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International Bodies Reject Attempt to Block Guatemala President-elect from Taking Office

December 11, 2023 | by b1og.net

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International Bodies Reject Attempt to Block Guatemala President-elect from Taking Office

In a recent development, international bodies have rejected attempts to block Guatemala’s president-elect, Bernardo Arévalo, from assuming office on January 14th. Guatemalan prosecutors had requested the court to strip Arévalo of his immunity, citing irregularities in the election results. However, the high electoral court of Guatemala, along with organizations such as the United Nations and the European Union, have voiced their support for Arévalo and his progressive movement, denouncing the attempts to invalidate the election as a threat to democracy. The situation has sparked protests from Guatemalans, who are standing up for their rights and demanding respect for freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. The Organization of American States will hold a discussion on the political crisis, potentially passing a resolution to address the actions jeopardizing the democratic transition of power.

International Bodies Reject Attempt to Block Guatemala President-elect from Taking Office

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Guatemalan Prosecutors Attempt to Prevent President-elect from Taking Office

Guatemalan prosecutors have made an unprecedented move to prevent President-elect Bernardo Arévalo from taking office on January 14. They have asked a court to strip Arévalo of his legal immunity, alleging irregularities in the election results. However, Arévalo has accused the prosecution of undermining his ability to govern. This development has raised concerns about the stability and legitimacy of the democratic process in Guatemala.

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Allegations of Irregularities in Election Results

The prosecutors claim that minutes seized during a raid of electoral offices showed irregularities in the presidential runoff vote that Arévalo won in August. They argue that these irregularities are significant enough to render the election results void. However, Arévalo and his party, the Seed Movement, have strongly denied these allegations and maintained that the election was conducted in accordance with democratic standards.

President-elect Accuses Prosecution of Undermining His Ability to Govern

President-elect Arévalo has expressed his concern that the prosecution’s attempt to strip him of his legal immunity is a deliberate effort to undermine his ability to govern. He believes that this move is politically motivated and aimed at preventing him from enacting the progressive policies he campaigned on. Arévalo’s supporters have rallied behind him, demanding that his democratically won mandate be respected.

International and Regional Leaders Reject Prosecutors’ Attempt

The attempt by Guatemalan prosecutors has been met with widespread rejection from international and regional leaders. The high electoral court of Guatemala, as well as the Organization of American States, the United Nations, the British Foreign Office, and the European Union, have all expressed their support for President-elect Arévalo. These entities have raised concerns about nullifying the election outcome and questioning the existence of the Movimiento Semilla party.

Concern Over Nullifying Election Outcome and Questioning the Existence of the Political Party

The international and regional leaders who have rejected the prosecutors’ attempt are deeply concerned about the potential consequences of nullifying the election outcome. They argue that doing so would undermine the will of the Guatemalan citizens who participated in the democratic process. Moreover, by questioning the existence of the Movimiento Semilla party, these actions could set a dangerous precedent that threatens the overall democratic transition in Guatemala.

Observers Confirm Adherence to Democratic Standards

International observers who monitored the Guatemalan election have confirmed that the voting process adhered to democratic standards. They have attested to the legitimacy of President-elect Arévalo’s victory and have praised the Guatemalan people for their commitment to exercising their democratic rights. The observers’ findings underscore the importance of respecting the will of the electorate and upholding democratic principles.

Threats and Legal Actions Against President-elect

President-elect Arévalo has faced numerous threats and legal actions in recent months. His party members have been arrested, and his party offices have been raided. Additionally, there have been repeated court requests to lift his immunity to enable direct investigations into his conduct. These actions have been seen as an attempt to intimidate and undermine him as he prepares to take office.

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Efforts to Investigate President-elect Directly

The prosecution’s request to strip President-elect Arévalo of his legal immunity is part of a larger effort to investigate him directly. They allege that irregularities in the election results necessitate a thorough inquiry into his actions. However, Arévalo and his supporters argue that these investigations are politically motivated and an infringement on the principle of a fair and impartial judicial process.

Call to Preserve and Respect Human Rights

In light of the escalating targeting of President-elect Arévalo, international entities and human rights advocates have called for the preservation and respect of human rights in Guatemala. They emphasize the importance of upholding freedoms, such as freedom of expression and freedom of peaceful assembly. It is crucial that the government of Guatemala ensures the protection of these rights, particularly during this period of political turmoil.

Potential EU Sanctions and OAS Resolution

The European Union is considering imposing sanctions on those attempting to reverse the vote by Guatemalans. This stance reflects their condemnation of the actions taken by the Guatemalan prosecutors and their commitment to supporting democratic processes. Furthermore, the Organization of American States has announced that it will hold a discussion on the political crisis and potentially sign a resolution on the actions that pose a risk to the democratic transition of power in Guatemala.

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Criticism of Guatemalan Government and President

The Guatemalan government has attempted to distance itself from the actions of the prosecutor’s office by emphasizing the country’s separation of powers. However, many have criticized President Alejandro Giammattei for supporting Attorney General Consuelo Porras, whom he considers a friend. Giammattei’s association with Porras has raised concerns about his commitment to upholding democratic principles and respecting the independence of the judicial system. The United States government has responded to these concerns by imposing sanctions on Porras for undermining democracy and hindering anti-corruption efforts.

International Community Urged for Prudence

In the midst of these developments, the Guatemalan presidency has called on the international community to exercise caution when issuing statements that may contribute to internal polarization. They emphasize that the transition and power handing over process is already underway. It is essential that international actors and organizations approach the situation in Guatemala with prudence to facilitate a peaceful and democratic resolution to the ongoing political crisis.

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