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Elections in Guatemala include, on the national level, a head of state – the president – and a unicameral legislature. Guatemala's president and vice-president are elected on one ballot for a four-year term by the people.
A head of state is the public persona who officially represents the national unity and legitimacy of a sovereign state. Depending on the country's form of government and separation of powers, the head of state may be a ceremonial figurehead or concurrently the head of government. In a parliamentary system the head of state is the de jure leader of the nation, and there is a separate de facto leader, often with the title of prime minister. In contrast, a semi-presidential system has both heads of state and government as the leaders de facto of the nation.
The president is a common title for the head of state in most republics. In politics, president is a title given to leaders of republican states.
In government, unicameralism is the practice of having one legislative or parliamentary chamber. Thus, a unicameral parliament or unicameral legislature is a legislature which consists of one chamber or house.
The Congress of the Republic (Congreso de la República) has 158 members, elected for a four-year term, partially in multi-member departmental constituencies and partially by proportional representation both using the D'Hondt method.
The Congress of the Republic is the unicameral legislature of the Republic of Guatemala. The Guatemalan Congress is made up of 158 deputies who are elected by direct universal suffrage to serve four-year terms. The electoral system is closed party list proportional representation. 31 of the deputies are elected on a nationwide list, whilst the remaining 127 deputies are elected in 22 multi-member constituencies. Each of Guatemalas's 22 departments serves as a district, with the exception of the department of Guatemala containing the capital, which on account of its size is divided into two (distrito central and distrito Guatemala). Departments are allocated seats based on their population size and they are shown in the table below.
Proportional representation (PR) characterizes electoral systems in which divisions in an electorate are reflected proportionately in the elected body. If n% of the electorate support a particular political party, then roughly n% of seats will be won by that party. The essence of such systems is that all votes contribute to the result - not just a plurality, or a bare majority. The most prevalent forms of proportional representation all require the use of multiple-member voting districts, as it is not possible to fill a single seat in a proportional manner. In fact, the implementations of PR that achieve the highest levels of proportionality tend to include districts with large numbers of seats.
The D'Hondt method or the Jefferson method is a highest averages method for allocating seats, and is thus a type of party-list proportional representation. The method described is named in the United States after Thomas Jefferson, who introduced the method for proportional allocation of seats in the United States House of Representatives in 1791, and in Europe after Belgian mathematician Victor D'Hondt, who described it in 1878 for proportional allocation of parliamentary seats to the parties. There are two forms: closed list and an open list.
Guatemala also elects deputies to the supranational Central American Parliament.
The Central American Parliament, also known as PARLACEN, is the political institution and parliamentary body of the Central American Integration System (SICA). Its headquarters are in Guatemala City.
Political parties in Guatemala are generally numerous and unstable. No party has won the presidency more than once. In every election period the majority of the parties are small and newly formed.
|Type|| Presidential (September)|
National Congress (September)
|None|| Presidential (June)|
National Congress (June)
|President and vice president||None||President and vice president|
|National Congress||All seats||None||All seats|
|Provinces, cities and municipalities||All positions||None||All positions|
|Type|| Presidential (January)|
National Congress (January)
|None|| Presidential (January)|
National Congress (January)
|14 January||None||14 January|
|National Congress||14 January||None||14 January|
|Provinces, cities and municipalities||15 January||None||15 January|
|Candidates — Parties||1st round||2nd round|
|Otto Pérez Molina — Patriotic Party (PP)||1,611,493||36.01%||2,300,979||53.74%|
|Manuel Baldizón — Renewed Democratic Liberty (LIDER)||1,038,287||23.20%||1,981,003||46.26%|
|Eduardo Suger — Commitment, Renovation and Order (CREO)||732,842||16.38%|
|Mario Estrada — National Change Union (UCN)||383,643||8.57%|
|Harold Caballeros — Vision with Values (VIVA) & Encounter for Guatemala (EG)||275,475||6.16%|
| Rigoberta Menchú — Broad Left Front— Winaq,|
Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity (URNG-MAIZ) & New Nation Alternative (ANN)
|Juan Gutiérrez — National Advancement Party (PAN)||123,648||2.76%|
|Patricia de Arzú — Unionist Party (PU)||97,381||2.18%|
|Alejandro Giammattei — Social Action Centre (CASA)||46,395||1.04%|
|Adela Camacho de Torrebiarte — Action of National Development (ADN)||19,038||0.43%|
|Total votes (voter turnout: 69.38% / 60.83%)||5,093,230||4,465,118|
|Source: Tribunal Supremo Electoral |
|Parties and alliances||Votes||%||+/–||Seats||+/–|
|Patriotic Party (Partido Patriota, PP)||1,171,337||26.62%||+10.71||56||+26|
| National Unity of Hope (Unidad Nacional de la Esperanza, UNE)|
Grand National Alliance (Gran Alianza Nacional, GANA)
|National Change Union (Union del Cambio Nacional, UCN)||417,935||9.50%||+5.44||14||+10|
|Renewed Democratic Liberty (Libertad Democrática Renovada, LIDER)||390,319||8.87%||+8.87||14||+14|
|Commitment, Renewal and Order (Compromiso, Renovación y Orden, CREO)||381,652||8.67%||+8.67||12||+12|
| Vision with Values (Visión con Valores, VIVA)|
Encounter for Guatemala (Encuentro por Guatemala, EG)
| Winaq |
Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity — Broad Left Movement
(Unidad Revolucionaria Nacional Guatemalteca — Movimiento Amplio de Izquierda, URNG–MAIZ)
Alternative New Nation (Alternativa Nueva Nación, ANN)
|National Advancement Party (Partido de Avanzada Nacional, PAN)||137,390||3.12%||–1.46||2||–2|
|Guatemalan Republican Front (Frente Republicano Guatemalteco, FRG)||120,455||2.74%||–7.06||1||–14|
|Unionist Party (Partido Unionista, PU)||118,788||2.70%||–3.40||1||–7|
|style="text-align:left;vertical-align:top;" Victory (VICTORIA)||71,501||1.62%||+1.62||1||+1|
|Social Action Centre (Centro de Acción Social, CASA)||47,390||1.08%||–3.81||–||–5|
|National Development Action (Acción de Desarrollo Nacional, ADN)||39,251||0.89%||+0.89||–||±0|
|National Convergence Front (Frente de Convergencia Nacional, FCN)||23,272||0.53%||+0.53||–||±0|
|Total votes (turnout 69.34%)||5,090,030|
|Source: Supreme Electoral Tribunal of Guatemala (TSE) |
2 2007: UNE – 48 seats; GANA – 37 seats.
3 2007: only Encounter for Guatemala.
4 2007: URNG-MAIZ and ANN as two separate parties.
5 2007: only URNG-MAIZ.
|Candidates — Parties||1st round||2nd round|
|Álvaro Colom — National Unity of Hope (UNE)||926,244||28.23%||1,449,153||52.82%|
|Otto Pérez Molina — Patriotic Party (PP)||771,175||23.51%||1,294,645||47.18%|
|Alejandro Giammattei — Grand National Alliance (GANA)||565,270||17.23%|
|Eduardo Suger — Social Action Centre (CASA)||244,448||7.45%|
|Luis Rabbé — Guatemalan Republican Front (FRG)||239,208||7.29%|
|Mario Estrada — National Change Union (UCN)||103,603||3.16%|
|Rigoberta Menchú — Encounter for Guatemala (EG)||101,316||3.09%|
|Fritz García Gallont — Unionist Party (PU)||95,743||2.92%|
|Óscar Castañeda — National Advancement Party (PAN)||83,826||2.56%|
|Miguel Ángel Sandoval — Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity–MAIZE (URNG–MAIZ)||70,080||2.14%|
|Manuel Conde Orellana — Democratic Union (UD)||24,971||0.76%|
|Pablo Monsanto — New Nation Alliance (ANN)||19,377||0.59%|
|Héctor Rosales — Authentic Integral Development (DIA)||18,819||0.57%|
|Vinicio Cerezo Blandón — Guatemalan Christian Democracy (DCG)||16,529||0.50%|
|Valid votes (turnout 60.5%/48.3%)||3,280,609||100.0%||2,743,798||100.0%|
|Source: Tribunal Supremo Electoral|
|Parties and alliances||Votes||%||+/–||Seats||+/–|
|National Unity of Hope (Unidad Nacional de la Esperanza, UNE)||721,988||22.81%||+4.4%||48||+16|
|Grand National Alliance (Gran Alianza Nacional, GANA)||522,480||16.51%||–7.8%1||37||–101|
|Patriotic Party (Partido Patriota, PP)||503,442||15.91%||+15.9%1||30||+301|
|Guatemalan Republican Front (Frente Republicano Guatemalteco, FRG)||310,038||9.80%||–9.9%||15||–28|
|Encounter for Guatemala (Encuentro por Guatemala, EG)||195,151||6.17%||+6.17%||4||+4|
|Unionist Party (Partido Unionista, PU)||192,983||6.10%||+0.7%||8||+1|
|Social Action Centre (Centro de Acción Social, CASA)||154,718||4.89%||+4.9%||5||+5|
|National Advancement Party (Partido de Avanzada Nacional, PAN)||144,910||4.58%||–6.3%||4||–13|
|National Change Union (Union del Cambio Nacional, UCN)||128,593||4.06%||+4.1%||4||+4|
| Guatemalan National Revolucionary Unity–MAIZE|
(Unidad Revolucionaria Nacional Guatemalteca–MAIZ, URNG–MAIZ)
|Authentic Integral Development (Desarrollo Integral Auténtico, DIA)||45,142||1.43%||–1.6%||—||–1|
|Democratic Union (Unión Democrática, UD)||44,488||1.41%||–0.8%||1||–1|
|New National Alliance (Alianza Nueva Nación, ANN)||42,790||1.35%||–3.5%||—||–6|
|Front for Democracy (Frente por la Democracia, EL FRENTE)||28,798||0.91%||+0.9%||—||±0|
|Guatemalan Christian Democracy (Democracia Cristiana Guatemalteca, DCG)||26,190||0.83%||–2.4%||—||–1|
|Valid votes (turnout 60.5%)||3,165,191||100.0||—||158||—|
|Source: Tribunal Supremo Electoral and Prensa Libre |
1 In the 2003 election, the Patriotic Party was part of the Grand National Alliance, which has since become a party.
|Candidates — Parties||1st round||2nd round|
|Óscar Berger Perdomo - Grand National Alliance||921,233||34.3||1,235,303||54.1|
|Álvaro Colom Caballeros - National Unity of Hope||707,578||26.4||1,046,868||45.9|
|Efraín Ríos Montt - Guatemalan Republican Front||518,328||19.3|
|Leonel López Rodas - National Advancement Party||224,127||8.4|
|Fritz García-Gallont Bischof - Unionist Party||80,943||3.0|
|Rodrigo Asturias - Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity||69,297||2.6|
|Eduardo Suger - Authentic Integral Development||59,774||2.2|
|Jacobo Arbenz Vilanova - Guatemalan Christian Democracy||42,186||1.6|
|José Angel Lee - Social Participative Democracy||37,505||1.4|
|Fransisco Arredondo Mendoza - National Union||11,979||0.4|
|Manuel Conde Orellana - Social and Political Movement National Change||10,829||0.4|
|Total (turnout 45.8 %)||2,937,169||100.0||2,282,171||100.0|
|Source: Tribunal Supremo Electoral|
|Parties and alliances||Votes||%||Seats|
|Grand National Alliance (Gran Alianza Nacional)||620,121||24.3||47|
|Guatemalan Republican Front (Frente Republicano Guatemalteco)||502,470||19.7||43|
|National Unity of Hope (Unidad Nacional de la Esperanza)||457,308||18.4||32|
|National Advancement Party (Partido de Avanzada Nacional)||278,393||10.9||17|
|Unionist Party (Partido Unionista)||138,713||5.4||7|
|New National Alliance (Alianza Nueva Nación)||123,853||4.9||6|
|Guatemalan National Revolucionary Unity (Unidad Revolucionaria Nacional Guatemalteca)||107,276||4.2||2|
|Guatemalan Christian Democracy (Democracia Cristiana Guatemalteca)||82,324||3.2||1|
|Authentic Integral Development (Desarrollo Integral Auténtico)||75,295||3.0||1|
|Democratic Union (Unión Democrática)||55,793||2.2||2|
|Social Participative Democracy (Democracia Social Participativa)||28,425||1.1||-|
|Total (turnout 57.8 %)||2,552,374||100.0||158|
|Invalid and blank votes||446,491|
|Source: Supreme Electoral Tribunal|
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