Guatemala Government 2018


Guatemala Government 2018

Page last updated on February 28, 2018

Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Guatemala
conventional short form: Guatemala
local long form: Republica de Guatemala
local short form: Guatemala
etymology: name derives from the Maya word meaning "Land of Trees"

Government type:
presidential republic

name: Guatemala City
geographic coordinates: 14 37 N, 90 31 W
time difference: UTC-6 (1 hour behind Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions:
22 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

15 September 1821 (from Spain)

National holiday:
Independence Day, 15 September (1821)

several previous; latest adopted 31 May 1985, effective 14 January 1986; suspended, reinstated, and amended in 1994 (2016)

Legal system:
civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts

International law organization participation:
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

citizenship by birth: yes
citizenship by descent: yes
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years with no absences of six consecutive months or longer or absences totaling more than a year

18 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
[see also: Suffrage country ranks ]

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Jimmy Ernesto MORALES Cabrera (since 14 January 2016); Vice President Jafeth CABRERA Franco (since 14 January 2016); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Jimmy Ernesto MORALES Cabrera (since 14 January 2016); Vice President Jafeth CABRERA Franco (since 14 January 2016)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections/appointments: president and vice president directly elected on the same ballot by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 4-year term (not eligible for consecutive terms); election last held in 2 rounds on 6 September and 25 October 2015 (next to be held in September 2019)
election results: Jimmy Ernesto MORALES Cabrera elected president in second round; percent of vote in first round - Jimmy Ernesto MORALES Cabrera (FNC) 23.9%, Sandra TORRES (UNE) 19.8%, Manuel BALDIZON (LIDER) 19.6%, other 36.7%; percent of vote in second round - Jimmy Ernesto MORALES Cabrera 67.4%, Sandra TORRES 32.6%

Legislative branch:
description: unicameral Congress of the Republic or Congreso de la Republica (158 seats; 127 members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies within each of the country's 22 departments by simple majority vote and 31 directly elected in a single nationwide constituency by proportional representation vote; members serve 4-year terms)
elections: last held on 6 September 2015 (next to be held in September 2019)
election results: percent of vote by party - LIDER 19.1%, UNE 14.8%, TODOS 9.7%, PP 9.4%, FCN 8.8%, EG 6.2%, CREO-PU 5.7%, UCN 5.4%, Winaq-URNG-MAIZ 4.3%, Convergence 3.8%, VIVA 3.7%, PAN 3.4%, FUERZA 2.1%, other 3.5%; seats by party - LIDER 44, UNE 36, TODOS 18, PP 17, FCN 11, EG 7, UCN 6, CREO-PU 5, Winaq-URNG-MAIZ 3, Convergence 3, VIVA 3, PAN 3, FUERZA 2; note - seats by party as of 6 January 2016 - FCN 37, UNE 32, MR 20, TODOS 17, AC 12, EG 7, UCN 6, CREO 5, LIDER 5, VIVA 4, Convergence 3, PAN 3, PP 2, FUERZA 1, PU 1, URNG 1, Winaq 1, independent 1

Judicial branch:
highest 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 Constitucionalidad (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 Courts of Appeal; magistrates elected for concurrent, 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 (public) University of San Carlos, and 1 by the lawyers bar association; judges elected for concurrent, renewable 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 leaders:
Citizen Alliance or AC Commitment, Renewal, and Order or CREO [Richard LEE Abularach] Convergence [Pablo MONSANTO] Encounter for Guatemala or EG [Nineth MONTENEGRO Cottom] Everyone Together for Guatemala or TODOS [Felipe ALEJOS] FUERZA [Maurico REDFORD] Grand National Alliance or GANA [Carlos Alberto MARTINEZ Castellanos] Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity or Winaq-URNG [Angel SANCHEZ Viesca] Heart New Nation or CNN [Mario Roberto CHU Catalan] My Country or Mi Pais [Alfredo RABBE] National Advancement Party or PAN [Juan GUTIERREZ Strauss] National Unity for Hope or UNE [Sandra TORRES] National Convergence Front or FCN [Edgar Justino OVALLE Maldonado] National Welfare or BIEN [Fidel REYES Lee] Nationalist Change Union or UCN [Mario ESTRADA] Patriot Party or PP [Ingrid Roxana BALDETTI Elias] Political Movement Winaq or WINAQ [Amilcar de Jesus POP Ac] Productivity and Labor Party or PPT [Edgar Alfredo RODRIGUEZ] Progressive Liberating Party or PLP [Ana BERNAT] Reform Movement or MR [Jose Raul VIGIL Arias] Renewed Democratic Liberty or LIDER [Manuel BALDIZON] Unionista Party or PU [Alvaro ARZU Escobar] UNITED [Mario Rolando TORRES Marroquin] Victoria (Victory) [Manuel de Jesus RIVERA] Vision with Values or VIVA [Cromwell CUESTAS Paz]

Political pressure groups and leaders:
Alliance Against Impunity or AI (includes Center for Legal Action on Human Rights or CALDH, Family and Friends of the Disappeared of Guatemala or 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 participation:
BCIE, CACM, CD, CELAC, EITI (compliant country), FAO, G-24, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt (signatory), 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, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNIFIL, Union Latina, UNISFA, UNITAR, UNMISS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Manuel Alfredo ESPINA Pinto (since 8 September 2017)
chancery: 2220 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 745-4952
FAX: [1] (202) 745-1908
consulate(s): Del Rio (TX), San Bernardino (CA), Silver Spring (MD), Tucson (AZ)
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Lake Worth (FL), Los Angeles, McAllen (TX), Miami, New York, Phoenix, Providence (RI), San Francisco, Silver Spring (MD), Tucson (AZ)

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Luis ARREAGA (since 4 October 2017)
embassy: 7-01 Avenida Reforma, Zone 10, Guatemala City
mailing address: DPO AA 34024
telephone: [502] 2326-4000
FAX: [502] 2326-4654

Flag description:
three 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
note: one of only two national flags featuring a firearm, the other is Mozambique

National symbol(s):
quetzal (bird); national colors: blue, white

National anthem:
name: "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

NOTE: 1) The information regarding Guatemala on this page is re-published from the 2018 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Guatemala Government 2018 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Guatemala Government 2018 should be addressed to the CIA.
2) The rank that you see is the CIA reported rank, which may habe the following issues:
  a) The assign increasing rank number, alphabetically for countries with the same value of the ranked item, whereas we assign them the same rank.
  b) The CIA sometimes assignes counterintuitive ranks. For example, it assigns unemployment rates in increasing order, whereas we rank them in decreasing order

This page was last modified 28-Feb-18
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