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Today's Politics And Government In Guatemala

Guatemala is a constitutional democratic republic, divided into 22 departments. The country is governed by a 3-branch system, where the president serves as both chief of state and head of government.

Two political parties dominate Guatemalan politics, but over a dozen others exist, making for an extremely active political climate. President Álvaro Colom, Guatemala's first left-leaning president in 53 years, was elected for the 2008-2012 term. Colom had strong voter support among rural and indigenous people, pledging 'Priviledges for the Poor.'

Although the country has universal suffrage, concerns over the accessibility of polling places in rural areas exist. Active members of the armed forces are also barred from voting, and are restricted to their barracks on election day.

Guatemala is still recovering from a 36-year civil war, during which an estimated 200,000 people were killed and one million people were displaced within Guatemala or fled the country. The government steers clear of intervening in the economy, which is overwhelmingly dominated by the private sector. The Guatemalan government has also been hands-off in support of public and social programs, often at the expense of disadvantaged Guatemalans.

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

20 Jul 2010

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