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Guatemala Government

    Country name:
    conventional long form: Republic of Guatemala
    conventional short form: Guatemala
    local long form: Republica de Guatemala
    local short form: Guatemala

    Data code: GT

    Government type: republic

    Capital: Guatemala

    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

    Independence: 15 September 1821 (from Spain)

    National holiday: Independence Day, 15 September (1821)

    Constitution: 31 May 1985, effective 14 January 1986
    note: suspended 25 May 1993 by President SERRANO; reinstated 5 June 1993 following ouster of president

    Legal system: civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

    Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

    Executive branch:
    chief of state: President Alvaro Enrique ARZU Irigoyen (since 14 January 1996); Vice President Luis Alberto FLORES Asturias (since 14 January 1996); note—the president is both the chief of state and head of government
    head of government: President Alvaro Enrique ARZU Irigoyen (since 14 January 1996); Vice President Luis Alberto FLORES Asturias (since 14 January 1996); note—the president is both the chief of state and head of government
    cabinet: Council of Ministers named by the president
    elections: president elected by popular vote for a four-year term; election last held 12 November 1995; runoff held 7 January 1996 (next to be held NA November 1999)
    election results: Alvaro Enrique ARZU Irigoyen elected president; percent of vote—Alvaro Enrique ARZU Irigoyen (PAN) 51.2%, Jorge PORTILLO Cabrera (FRG) 48.8%

    Legislative branch: unicameral Congress of the Republic or Congreso de la Republica (80 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
    elections: last held on 12 November 1995 (next to be held in November 1999)
    election results: percent of vote by party—NA; seats by party—PAN 43, FRG 21, FDNG 6, DCG 4, UCN 3, UD 2, MLN 1
    note: on 11 November 1993 the congress approved a procedure that reduced its number from 116 seats to 80; the procedure provided for a special election in mid-1994 to elect an interim congress of 80 members to serve until replaced in the November 1995 general election; the plan was approved in a general referendum in January 1994 and the special election was held on 14 August 1994

    Judicial branch: Supreme Court of Justice (Corte Suprema de Justicia); additionally the Court of Constitutionality is presided over by the president of the Supreme Court, judges are elected for a five-year term by Congress

    Political parties and leaders: National Centrist Union or UCN [Juan AYERDI Aguilar]; Christian Democratic Party or DCG [Alfonso CABRERA Hidalgo]; National Advancement Party or PAN [Raphael BARRIOS Flores]; National Liberation Movement or MLN [Mario SANDOVAL Alarcon]; Social Democratic Party or PSD [Sergio FLORES Cruz]; Revolutionary Party or PR [Carlos CHAVARRIA Perez]; Guatemalan Republican Front or FRG [Efrain RIOS Montt]; Democratic Union or UD [Jose CHEA Urruela]; New Guatemalan Democratic Front or FDNG [Rafael ARRIAGA Martinez]; Guatemalan National Revolutionary Union or URNG [Jorge SOTO]

    Political pressure groups and leaders: Coordinating Committee of Agricultural, Commercial, Industrial, and Financial Associations or CACIF; Mutual Support Group or GAM; Agrarian Owners Group or UNAGRO; Committee for Campesino Unity or CUC; Alliance Against Impunity or AAI

    International organization participation: BCIE, CACM, CCC, ECLAC, FAO, G-24, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (correspondent), ITU, LAES, LAIA (observer), NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNU, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

    Diplomatic representation in the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador William STIXRUD
    chancery: 2220 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 745-4952
    FAX: [1] (202) 745-1908
    consulate(s) general: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and San Francisco

    Diplomatic representation from the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Donald J. PLANTY
    embassy: 7-01 Avenida de la Reforma, Zone 10, Guatemala City
    mailing address: APO AA 34024
    telephone: [502] (2) 31-15-41
    FAX: [502] (2) 33-48-77

    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) 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 and a pair of crossed swords and framed by a wreath

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)