Paraguay is a republic where the presidential
power is strong, although limited compared to the past.
The current constitution, which is from 1992, rests on
the idea of the distribution of power, where the
president's executive power is to be balanced by
congressional legislation and the judicial power of the
courts. The right of indigenous peoples to preserve and
develop their own culture is particularly emphasized.
The president, who is both head of state and
government, is elected in direct elections for a
five-year term and, since 1992, cannot be re-elected.
The President appoints his own government and has the
right to veto Parliament's decisions.
Total population and chart of Paraguay for years of 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024. Also covers population density, birth rate, death rate and population growth rates.
The National Congress, which is the
country's parliament, consists of two chambers: the
Chamber of Deputies with 80 members and
the Senate with 45 seats. All
representatives in the National Congress are elected by
the people for a term of five years, at the same time as
the presidential election. The voting age is 18 years.
The Chamber of Deputies enacts national and regional
laws while the Senate makes decisions on international
issues. The National Congress can abolish the
president's veto power by an absolute majority in both
chambers. The same procedure applies to putting the
president before the national court.
Paraguay is divided into 17 provinces and the capital
Asuncion. Each province is governed by an elected
The strongest individual institution is still the
armed forces, although its influence is limited in the
Constitution. Some military forces work for a return to
the society that existed during the dictatorship of
1954–1989, when the military was very powerful (see
Modern History). Several coup attempts have been made
after the dictatorship case.
A significant political force is also the large
landowners' lobby and interest organizations that are
close to the Colorado Party (see below). At the same
time, agricultural workers and indigenous peoples are
fighting for a land redistribution so that landless farm
workers get land. The land occupations of the movements
have been met by violence from the landowners' private
The Colorado Party (or the "Red
Party", really the National Republican Federation, the
Asociación Nacional Republicana-Partido Colorado,
ANR-PC) was formed in 1887 and gathers
a large part of the country's elite, such as landowners,
military and corporate leaders. For decades, all
political power was concentrated on the Colorado Party,
which is still the country's largest and best-organized
party. During the dictatorship, the Colorado Party
served as the regime's support party. Following the fall
of dictator Alfredo Stroessner, internal conflicts led
to it being divided into a number of factions. In a
historic election in 2008, the Colorado Party lost
government power but remained the largest party in the
National Congress. In the following elections, 2013, the
party resumed the presidential post (see Current
policy). The members of the Colorado Party hold many of
society's key positions, for example in the justice
system and the military system.
In the 2008 presidential election, the Colorado Party
was defeated by an alliance of about ten parties from
the left to the political center as well as social
organizations. The dominant force in the alliance was
the central party The True Liberal Radical Party
(Partido Liberal Radical Auténtico,
PLRA), the country's second largest party.
After the election, the PLRA broke out of the alliance
and a power struggle ensued that ended with President
Fernando Lugo being dismissed prematurely and the PLRA
leader, Vice President Federico Franco, taking over as
president until the next election just under a year
later (see Modern History).
The remainder of the split Alliance Alliance formed a
new Left Alliance in 2010: the Guasú Front
(Frente Guasú, FG, guasú means "big" on
guaraní). Already in 2012 several parties broke out of
FG and formed a new party, which split the left before
the next election (see Calendar).
However, before the 2018 presidential election, most
of the opposition was reassembled, now in the
Ganar Val Alliance (Gran Alianza Nacional
Renovada, Great National Renewal Alliance).
The National League of Ethical Citizens
(Unión Nacional de Ciudadanos Éticos,
Unace) was founded in 2002 by the coup general
Lino Oviedo (see Modern History) who thus left the
Colorado Party. Oviedo was Unace's candidate in the 2008
election and also ran in 2013, but he died in a
helicopter accident two months before the election. The
party subsequently lost a mandate even in the election
to the National Congress.
The larger parties also include the populist
Beloved Motherland (Partido Patria Querida,
PPQ) which has close ties to the