international organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) urged the Guatemalan authorities to respect the results of the June 25 general elections. After the review of the votes requested by nine parties that were left out of the ballot was carried out, the Supreme Court is expected to make the results official in the coming days.
Human Rights Watch called on the Guatemalan authorities to respect democratic values and the will expressed by voters at the polls. They also pointed out that some election losers tried to use the judicial system to get results that they did not get at the ballot box.
The international community, including Latin American governments, should urge the Guatemalan government and other authorities to guarantee democratic values and respect the will of Guatemalans expressed at the polls.
—Human Rights Watch (@hrw_espanol) July 8, 2023
“Leaving aside a free and fair vote of the people would generate an unprecedented political crisis that would not only endanger democracy, but would actively undermine it,” said Ana Maria Mendez-Dardon, WOLA’s director for Central America. “Other governments must not remain silent; They must demonstrate in support of democracy, since the right to vote is threatened”.
The electoral authorities and the political parties have already fully reviewed the votes of the electoral results, with minimal corrections that do not alter the original results. The review concluded on July 6, however the Supreme Electoral Tribunal declared that they could not make the results official until some points in the process were resolved.
Former first lady Sandra Torres Casanova, of the National Unity of Hope (UNE) party, emerged as the winner in the first round of the presidential elections on June 25, followed by Bernardo Arevalo de Leon, of the Seed Movement party. However, the decision of the Constitutional Court to review the results has generated controversy and delays in making it official.
Guatemala is still in suspense
The vote review order issued by the Constitutional Court has generated criticism and controversy, since it has been seen as an unprecedented measure. Observers from the Organization of American States (OAS) expressed their concern over this decision, and even decided to resend their electoral observation mission to Guatemala.
Nine parties, including UNE, challenged the results of the first round alleging vote rigging, prompting the country’s High Court to order a controversial review of the ballots.
Several analysts and politicians have warned that the review of votes requested by the nine traditional parties could be aimed at delaying the officialization of the results and, potentially, suspending the second round of presidential elections, scheduled for August 20.
As the official results approach, concerns persist about possible delays and the suspension of the second round of elections.
With information from EFE, Reuters and local media
Source: France 24