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Government in Paraguay


Paraguay is a representative democratic republic, with a multi-party system and separation of powers in three branches. Executive power is exercised solely by the President, who is both head of state and head of government; Legislative power is vested in the two chambers of the National Congress (Congreso Nacional).

The President, popularly elected for a five-year term, appoints a cabinet. The President nominates the Council of Ministers. Once presidents leave office, they are granted by the Constitution the speaking-but-non-voting position of Senator for life. In Paraguay, the post of First Lady is official, and thus the Office of the First Lady the Nation of the Republic of Paraguay was created. According to Paraguayan law, this office depends structurally and financially upon the Presidency of the Republic. The office exercises mainly social functions, but also those related to health, through the REPADEH Foundation.

The National Congress has two chambers – the Chamber of Deputies (Cámara de Diputados) has 80 members, elected for a five-year term by proportional representation; and the Chamber of Senators (Cámara de Senadores) has 45 members, also elected for a five-year term by proportional representation.

The judiciary is vested in Tribunals and Courts of Civil Law and a nine-member Supreme Court of Justice, all of them independent of the executive and the legislature. The Senate and the president select its nine members on the basis of recommendations from a constitutionally created Magistrates Council.


Country name : conventional long form: Republic of Paraguay

conventional short form: Paraguay

local long form: Republica del Paraguay

local short form: Paraguay
Government type : constitutional republic
Capital : name: Asunción

geographic coordinates: 25 16 S, 57 40 W

time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins first Sunday in October; ends second Sunday in April
Administrative divisions : 17 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento) and 1 capital city*; Alto Paraguay, Alto Parana, Amambay, Asunción*, Boqueron, Caaguazu, Caazapa, Canindeyu, Central, Concepción, Cordillera, Guaira, Itapua, Misiones, Neembucu, Paraguari, Presidente Hayes, San Pedro
Independence : 14 May 1811 (from Spain)
National holiday : Independence Day, 14 May 1811 (observed 15 May)
Constitution : promulgated 20 June 1992
Legal system : based on Argentine codes, Roman law, and French codes; judicial review of legislative acts in Supreme Court of Justice; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage : 18 years of age; universal and compulsory up to age 75
Executive branch : chief of state: President Horacio Cartes (since 15 August 2013); Vice President Juan Afara Maciel (since 15 August 2013); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Horacio Cartes (since 15 August 2013); Vice President Juan Afara Maciel (since 15 August 2013)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president

elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for a single five-year term; election last held on 21 April 2013 (next to be held in April 2018)

election results: Horacio Cartes elected president; percent of vote - Horacio Cartes 45.8%, Efrain Alegre 36.94%, Mario Ferreiro 5.88%, Anibal Carrillo 3.32%, other 8.06%
Legislative branch : bicameral National Congress or Congreso Nacional consists of the Chamber of Senators or Camara de Senadores (45 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms) and the Chamber of Deputies or Camara de Diputados (80 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)

elections: Chamber of Senators - last held on 21 April 2013 (next to be held in April 2018); Chamber of Deputies - last held on 21 April 2013 (next to be held in April 2018)

election results: Chamber of Senators - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - ANR 19, PLRA 12, FG 5, PDP 3, Avanza Pais 2, UNACE 2, PEN 1, PPQ 1; Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - ANR 44, PLRA 27, Avanza Pais 2, PEN 2, UNACE 2, FG 1, PPQ 1, other 1
Judicial branch : highest court(s): Supreme Court of Justice or Corte Suprema de Justicia (consists of 9 justices divided 3 each into the Constitutional Court, Civil and Commercial Chamber, and Criminal Division

judge selection and term of office: justices proposed by the Council of Magistrates or Consejo de la Magistratura, a 6-member independent body, and appointed by the Chamber of Senators with presidential concurrence; judges appointed until mandatory retirement at age 75

subordinate courts: appellate courts; first instance courts; minor courts, including justices of the peace
Political parties and leaders : Asociacion Nacional Republicana - Colorado Party or ANR [Lilian Samaniego];

Avanza Pais coalition [Adolfo Ferreiro];

Broad Front coalition (Frente Guasu) or FG [Fernando Armindo Lugo Mendez];

Movimiento Union Nacional de Ciudadanos Eticos or UNACE [Jorge Oviedo Matto];

Patria Querida (Beloved Fatherland Party) or PPQ [Sebastian Acha];

Partido del Movimiento al Socialismo or P-MAS [Camilo Ernesto Soares Machado];

Partido Democratica Progresista or PDP [Desiree Masi];

Partido Encuentro Nacional or PEN [Fernando Camacho Paredes];

Partido Liberal Radical Autentico or PLRA [Miguel Abdon Saguier];

Partido Pais Solidario or PPS [Carlos Alberto Filizzola Pallares];

Partido Popular Tekojoja [Sixto Pereira]
Political pressure groups and leaders : Ahorristas Estafados or AE;

National Coordinating Board of Campesino Organisations or MCNOC [Luis Aguayo];

National Federation of Campesinos or FNC [Odilon Espinola];

National Workers Central or CNT [Secretary General Juan Torrales];

Paraguayan Workers Confederation or CPT;

Roman Catholic Church;

Unitary Workers Central or CUT [Jorge Guzman Alvarenga Malgarejo]
International organization participation : CAN (associate), FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAES, LAIA, Mercosur, MIGA, MINURSO, MINUSTAH, MONUC, NAM (observer), OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, RG, UN, UNASUR, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US : chief of mission: Ambassador Fernando Antonio Pfannl Caballero (since 9 January 2013)

chancery: 2400 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 483-6960 through 6962

fax: [1] (202) 234-4508

consulate(s) general: Los Angeles, Miami, New York
Diplomatic representation from the US : Ambassador James H. Thessin (since 8 September 2011)

embassy: 1776 Avenida Mariscal Lopez, Casilla Postal 402, Asunción

mailing address: Unit 4711, DPO AA 34036-0001

telephone: [595] (21) 213-715

fax: [595] (21) 213-728
Flag description : three equal, horizontal bands of red (top), white, and blue with an emblem centred in the white band; unusual flag in that the emblem is different on each side; the obverse (hoist side at the left) bears the national coat of arms (a yellow five-pointed star within a green wreath capped by the words REPUBLICA DEL PARAGUAY, all within two circles); the reverse (hoist side at the right) bears a circular seal of the treasury (a yellow lion below a red Cap of Liberty and the words PAZ Y JUSTICIA (Peace and Justice)); red symbolises bravery and patriotism, white represents integrity and peace, and blue denotes liberty and generosity

note: the three colour bands resemble those on the flag of the Netherlands; one of only three national flags that differ on their obverse and reverse sides - the others are Moldova and Saudi Arabia
National symbol(s) : lion
National anthem : name: "Paraguayos, Republica o muerte!" (Paraguayans, The Republic or Death!)

lyrics/music: Francisco Esteban Acuna de Figueroa/disputed

note: adopted 1934, in use since 1846; the anthem was officially adopted following its re-arrangement in 1934






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