vehicles, 376 armored
personnel carriers, and six self-propelled artillery. In
addition, the Army facilitates drones, heavy artillery and
air defense artillery.
The Air Force has a workforce of 2700 active personnel.
Material comprising 12 attack aircraft of the type A-37B
Dragonfly, one reconnaissance, 23 transport, 17 trainers and
The Navy has a workforce of 4800 active personnel,
including 1400 in the Coast Guard. The fleet includes two
frigates, 15 patrol vessels, three minesweepers, three
landings, and nine supply and auxiliary vessels. In
addition, the Navy has seven aircraft and three helicopters.
In 2018, Uruguay participated in UN operations in the
Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC) with 930 personnel and