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Paraguay Government Profile 2019

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Country name
conventional long form: Republic of Paraguay
conventional short form: Paraguay
local long form: Republica del Paraguay
local short form: Paraguay
etymology: the precise meaning of the name Paraguay is unclear, but it seems to derive from the river of the same name; one explanation has the name meaning "water of the Payagua" (an indigenous tribe that lived along the river)
Government type
presidential republic
Capital
name: Asuncion
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 last Sunday in March
etymology: the name means "assumption" and derives from the original name given to the city at its founding in 1537, Nuestra Senora Santa Maria de la Asuncion (Our Lady Saint Mary of the Assumption)
Administrative divisions
17 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento) and 1 capital city*; Alto Paraguay, Alto Parana, Amambay, Asuncion*, Boqueron, Caaguazu, Caazapa, Canindeyu, Central, Concepcion, Cordillera, Guaira, Itapua, Misiones, Neembucu, Paraguari, Presidente Hayes, San Pedro
Independence
14-15 May 1811 (from Spain); note - the uprising against Spanish authorities took place during the night of 14-15 May 1811 and both days are celebrated in Paraguay
National holiday
Independence Day, 14-15 May (1811) (observed 15 May); 14 May is celebrated as Flag Day
Constitution
history: several previous; latest approved and promulgated 20 June 1992
amendments: proposed at the initiative of at least one quarter of either chamber of the National Congress, by the president of the republic, or by petition of at least 30,000 voters; passage requires absolute majority vote by both chambers and approval in a referendum; amended 2011, 2014; note - in April 2017, a proposed amendment to extend presidential term limits was defeated by the lower house of the National Congress (2018)
Legal system
International law organization participation
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Citizenship
citizenship by birth: yes
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a native-born citizen of Paraguay
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: 3 years
Suffrage
18 years of age; universal and compulsory until the age of 75
Executive branch
chief of state: President Mario Abdo BENITEZ (since 15 August 2018); Vice President Hugo Adalberto VELAZQUEZ Moreno (since 15 August 2018); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Mario Abdo BENITEZ (since 15 August 2018); Vice President Hugo Adalberto VELAZQUEZ Moreno (since 15 August 2018)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections/appointments: president and vice president directly elected on the same ballot by simple majority popular vote for a single 5-year term; election last held on 22 April 2018 (next to be held in April 2023)
election results: Mario Abdo BENITEZ elected president; percent of vote - Mario Abdo BENITEZ (ANR) 46.4%, Efrain ALEGRE (PLRA) 42.7%, Juan Bautista YBANEZ 3.3%, other 7.6%
Legislative branch
description: bicameral National Congress or Congreso Nacional consists of:
Chamber of Senators or Camara de Senadores (45 seats; members directly elected in a single nationwide constituency by proportional representation vote to serve 5-year terms)
Chamber of Deputies or Camara de Diputados (80 seats; members directly elected in 18 multi-seat constituencies - corresponding to the country's 17 departments and capital city - by proportional representation vote to serve 5-year terms)
elections:
Chamber of Senators - last held on 22 April 2018 (next to be held in April 2023)
Chamber of Deputies - last held on 22 April 2018 (next to be held in April 2023)
election results:
Chamber of Senators - percent of vote by party/coalition - ANR 32.52%, PLRA 24.18%, FG 11.83%, PPQ 6.77%, MH 4.47%, PDP 3.66%, MCN 2.48%, UNACE 2.12%, other 11.97%; seats by party/coalition - ANR 17, PLRA 13, FG 6, PPQ 3, MH 2, PDP 2, MCN 1, UNACE 1; composition - men 36, women 9, percent of women 20%
Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party/coalition - ANR 39.1%, PLRA 17.74%, Ganar Alliance 12.08%, PPQ 4.46%, MH 3.19%; other 23.43%; seats by party/coalition - ANR 42, PLRA 17, Ganar Alliance 13, PPQ 3, MH 2, other 3; composition - men 66, women 14, percent of women 17.5%; note - total National Congress percent of women 18.4%
Judicial branch
highest courts: 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 can serve 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 [Pedro ALLIANA]
Avanza Pais coalition or AP [Adolfo FERREIRO]
Broad Front coalition (Frente Guasu) or FG [Esperanza MARTINEZ]
Ganar Alliance (alliance between PLRA and Guasu Front)
Movimiento Cruzada Nacional or MCN
Movimiento Hagamos or MH [Antonio "Tony" APURIL]
Movimiento Union Nacional de Ciudadanos Eticos or UNACE [Jorge OVIEDO MATTO]
Partido del Movimiento al Socialismo or P-MAS [Camilo Ernesto SOARES Machado]
Partido Democratica Progresista or PDP [Rafael FILIZZOLA]
Partido Encuentro Nacional or PEN [Hermann RATZLAFFIN Klippemstein]
Partido Liberal Radical Autentico or PLRA [Efrain ALEGRE]
Partido Pais Solidario or PPS [Carlos Alberto FILIZZOLA Pallares]
Partido Popular Tekojoja or PPT [Sixto PEREIRA Galeano]
Patria Querida (Beloved Fatherland Party) or PPQ [Miguel CARRIZOSA]
International organization participation
CAN (associate), CD, CELAC, FAO, G-11, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAES, LAIA, Mercosur, MIGA, MINURSO, MINUSTAH, MONUSCO, NAM (observer), OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, Pacific Alliance (observer), PCA, UN, UNASUR, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNISFA, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US
Ambassador Manuel Maria CACERES (since 11 January 2019)
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
chief of mission: Ambassador Lee MCCLENNY (since 20 February 2018)
telephone: [595] (21) 213-715
embassy: 1776 Avenida Mariscal Lopez, Casilla Postal 402, Asuncion
mailing address: Unit 4711, DPO AA 34036-0001
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 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 symbolizes bravery and patriotism, white represents integrity and peace, and blue denotes liberty and generosity

note: the three color 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 colors: red, white, blue
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; officially adopted following its re-arrangement in 1934


Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on December 7, 2019

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