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Guatemala’s politics have been troubled at best. The political system is democratic in this republic, and there are numerous political parties in the multi-party system. Álvaro Colom, the president of Guatemala, was elected in 2007 and came to office in January 2008. Colom is the first Guatemalan left-wing president for more than half a century, reflecting a sweeping tide towards leftism across much of Latin America. As president, Colom is also head of state and government. Presidents are legally able to hold power for four years. Guatemala is divided up into 22 departments, which are headed up by governors that the president elects. The government holds legislative and executive power. In the 2007 elections, the parties securing the highest numbers of votes were: National Unity of Hope (UNE)—the current president’s party, and also Grand National Alliance (GANA) who ran the country for the preceding term. The Patriotic Party (PP) also secured a significant number of votes. There is a general level of despondency with politics in Guatemala. Most people believe that politicians are inefficient and corruption. The current president has not been exempt from these perceptions, so no one yet knows how successful he will be. One of Colom’s objectives has been to reduce criminal activity, which he believes can be accomplished by reducing poverty.

Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to Guatemala: Today's Politics And Government In Guatemala, Economy, Economy In Guatemala and Political Timeline For Guatemala.

By Paula Newton
I am V!VA's operations expert. With an MBA and a background in the Interactive Television industry in the U.K. I am the organizing force behind the...
23 Feb 2009

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