Paraguay - Government

Under the constitution of 25 August 1967, Paraguay was a republic, with substantial powers conferred on the executive. The Constituent Assembly revised the constitution on 20 June 1992, but kept most of the structure from the previous document, while limiting many of the powers Stroessner used during his administration. The judicial system was also slated for overhaul.

The president is directly elected for a five-year term. The president is commander-in-chief of the military forces and conducts foreign relations. He appoints the 11-member cabinet, most administrators, and justices of the Supreme Court. He is advised by the Council of State, consisting of the cabinet ministers, the president of the National University, the archbishop of Asunción, the president of the Central Bank, and representatives of other sectors and the military.

The 1967 constitution provided for a bicameral legislature, consisting of the 45-member Senate and the 80-member Chamber of Deputies. By formula, two-thirds of the seats in each house are guaranteed to the party receiving the highest total vote in a general election. The remaining one-third is distributed proportionately among opposing political groups. Representatives must be at least 25 years of age and are elected for five-year terms.

Voting is by secret ballot and is compulsory for all citizens between 18–60 years of age. Women were first allowed to vote in 1963.

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