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Guatemala, Government

universal suffrage, representative democracy, social reform, amendments, citizens

Strong executives have characterized Guatemalan government historically, with the military often playing a major role. The country is divided into 22 departments, and departmental chiefs, appointed by the president, traditionally exercised great authority. The 1945 constitution, adopted during a revolutionary period of political and social reform, provided for greater local autonomy, but military domination of the country after 1954 curtailed democracy. The constitution of May 31, 1985 (effective January 14, 1986) provides for a representative democracy with three independent branches: executive, legislative, and judicial, plus an autonomous Supreme Electoral Tribunal. It provides for universal suffrage for all citizens over age 18. Following the unsuccessful attempt of President Jorge Serrano Elias in May 1993 to assume dictatorial powers, several amendments were added to the constitution in 1994.

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universal suffrage, representative democracy, social reform, amendments, citizens, constitution, major role, country, departments

 
 

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