Paraguay operates under a presidential democracy with a strong bicameral Congress and a somewhat fragmented party system. In December 2022, the party faction led by former President Horacio Manuel Cartes emerged victorious in intraparty elections, securing the party’s nomination for the April 2023 elections. International crime, highlighted by political assassinations, poses a significant threat to Paraguayan democracy.

Paraguay’s economy fared better amid the COVID-19 pandemic compared to the rest of Latin America. It contracted by just 0.8% in 2020 but rebounded with a 4.1% growth in 2021. However, adverse weather conditions for agriculture and the impact of the Ukraine conflict led to a 0.3% shrinkage in 2022.

Corruption and organized crime linked to drug trafficking pose significant governance challenges in Paraguay, threatening to turn it into a narco-state in parts of the territory. In general, the government of President Mario Abdo Benítez did not establish new strategic priorities, and has primarily engaged in reactive policymaking.

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