The surprise move of center-leftist Bernardo Arevalo to the ballot has generated a political and constitutional storm in Guatemala. The most recent episode was the decision of the Prosecutor’s Office to suspend the legal status of the political party Semilla, to which Arevalo belongs, and the consequent pronouncement of the Constitutional Court that returned the legal protection to Semilla. The candidate Arevalo considered that the suspension attempt was a “technical coup d’etat”.
Sandra Torres and Bernardo Arevalo will face each other in the second presidential round in Guatemala scheduled for August 20. However, the holding of the elections has been in suspense due to some decisions by the Guatemalan authorities against the candidate of the Semilla political party, Bernardo Arevalo.
The first episode occurred a week after the first round, when the Constitutional Court ordered the Supreme Electoral Tribunal to suspend the “qualification and officialization” of the results. The decision produced citizen protests, an avalanche of criticism in the international community and the resending of the Electoral Observation mission of the Organization of American States (OAS) to supervise the recount of the votes.
The results of the first round were finally made official, but the political crisis and confidence in Guatemalan institutions did not end. Now, a new episode is added: the Prosecutor’s Office accused the political party of Bernardo Arevalo of fraud by allegedly using more than 5,000 false signatures to register members of the political party. An accusation that led to the suspension of the legal status of the Arevalo party and once again questioned the holding of the second round.
The candidate Arevalo described the suspension as a “technical coup”, and the European Union and the United States affirmed that the decision of the Prosecutor’s Office represented a threat to Guatemalan democracy.
After pressure from the international community and a request from lawyers from the Semilla party, the Constitutional Court of Guatemala protected Semilla on July 13 and blocked the controversial suspension, opening the way for Bernardo Arevalo to participate in the second round of elections. .
However, heThe Prosecutor’s Office said on July 14 that it will continue its investigation against the Semilla party and clarified that its actions are not intended to interfere in the ballot. In this edition of El Debate we analyze with our guests what is the cause of the electoral chaos in Guatemala and if the celebration of the second round is at risk.
– Conrado Reyes, doctor of law.
– Manfredo Marroquin, coordinator of the Transparency International program on Guatemala.
Source: France 24