Under the 1992 Constitution, Paraguay has a presidential
and unified state system. The president is elected in the
general election for five years with a vice president,
without the possibility of re-election. The president
appoints the members of the government, participates in the
drafting of bills and can veto legislative decisions. He is
also military commander. Legislative authority has been
added to the National Congress, consisting of two chambers,
the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate. The first has 80
members, the second 45; all elected in the general election
for five years. The policy has been characterized by the
Colorado Party (the National Republican Party) since 1940.
The dictator Alfredo Stroessner took power in a coup in 1954
and was himself deposed in a coup in 1989. The transition to
individual periods for presidents reflects the experience of
Stroessner. The president's power is still considerable. The
influence of the military is also still of some importance.
After the fall of the dictatorship, the position of the
Colorado party has weakened somewhat.
The country is divided into 17 ministries and the
metropolitan area, each governed by directly elected
councils and governors, and further into municipalities.
The judiciary is headed by a nine-member Supreme Court.
The judges are appointed by a magistrate council. For the
courts to play a constitutionally balancing role, the
Supreme Court has the right to declare legislation
unconstitutional. The legislation is based on Argentine and
French examples. See ABBREVIATIONFINDER for how PY can stand for Paraguay.
Paraguay's international relations
Paraguay is a member of the UN and other international
organizations such as the World Bank, the Verda Trade
Organization and the International Monetary Fund. Of
international organizations working for American special
interests, Paraguay has membership in between the Other
Organization of American States and Mercosur.
The country's foreign policy has largely been aimed at
maintaining good contact with neighboring countries Brazil,
Argentina and Bolivia over the last decade. Since 2013,
however, the country's President Horacio Cartes has worked
for Paraguay to gain a stronger presence in the
international political and economic arena.
Paraguay has a small but rapidly growing economy and has
an increased degree of financial contact with the outside
world. The United States is the largest foreign investor in
Paraguay. In recent years, Paraguay and the United States
have also formed closer ties in a joint fight against drugs
and human trafficking.
There are few bilateral political and trade relations
between Norway and Paraguay. Paraguay is represented in
Norway through its embassy in Sweden, while Norway is
represented in Paraguay through its embassy in Buenos Aires
(Argentina) and Consulate General in Asunción.
Paraguay has military service with first-time service of
12 months. Paraguay participates in UN peacekeeping
operations. The total force figures for Paraguay's armed
forces are 11,900 active personnel, with a reserve of
164,500 personnel (2018, IISS). In addition, the country has
14,800 semi-military special police forces, including 4,000
The army has a strength of 7400 active personnel.
Materials include 28 light trucks, twelve armored personnel
vehicles and three self-propelled air defense artillery. In
addition, the army has light artillery and air defense
The Air Force has a strength of 1800 active personnel.
Material includes 18 light transport aircraft, 21 training
aircraft (six of which are EMB-312 Tucano, which can also be
used as light attack aircraft), and nine helicopters.
The Navy has a force of 2,700 active personnel, including
700 Marines. The fleet comprises 20 patrol vessels and three
landings. In addition, the Navy has an air component with
six light transport aircraft and two helicopters.
Paraguay participated in 2018 with observers and a small
number of personnel in UN operations in the Democratic
Republic of Congo (MONUSCO), in the Central African Republic
(MINUSCA), in Cyprus (UNFICYP), and in South Sudan (UNMISS).