The Chamber of Deputies (Spanish: Cámara de Diputados) was the lower house of Venezuela's legislative under its 1961 constitution; the Venezuelan Senate was the upper house. Under the 1999 constitution, the bicameral system was replaced by the unicameral National Assembly of Venezuela.

Palacio Federal Legislativo

At the 1993 Venezuelan parliamentary election, the Chamber saw the introduction of a mixed member proportional representation system,[1] modelled on the German system, with some variations.[2] This replaced the previous "closed-list proportional representation system [which had] led to an extremely party-centered system."[3] The traditionally dominant Democratic Action and COPEI "supported it because it looked the most like the system under which they had prospered".[1]

"Seats for the Chamber of Deputies were allocated to each state on the basis of its population. Since 1970 a number of citizens equal to 0.55% of the population is entitled to a deputy, but since 1993 no state can have fewer than three deputies. A quota for additional seats in the Chamber of Deputies is calculated by dividing the total number of votes cast by the number of deputies determined by the size of the population. The number of votes received by each party nationally for deputies is divided by this result, and the difference between the seats already won and this final result is the number of additional seats awarded to the party. As in the Senate, there has always been a limit to the total number of additional seats any given party can receive. (Since 1980 no party has been allowed more than five additional seats in the Chamber of Deputies.)"[4]

At the Chamber's last election in 1998, it had 207 members.

Presidents of the Chamber of Deputies


President Tenure Party
Rafael Caldera 1959-1962 COPEI
Manuel Vicente Ledezma 1962 Acción Democrática
Ignacio Luis Arcaya 1962-1964 Democratic Republican Union
Héctor Santaella 1964-1965 Democratic Republican Union
Alirio Ugarte Pelayo 1965-1966 Democratic Republican Union
Dionisio López Orihuela 1966-1967 Democratic Republican Union
Enrique Betancourt y Galindez 1967-1968 Democratic Republican Union
César Rondón Lovera 1968-1969 Acción Democrática
Jorge Dáger 1969-1970 Acción Democrática
Antonio Léidenz 1970-1974 Acción Democrática
Gonzalo Ramírez Cubillán 1974-1975 COPEI
Oswaldo Álvarez Paz 1975-1979 COPEI
Carlos Canache Mata 1979-1982 Acción Democrática
Armando Sánchez Bueno 1982-1983 Acción Democrática
Leonardo Ferrer 1984-1987 COPEI
José Rodríguez Iturbe[6] 1987-1990 COPEI
Luis Enrique Oberto 1990-1994 COPEI
Carmelo Lauría 1994-1996 Acción Democrática
Ramón Guillermo Aveledo 1996-1998 COPEI
Ixora Rojas 1998-1999 Acción Democrática
Henrique Capriles 1999 COPEI


  1. ^ a b Crisp, Brian F. and Rey, Juan Carlos (2003), "The Sources of Electoral Reform in Venezuela", in Shugart, Matthew Soberg, and Martin P. Wattenberg, Mixed-Member Electoral Systems - The Best of Both Worlds?, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003. pp. 173-194(22)
  2. ^ Crisp and Rey(2003:189)
  3. ^ Crisp and Rey (2003: 192)
  4. ^ Crisp and Rey(2003:175)
  5. ^ Venezuela (1983). "25 Años de legislación democrática".
  6. ^ Iturbe, José Rodríguez (1997). Repensar la política: Notas sobre la base ideal-cultural de un nuevo proyecto nacional democrático. ISBN 9789800741986.

See also