The protest this Saturday in Guatemala took place in the context of a new suspension of the officialization of the electoral results of the first presidential round by the Constitutional Court. The demonstration brought together hundreds of students, who called the public’s attention to what they call a “corrupt” maneuver. The Organization of American States endorsed the initial results of the elections held on June 25.
Guatemalan students rose up in defense of the electoral result of June 25. The capital was the scene of the demonstration of hundreds of students who demanded respect and the official proclamation of the outcome of the presidential election.
There were at least 300 people who chanted slogans referring to respect for the final results. In the midst of the discontent, a young man shouted with a megaphone that “The usual corrupt do not want to accept their defeat” on the way to the headquarters of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE).
And it is that the participants in the march also denounced that the current Government, led by Alejandro Giammatei, along with traditional politicians, are trying to intervene in the election process with the intervention of the high courts. “People of Guatemala, wake up, we have to unite to defend our democracy”, sentenced another protester this time in front of the TSE.
Demonstration runs through the streets of zone 1 of the capital and indicates an attempt to delay the second electoral round. https://t.co/gftJr3gcgR
– Free Press (@prensa_libre) July 8, 2023
Last week, the Constitutional Court ordered the TSE to temporarily suspend the officialization of the vote count that would lead the former Guatemalan first lady, Sandra Torres, and the progressive candidate Bernardo Arevalo to a second round.
The electoral body carried out a comparison of the votes for three days, a process that did not produce large-scale changes in the final results.
According to the president of the TSE, Irma Palencia, other “internal procedures” are needed to put an end to this electoral drama. If the green light is given, the country will go to the polls again on August 20 for the second round.
The OAS endorses the results
This Saturday, the Organization of American States (OAS) endorsed the final results of the local elections. As reported by the regional body, the Electoral Observation Mission (MOE) that redeployed during the electoral process did not detect any serious irregularities.
After completing their work in Guatemalan territory, the members of the Electoral Mission returned to verify the review of the ballots. According to the OAS, in Departmental Boards (JED) the verification work was carried out “fulfilling the purpose of providing political parties with a space to present their disagreements and claims”.
“Despite some incidents of intimidation against members of the JED, the review and comparison of minutes was carried out satisfactorily, complying with the principles of maximum publicity and transparency in the presence of political parties, the media, and national and international observers.”, the institution said in a statement.
The entity of American States drew attention to the extension of the verification process. “With the extension of the electoral process, irreparable campaign days are being deprived, which affects both the candidacies to be able to present the proposals, and the citizens to cast a more informed vote.”, he stressed.
A new suspension of the officialization of results
It was also known that, on Friday night, the Constitutional Court gave a new blow to the endorsement of the citizen’s decision with a new suspension. This new disruption increases political and social tensions in the nation. The verdict, issued by the president of the Court, Silvia Valdes, was announced unilaterally without the presence of the other magistrates of the court.
The High Court judge further ordered the TSE to deliver a report on the three-day review that took place from July 4 to 6. For this, the electoral body has 12 hours.
According to a 2021 AmericasBarometer survey, carried out by the Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP) and cited by the British channel ‘BBC’, only 14% of Guatemalans trust the existing political spheres in the country and 32% welcome the local elections. After the decision of the Constitutional Court, it will be necessary to return to mathematics.
With EFE and local media
Source: France 24