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Paraguay Index
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Constitutional Background

The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Paraguay replaces the 1967 Constitution which provided for strong presidential powers. The new constitution proclaims "representative, participatory, pluralistic republican democracy" as the form of government (Preamble). Since July 2000, the ICL edition is based on an updated translation provided by Anja Schoeller-Schletter.

Translator's Note: The translation for the ICL edition is based on the facsimile version of the constitution signed and promulgated on the 20th of June 1992, taking into account the list of corrections (Fe de Erratas) elaborated by a commission of the Constitutional Assembly and signed by the board of the Constitutional Assembly. The facsimile versions of both, National Constitution and Fe de Erratas, are published in Constitución de la República del Paraguay. Sancionada y promulgada el 20 de junio 1992, edited by La Ley Paraguaya S.A., Asunción 1995 (2nd edition). The translation by Peter Heller (Constitutions of the Countries of the World, edited by A. Blaustein, G. Flanz, Vol. XIV, New York, Status 1995), which is based on a different publication of the Constitution, served as reference. In order to facilitate an overview the English text is accompanied by a table of contents. Not being part of the promulgated constitution, the table of contents clings to the constitutional text as to the wording of the titles and the division in chapters. [Oct 1997-July 2000, Anja Schoeller-Schletter]

History and News

  • 21 April 1997: Rodriguez dies age 73.
  • April 1996: President Juan Carlos Wasmosy survives an attempted military coup largely because of the support of his Mercosur partners.
  • 9 May 1993: General elections are won by ANR (43%, 40 out of 80 seats) over PLRA (35%, 32) and EN (17%, 8). Juan Carlos Wasmosy (ANR) becomes President.
  • 1993: Rodriguez steps down as President and becomes a Senator (with immunity) after having organized the adoption of a new Constitution.
  • 20 June 1992: Constitution approved and promulgated. The new Constitution substitutes the previous Constitution of 1967, which was marked by strong presidential predomination. The Paraguayan Constitution of 1992 not only proclaims "representative, participatory and pluralistic democracy" as form of government, but develops the principle of a representative democracy in combination with the principle of checks and balances in a way that earned national and international recognition as an all in all democratic constitution.
  • Dec 1991: A freely elected National Constitutional Assembly convenes.  In the process of drafting a new constitution all the important political parties including many non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are participating.
  • 1 May 1989: General Andrés Rodríguez is elected president.  While held according to the provisions of the former electoral law, the presidential and parliamentary elections of 1989 are the first so-called free elections since decades with few irregularities observed.
  • 3 Feb 1989: President Alfredo Stroessner, an army General who ruled the country for 34 years, is overthrown in a military coup. General Andrés Rodríguez, former associate of Stroessner, but supporter of the traditional governmental party's more moderate and reform-oriented wing, takes over. In the following months a process of political liberalization and democratization begins: opposition parties are readmitted, high ranking military officials are replaced, press censorship is lifted and broadcasting stations resume their activity.
  • 1967: Constitution adopted.
  • 14 May 1811: Independence from Spain. 

For methodology see: Comparing Constitutions and International Constitutional Law.
© 1994 - December 16th, 2010 / For corrections please contact A. Tschentscher.