Constituent in Paraguay: What changes would there be?

Reforming the electoral code through the Constituent Assembly is one of the proposals that the new government has launched

Constituent in Paraguay: What changes would there be?

The Paraguayan government made official the call to all political parties to be part of a dialogue table in which the amendment of the Constitution, the reform of the electoral code, and the improvements needed by the justice system are discussed.

Leer en español: ¿Qué cambios habría en una posible Constituyente en Paraguay?

Juan Villalba, Vice Minister of Political Affairs, made the first call from the Ministry of Interior on August 18. Villaba explained that "the only current line of the Government on these issues - possible constituent, reform of the electoral code and improvements in the judicial system - is to listen to all sectors, the leaders of all parties and movements."

Some problems of the Paraguayan electoral code and its possible changes

According to a study of the year 2016, carried out by the organization Semillas para la Democracia de Paraguay in alliance with the European Union, it indicates that "some political groupings use irregularly the right to make political propaganda to carry out electoral propaganda after the deadline, because the only intention is to promote the figure of a particular candidate and not to spread his doctrine as the law provides".

Therefore, one of the proposals of the Reform Commission suggests a necessary but not enough modification of article 287 of the Electoral Code of Paraguay (CEP). With this, it is sought "to prevent potential candidates of electoral forces from doing electoral advertising disguised as propaganda politics; it is convenient to prohibit that in the same they appear photographs of alive people, restriction that does not hurt in anything the right of spreading of his political doctrine based on ideas and not on people".

Also read: Paraguay: Everything you need to know about the new president Mario Abdo Benítez

According to article 67 of the CEP, the Paraguayan legislation "establishes that the patrimony of the parties can be integrated with private contributions, as well as with the contributions and subsidies that the State assigns". However, for the European Union "the rules on party financing and the electoral campaign have not guaranteed a balanced and transparent regime, since they do not impose limits or control expenses in the electoral campaign".

What does need to be reformed in the judicial system?

  • Judicial Independence
  • Access to justice
  • Justice efficiency

These are some of the problems that have affected the judicial system in Paraguay for years, according to Professor Hugo Corrales in a research paper for the Integration of the Americas University of Paraguay.

In his research article, Corrales highlights problems such as "the inadequate stability in the position of the judges", despite the fact that the Constitution recognizes that they are immovable after confirmation of their position by spending two consecutive periods of their election.

Corrales stresses that "the salary question affects the performance of magistrates. Inequity in terms of amounts at different levels not only jurisdictional, but also in relation to administrative levels, overload of functions and work of the various judicial districts.

The professor refers, in addition, to the Judicial School, saying that " the programs of the Judicial School for the entrance to the judicial career hardly come to patch up the poor work of the Faculties of Law , which demonstrates the urgency to reform and strengthen legal education in all Law Schools of the various public and private universities that offer a career in law. In general, judicial training has a limited impact".


LatinAmerican Post | Edwin Guerrero
Translated from “¿Qué cambios habría en una posible Constituyente en Paraguay?”