The Republic of Guatemala was established on April 17, 1839, after having formed for eighteen years part of the Confederation of Central America, The present Constitution came into effect March 11, 1945. The legislative power is vested in a single-chambered National Assembly or Congress, consisting of representatives (one for every 50,000 inhabitants) chosen by direct popular vote for 4 years; one-half of Congress is renewed every 2 years. Deputies may not be re-elected until after one term has elapsed. The President is normally elected for 6 years, and barred from re-election for a period of 12 years, but President Ubico’s term, which expired in 1937, was, as the result of a plebiscite held in June, 1935, and through an amendment to the Constitution in September, 1941, extended to March 15, 1949. Under the new 1945 Constitution the old principle that no President shall immediately succeed himself is re-affirmed and, in the event of any attempted transgression of it, the right of rebellion is expressly sanctioned. No member of the armed forces may be elected to the Presidency or to Congress.
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