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Guatemala Government Profile 2014

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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
Government typeconstitutional democratic 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 1993 (2013)
Legal systemcivil law system; judicial review of legislative acts
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; the Congress ratified Statute of Rome on 18 January 2012, and ICCt jurisdiction entered into force on 23 February 2012
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 Otto Fernando PEREZ MOLINA (since 14 January 2012); Vice President Ingrid Roxana BALDETTI Elias (since 14 January 2012); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Otto Fernando PEREZ MOLINA (since 14 January 2012); Vice President Ingrid Roxana BALDETTI Elias (since 14 January 2012)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for a four-year term (may not serve consecutive terms); election last held on 11 September 2011; runoff held on 6 November 2011 (next to be held in September 2015)
election results: Otto Fernando PEREZ MOLINA elected president in a runoff election; percent of vote - Otto Fernando PEREZ MOLINA 53.7%, Manuel BALDIZON 46.3%
Legislative branchunicameral Congress of the Republic or Congreso de la Republica (158 seats; members elected through a party list proportional representation system)
elections: last held on 11 September 2011 (next to be held in September 2015)
election results: percent of vote by party - PP 26.62%, UNE-GANA 22.67%, UNC 9.50%, LIDER 8.87%, CREO 8.67%, VIVA-EG 7.87%, Winaq-URNG-ANN 3.23%, PAN 3.12%, FRG 2.74%, PU 2.70%, other 3.59%; seats by party - PP 57, UNE-GANA 48, LIDER 14, UCN 14, CREO 12, VIVA-EG 6, PAN 2, Winaq-URNG-ANN 2, FRG 1, PU 1, Victoria 1; note - changes in party affiliation now reflect the following seat distribution: as of 15 January 2014 - PP 55, LIDER 39, TODOS 18, independents 10, CREO 8, UNE 8, GANA 6, EG 3, PU 2, PRI (formerly FRG) 2, PAN 1, UCN 1, URNG 2, Victoria 1, VIVA 1, Winaq 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 Constitcionalidad (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 Court of Appeal and other tribunals; magistrates elected for 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 University of San Carlos, and 1 by a lawyers bar association; judges elected for concurrent 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 leadersCommitment, Renewal, and Order or CREO [Roberto GONZALEZ Diaz-Duran]
Democratic Union or UD [Edwin Armando MARTINEZ Herrera]
Encounter for Guatemala or EG [Nineth MONTENEGRO Cottom]
Everyone Together for Guatemala or TODOS [Felipe ALEJOS]
Grand National Alliance or GANA [Jaime Antonio MARTINEZ Lohayza]
Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity or URNG [Angel SANCHEZ Viesca]
Institutional Republican Party (formerly the Guatemalan Republican Front) or PRI [Luis Fernando PEREZ]
National Advancement Party or PAN [Juan GUTIERREZ Strauss]
National Unity for Hope or UNE [Sandra TORRES]
Nationalist Change Union or UCN [Mario ESTRADA]
New National Alternative or ANN [Pablo MONSANTO]
Patriot Party or PP [Ingrid Roxana BALDETTI Elias]
Renewed Democratic Liberty or LIDER [Manuel BALDIZON]
Unionista Party or PU [Alvaro ARZU Irigoyen]
Victoria (Victory) [Amilcar RIVERA]
Vision with Values or VIVA [Harold CABALLEROS] (part of a coalition with EG during the last legislative election)
Winaq [Rigoberta MENCHU]
Political pressure groups and leadersAlliance Against Impunity or AI (which includes among others Center for Legal Action on Human Rights (CALDH), and 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 (candidate country), FAO, G-24, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), 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, UNAMID, 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 Jose Julio Alejandro LIGORRIA Carballido (since 5 September 2013)
chancery: 2220 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 745-4952
FAX: [1] (202) 745-1908
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, McAllen (TX), Miami, New York, Phoenix, Providence (RI), San Francisco, Silver Spring (MD),
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador (vacant), Chargé d'Affairs ad interim Bruce WILLIAMSON (since 5 March 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
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 June 30, 2015