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Guatemala Government Profile 2017

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Country nameconventional long form: Republic of Guatemala
conventional short form: Guatemala
local long form: Republica de Guatemala
local short form: Guatemala
etymology: name derives from the Maya word meaning "Land of Trees"
Government typepresidential republic
Capitalname: Guatemala City
geographic coordinates: 14 37 N, 90 31 W
time difference: UTC-6 (1 hour behind Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions22 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento); Alta Verapaz, Baja Verapaz, Chimaltenango, Chiquimula, El Progreso, Escuintla, Guatemala, Huehuetenango, Izabal, Jalapa, Jutiapa, Peten, Quetzaltenango, Quiche, Retalhuleu, Sacatepequez, San Marcos, Santa Rosa, Solola, Suchitepequez, Totonicapan, Zacapa
Independence15 September 1821 (from Spain)
National holidayIndependence Day, 15 September (1821)
Constitutionseveral previous; latest adopted 31 May 1985, effective 14 January 1986; suspended, reinstated, and amended in 1994 (2016)
Legal systemcivil law system; judicial review of legislative acts
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: yes
citizenship by descent: yes
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years with no absences of six consecutive months or longer or absences totaling more than a year
Suffrage18 years of age; universal; note - active duty members of the armed forces and police by law cannot vote and are restricted to their barracks on election day
Executive branchchief of state: President Jimmy Ernesto MORALES Cabrera (since 14 January 2016); Vice President Jafeth CABRERA Franco (since 14 January 2016); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Jimmy Ernesto MORALES Cabrera (since 14 January 2016); Vice President Jafeth CABRERA Franco (since 14 January 2016)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections/appointments: president and vice president directly elected on the same ballot by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 4-year term (not eligible for consecutive terms); election last held in 2 rounds on 6 September and 25 October 2015 (next to be held in September 2019)
election results: Jimmy Ernesto MORALES Cabrera (FNC) elected president; percent of vote in first round - Jimmy Ernesto MORALES Cabrera (FNC) 23.8%, Sandra TORRES (UNE) 19.8%, Manuel BALDIZON (LIDER) 19.6%; percent of vote in second round - Jimmy Ernesto MORALES Cabrera (FNC) 67.4%, Sandra TORRES (UNE) 32.6%
Legislative branchdescription: unicameral Congress of the Republic or Congreso de la Republica (158 seats; 127 members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies within each of the country's 22 departments by simple majority vote and 31 directly elected in a single nationwide constituency by proportional representation vote; members serve 4-year terms)
elections: last held on 6 September 2015 (next to be held in September 2019)
election results: percent of vote by party - LIDER 19.10%, UNE 14.83%, TODOS 9.74%, PP 9.43%, FCN 8.75%, EG 6.24%, PU 5.69%, UCN 5.43%, Winaq-URNG-MAIZ 4.32%, Convergence 3.84%, VIVA 3.66%, PAN 3.42%, FUERZA 2.07%, other 3.48%; seats by party - LIDER 44, UNE 36, TODOS 18, PP 17, FCN 11, EG 7, UCN 6, PU 5, Winaq-URNG-MAIZ 3, Convergence 3, VIVA 3, PAN 3, FUERZA 2; note - as of 6 January 2016, seats by party are as follows: FCN 37, UNE 32, MR 20, TODOS 17, AC 12, EG 7, UCN 6, CREO 5, LIDER 5, VIVA 4, Convergence 3, PAN 3, PP 2, FUERZA 1, PU 1, URNG 1, Winaq 1, independent 1
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Supreme Court of Justice or Corte Suprema de Justicia (consists of 13 magistrates including the court president and organized into 3 chambers); note - the court president also supervises trial judges countrywide; Constitutional Court or Corte de Constitucionalidad (consists of 5 judges and 5 alternates)
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court magistrates elected by the Congress of the Republic from candidates proposed by the Postulation Committee, an independent body of deans of the country's university law schools, representatives of the country's law associations, and representatives of the Courts of Appeal; magistrates elected for concurrent, renewable 5-year terms; Constitutional Court judges - 1 elected by the Congress of the Republic, 1 by the Supreme Court, 1 by the president of the republic, 1 by the (public) University of San Carlos, and 1 by the lawyers bar association; judges elected for concurrent, renewable 5-year terms; the presidency of the court rotates among the magistrates for a single 1-year term
subordinate courts: numerous first instance and appellate courts
Political parties and leadersCitizen Alliance or AC
Commitment, Renewal, and Order or CREO [Richard LEE Abularach]
Convergence [Pablo MONSANTO]
Encounter for Guatemala or EG [Nineth MONTENEGRO Cottom]
Everyone Together for Guatemala or TODOS [Felipe ALEJOS]
FUERZA [Maurico REDFORD]
Grand National Alliance or GANA [Carlos Alberto MARTINEZ Castellanos]
Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity or Winaq-URNG [Angel SANCHEZ Viesca]
Heart New Nation or CNN [Mario Roberto CHU Catalan]
My Country or Mi Pais [Alfredo RABBE]
National Advancement Party or PAN [Juan GUTIERREZ Strauss]
National Unity for Hope or UNE [Sandra TORRES]
National Convergence Front or FCN [Edgar Justino OVALLE Maldonado]
National Welfare or BIEN [Fidel REYES Lee]
Nationalist Change Union or UCN [Mario ESTRADA]
Patriot Party or PP [Ingrid Roxana BALDETTI Elias]
Political Movement Winaq or WINAQ [Amilcar de Jesus POP Ac]
Productivity and Labor Party or PPT [Edgar Alfredo RODRIGUEZ]
Progressive Liberating Party or PLP [Ana BERNAT]
Reform Movement or MR [Jose Raul VIGIL Arias]
Renewed Democratic Liberty or LIDER [Manuel BALDIZON]
Unionista Party or PU [Alvaro ARZU Escobar]
UNITED [Mario Rolando TORRES Marroquin]
Victoria (Victory) [Manuel de Jesus RIVERA]
Vision with Values or VIVA [Cromwell CUESTAS Paz]
Political pressure groups and leadersAlliance Against Impunity or AI (includes among others Center for Legal Action on Human Rights (CALDH), Family and Friends of the Disappeared of Guatemala (FAMDEGUA))
Civic and Political Convergence of Women
Committee for Campesino Unity or CUC
Coordinating Committee of Agricultural, Commercial, Industrial, and Financial Associations or CACIF
Foundation for the Development of Guatemala or FUNDESA
Guatemala Visible
Mutual Support Group or GAM
Movimiento PRO-Justicia
National Union of Agriculture Workers or UNAGRO
International organization participationBCIE, CACM, CD, CELAC, EITI (compliant country), FAO, G-24, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAES, LAIA (observer), MIGA, MINUSTAH, MONUSCO, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, Pacific Alliance (observer), PCA, Petrocaribe, SICA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNIFIL, Union Latina, UNISFA, UNITAR, UNMISS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Gladys Marithza RUIZ SANCHEZ de Vielman (since 27 June 2016)
chancery: 2220 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 745-4952
FAX: [1] (202) 745-1908
consulate(s): Del Rio (TX), San Bernadino (CA), Silver Spring (MD), Tucson (AZ)
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Lake Worth (FL), Los Angeles, McAllen (TX), Miami, New York, Phoenix, Providence (RI), San Francisco, Silver Spring (MD), Tucson (AZ)
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador Todd D. ROBINSON (since 10 October 2014)
embassy: 7-01 Avenida Reforma, Zone 10, Guatemala City
mailing address: DPO AA 34024
telephone: [502] 2326-4000
FAX: [502] 2326-4654
Flag descriptionthree equal vertical bands of light blue (hoist side), white, and light blue, with the coat of arms centered in the white band; the coat of arms includes a green and red quetzal (the national bird) representing liberty and a scroll bearing the inscription LIBERTAD 15 DE SEPTIEMBRE DE 1821 (the original date of independence from Spain) all superimposed on a pair of crossed rifles signifying Guatemala's willingness to defend itself and a pair of crossed swords representing honor and framed by a laurel wreath symbolizing victory; the blue bands represent the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea; the white band denotes peace and purity
note: one of only two national flags featuring a firearm, the other is Mozambique
National symbol(s)quetzal (bird); national colors: blue, white
National anthemname: "Himno Nacional de Guatemala" (National Anthem of Guatemala)
lyrics/music: Jose Joaquin PALMA/Rafael Alvarez OVALLE
note: adopted 1897, modified lyrics adopted 1934; Cuban poet Jose Joaquin PALMA anonymously submitted lyrics to a public contest calling for a national anthem; his authorship was not discovered until 1911

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on July 9, 2017

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