Also: Paraguay.
Officially: Tetã Paraguái; República del Paraguay.
Seat of government: Asunción / Paraguay.
Status: Democratic.
Structure: The president is elected directly. The legislature (Congreso) comprises the Cámara de Diputados, elected in the departamentos, and the Cámara de Senadores, elected at large, both with an element of proportional representation.
Chief governing party: Partido Colorado.
Head of government: Mario Abdo Benítez, PC, president (since 2018).
Chief opposition parties: Partido Liberal Radical Auténtico; Gran Alianza Nacional Renovada (Ganar); Frente Guasú.
Recent history: The long-ruling Colorados were in power for six decades (1948-2008), including the long dictatorship of Alfredo Stroessner (1954-89). The post-Stroessner era has produced significant turmoil. In 1996, Army chief Lino Oviedo reportedly threatened a coup against the first elected president, Juan Carlos Wasmosy (1993-8), when Wasmosy fired him. Oviedo became a major force in the PC, but was convicted of mutiny before he could stand for the presidency in 1998; Raúl Cubas (1998-9) stood in his place, explicitly, and won. In 1999, Cubas resigned, following allegations of his and Oviedo’s involvement in the assassination of vice president Luis María Argaña. Senate president Luis González Macchi (1999-2003) of the PC became president; he was jailed for corruption in 2006. The presidential election in 2013 was won by another Colorado, Nicanor Duarte (2013-8), taking 38% in a four-way field. Fernando Lugo (2008-12), standing for the Alianza Patriótica para el Cambio, defeated the Colorado candidate (and Oviedo, for a Colorado splinter group) in 2008, but the Colorados continued to dominate Congress, and Lugo was hastily impeached and removed from office in 2012, replaced by vice president Federico Franco (2012-3). In 2013, the PC won the presidency again, under Horacio Cartes Jara (2013-8). Abdo Benítez was elected in 2018, and the PC secured a majority in the Cámara de Diputados and a plurality in the Cámara de Senadores.
FH: 3-3, partly free (democratic). Econ: 6.40 (66), flawed democracy.
Updated: 2021 June 18.