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    NewsLatin AmericaCongress ignores the Semilla party of president-elect Bernardo Arevalo

    Congress ignores the Semilla party of president-elect Bernardo Arevalo

    The Guatemalan Congress decided not to recognize the Semilla Movement bench of the president-elect, Bernardo Arevalo. With this decision, the party’s deputies will not be able to chair committees, participate in the preparation of the legislative agenda or have advisors. According to the judge, the decision will stand until legislators “are notified of a change in the legal situation.”

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    The party’s five deputies, including the president-elect, were left without parliamentary powers until further notice. This Wednesday, August 30, the Congress of Guatemala decided to declare the members of the Semilla Movement as independent, which immediately canceled the legal personality of the party.

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    The decision of Congress, controlled mostly by the ruling party, is due to a criminal order processed on July 12, by criminal judge Fredy Orellana, who has been accused by the United States Department of State for “undermining Justice.” ”.

    The disqualification was in turn requested by prosecutor Rafael Curruchiche, who launched a crusade against Arevalo’s party after the results of the first presidential round elections.

    Prosecutors in the process have accused the Semilla Movement of irregularities in collecting signatures for the party’s registration years before. However, Orellana and Curruchiche are included by the United States on a list of “corrupt” people.

    According to Guatemalan authorities, Semilla allegedly forged the handwriting and signature of 5,000 citizens, as well as the signature and fingerprint of a person who appeared as “his own” to different voters.

    According to the Special Prosecutor’s Office against Impunity (FECI), the Semilla Movement would have paid a total of USD 22,000 in exchange for signatures, with the objective of “reaching the minimum necessary to become a political party and participate in elections”, accusations that the political party has repeatedly denied.

    The announcement surprised deputies in the middle of a session of Congress, which was resuming its meetings after a two-month recess. A restart of work that occurs after Arevalo’s overwhelming victory in the general elections.


    The current president, Alejandro Giammattei, promised that the transition of power would be “orderly” and “transparent,” but within the party members believe that Arevalo’s victory “threatens the entrenched powers” ​​in Guatemala.

    The Congressional measure was arbitrary, since it was done verbally in Congress without party members being notified in writing. With this, legislators from the Semilla Movement cannot occupy leadership positions in Congress. We also lost the presidency of the only Congressional committee we had, said the Semilla Movement legislator, Roman Castellanos.

    This same week, the Registry of Citizens, a department of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, decided to comply with Orellana’s order, and after the decision was known, Andrea Reyes, representative elected by Semilla, assured that the legislative procedure used by Congress “was anomalously, they did not vote, because it was the Board of Directors who decided.

    “You have to know how to win, but you also have to know how to lose, and this Congress is not knowing how to lose,” independent deputy Mario Taracen said in plenary.

    A protester holds a sign calling for a rerun during a protest alleging electoral fraud in the second round of the presidential elections, in front of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal building, in Guatemala City, Wednesday, August 30, 2023.

    A protester holds a sign calling for a rerun during a protest alleging electoral fraud in the second round of the presidential elections, in front of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal building, in Guatemala City, Wednesday, August 30, 2023. © AP Photo/Moises Castillo

    In addition to the reactions of the deputies behind closed doors, political experts from the Central American country believe that the party should not have been suspended by the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, since the country’s law prohibits this measure as long as the electoral process is valid, and in this case It officially ends on October 31.

    Allegations of attempts to “undermine democracy”

    This Tuesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken congratulated Bernardo Arevalo on his election as the next president of Guatemala, but added that the United States remained “concerned about the continuation of the measures taken by those who seek to undermine the democracy of Guatemala”.

    For his part, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, published on his ‘X’ account, formerly Twitter, that he expressed his concern to Arevalo about the “attempts to undermine the results.”


    On June 25, the Semilla party had won Congress with 23 deputies, which accredited it as the third parliamentary force for the next legislature. Results that are in line with the change that Guatemala demanded when choosing the progressive proposal of Arevalo who will assume the Presidency of the country on January 14 for the period 2024 – 2028.

    With EFE and local media



    Source: France 24

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