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Presidential election: Guatemala: Public prosecutor wants election annulled

Presidential election: Guatemala: Public prosecutor wants election annulled

The social democrat Bernardo Arévalo won the presidential election in Guatemala with around 61 percent of the vote. Now the election is to be canceled – because of alleged irregularities.

A good month before the planned inauguration of the designated head of state Bernardo Arévalo, Guatemala’s attorney general’s office has spoken out in favor of annulment of the summer elections. During investigations, irregularities were found in their conduct, which made the results invalid, representatives of the authority said in a press conference.

However, the chairwoman of the TSE electoral tribunal, Blanca Alfaro, stated shortly afterwards in her own press conference: “The results are confirmed, the results are official and unchangeable.” The prosecutors had emphasized that the decision rested with the TSE.

The General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (OAS) accused the Central American country’s attorney general’s office of an attempted coup. The USA, the EU and the UN had previously criticized the investigations against the elected next President Arévalo as an attempt to undermine democracy. Attorney General Consuelo Porras is on a list of corrupt and anti-democratic actors in the US government.

“Coup in slow motion”

The Social Democrat Arévalo won the presidential election with around 61 percent of the vote by promising to fight corruption in Guatemala. He surprisingly made it into the runoff election on August 20th after several candidates were excluded before the first round for controversial reasons.

Since then, his Movimiento Semilla party has been suspended for alleged irregularities in its founding, and prosecutors have also requested that Arévalo’s political immunity be lifted. The 65-year-old son of the country’s first democratically elected president, Juan José Arévalo (1945-1951), spoke of a “slow-motion coup.” Corrupt actors wanted to prevent his swearing-in on January 14, he said.

Source: Stern

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