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Politics of Paraguay

Paraguay's highly centralized government was fundamentally changed by the 1992 constitution, which provides for a division of powers. The president, popularly elected for a 5-year term, appoints a cabinet. The next presidential elections are scheduled for 2003. The bicameral Congress consists of an 80-member Chamber of Deputies[?] and a 45-member Senate, elected concurrently with the president through a proportional representation system. Deputies are elected by department and senators nationwide. Paraguay's highest court is the Supreme Court. The Senate and the president select its nine members on the basis of recommendations from a constitutionally created Magistrates Council[?]. Each of Paraguay's 17 departments is headed by a popularly elected governor.

Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Paraguay
conventional short form: Paraguay
local long form: Republica del Paraguay
local short form: Paraguay

Data code: PA

Government type: constitutional republic

Capital: Asuncion

Administrative divisions: 17 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento) and one capital city; Alto Paraguay, Alto Parana, Amambay, Asuncion (city), Boqueron, Caaguazu, Caazapa, Canindeyu, Central, Concepcion, Cordillera, Guaira, Itapua, Misiones, Neembucu, Paraguari, Presidente Hayes, San Pedro

Independence: 14 May 1811 (from Spain)

National holiday: Independence Days, 14-15 May (1811)

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; does not accept compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal and compulsory up to age 75

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Luis GONZALEZ Macchi (since 28 March 1999); vice president (vacant); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Luis GONZALEZ Macchi (since 28 March 1999); vice president (vacant); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
cabinet: Council of Ministers nominated by the president
elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for five-year terms; election last held 10 May 1998 (next to be held NA May 2003)
election results: Raul CUBAS Grau elected president; percent of vote - 55.3%; resigned 28 March 1999
note: President Luis GONZALEZ Macchi, formerly president of the Chamber of Senators, constitutionally succeeded President Raul CUBAS Grau, who resigned after being impeached soon after the assassination of Vice President Luis Maria ARGANA; the successor to ARGANA will be decided in an election expected to be held in August 2000

Legislative branch: bicameral Congress or Congreso consists of the Chamber of Senators or Camara de Senadores (45 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms) and the Chamber of Deputies or Camara de Diputados (80 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: Chamber of Senators - last held 10 May 1998 (next to be held NA May 2003); Chamber of Deputies - last held 10 May 1998 (next to be held NA May 2003)
election results: Chamber of Senators - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Colorado Party 25, PLRA 13, PEN 7; Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Colorado Party 45, PLRA 26, PEN 9

Judicial branch: Supreme Court of Justice or Corte Suprema de Justicia, judges appointed on the proposal of the Counsel of Magistrates or Consejo de la Magistratura

Political parties and leaders: Authentic Radical Liberal Party or PLRA [Julio Cesar "Yolito" FRANCO]; Christian Democratic Party or PDC [Miguel MONTANER]; Febrerista Revolutionary Party or PRF [Carlos Maria LJUBETIC]; National Encounter or PEN [Mario PAZ Castaing]; National Republican Association - Colorado Party [acting president Bader RACHID LICHI]

Political pressure groups and leaders: National Workers Central or CNT; Paraguayan Workers Confederation or CPT; Roman Catholic Church; Unitary Workers Central or CUT

International organization participation: CCC, ECLAC, FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (correspondent), ITU, LAES, LAIA, Mercosur, NAM (observer), OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, RG, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Juan Esteban AGUIRRE MARTINEZ


chancery: 2400 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 483-6960 through 6962
FAX: [1] (202) 234-4508
consulate(s) general: Kansas City (Kansas), Miami, New Orleans, New York

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Stephan G. MCFARLAND
embassy: 1776 Avenida Mariscal Lopez, Casilla Postal 402, Asuncion
mailing address: Unit 4711, APO 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 centered 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 the seal of the treasury (a yellow lion below a red Cap of Liberty and the words Paz y Justicia (Peace and Justice) capped by the words REPUBLICA DEL PARAGUAY, all within two circles)

See also : Paraguay



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