Freedom in the World
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Freedom Rating (1 = best, 7 = worst)
Civil Liberties (1 = best, 7 = worst)
Political Rights (1 = best, 7 = worst)
Despite some progress on his social agenda, President Fernando Lugo continued to struggle in advancing reforms due to divisions within his Patriotic Alliance for Change coalition and an obstructive Congress. Meanwhile, corruption in the judiciary and conflict between landowners and peasants continued. A string of kidnappings and murders by the Paraguayan People’s Army, a radical guerilla group, created yet another challenge for the government, as did the announcement in August that the president was battling lymphatic cancer.
Paraguay is an electoral democracy. The 2008 national elections were considered to be free and fair. The 1992 constitution provides for a president, a vice president, and a bicameral Congress consisting of a 45-member Senate and an 80-member Chamber of Deputies, all elected for five-year terms. The president is elected by a simple majority vote, and reelection is prohibited. The constitution bans the active-duty military from engaging in politics.