The Republic of Paraguay is a landlocked country in South America. Paraguay borders Argentina, Brazil, and Bolivia, and lies on the bank of Paraguay River. The country is a representative democratic republic characterized by several political parties and the separation of power among the three branches of government. The executive branch is headed by the president while the legislature is vested in the National Congress. The president is both the head of state and government of Paraguay. He or she presides over cabinet meetings, presents bill to the two chambers for debate, and protects the country’s territory. The president appoints government official, ambassadors, and other state officers.
Select Presidents of Paraguay
Fulgencio Yegros was born into a traditional military background and joined the Spanish Colonial Army. He was part of the Paraguayan forces during the British Invasion of the Rio de la Plata in 1807. He was granted the governorship of Misiones and founded the first military academy in independent Paraguay. Fulgencio Yegros was one of the main military figures in the revolution which led to the independence of Paraguay. He became the president of Paraguay following the country’s independence from June 1811 to October 1813.
Carlos Antonio López
Carlos Antonio López was the president and leader of Paraguay from March 1844 to September 1862 after the death of his uncle Rodriguez de Francia. He served the country for the longest period in the history of the post-independent Paraguay. Before becoming a president, Lopez was part of the military junta which ruled the country after the death of Francia. He assumed the dictatorial power in 1844 and led the country to the adopting its first constitution leading to a change of his position from consul to president. The constitution legally sanctioned his dictatorial powers and extended his term to 10 years. Lopez’s government aimed at building and strengthening the military powers of the country. However, his foreign policies and relations caused a lot of diplomatic disputes with Brazil, Britain, and the US. He abolished slavery and torture and released all the political prisoners. He was succeeded by his son after his death in 1862.
Federico Franco was president of Paraguay from 2012 to 2013 who was first elected as the country’s vice president in the 2008 elections. He ascended to the presidency after the impeachment of President Fernando Lugo by the Senate in June 2012 to complete the presidential mandate which came to an end in August 2013. During his short term, he reshuffled his cabinet and resumed negotiations with Rio Tinto Alcan over the aluminum plant. He also approved the sale of genetically modified Soya beans from Monsanto in the country. He completed Lugo’s mandate and was replaced by Horacio Cartes.
The Incumbent President
The current president of Paraguay, Mario Abdo Benitez, was elected in 2018. He was born in Asunción in 1971.