Simón Bolívar, who in 1825 guided the creation of Bolivia, presented the new nation with its first constitution. Composed by Bolívar, it was approved by the Bolivian assembly in November 1826 but never used.
This 132-article constitution, which represented Bolívar's personal political philosophy, combined various constitutional models, beginning with Athenian democracy. Powers were divided among the electors and the legislative, executive, and judicial branches. The legislature was tricameral: tribune, senate, and censors. Suffrage was broader than was usual for the early nineteenth century. Every ten citizens selected one elector who served for four years. Electors presented candidates for the legislature and local offices and chose censors, who held office for life and were the ultimate guardians of the constitution and individual liberties. The judiciary was independent and selected by the senate from a list prepared by the electors. The executive department was headed by a life-term president who selected his successor. The president, who could appoint only treasury officials, was commander of the army and could not be impeached or held responsible by the other branches. The constitution was officially abrogated with the Treaty of Piquiza with Peru on 6 July 1828.
See alsoBolívar, Simón .
Manuel Ordoñez, ed., Constitución política de la república de Bolivia, leyes y disposiciones más usuales, vol. 2 (1917).
Victor Andrés Belaunde, Bolívar and the Political Thought of the Spanish American Revolution (1938).
Plácido Molina Mostajo, El libertador en Bolivia (1975).
Parra Dávila, Alvaro. El pensamiento político del libertador Bolívar y la Constitución de Bolivia. Caracas, Venezuela: Ediciones El Centauro, 2000.
Charles W. Arnade