Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Guatemala President-elect Arevalo suspends participation in government transition

Guatemalan President-elect Bernardo Arevalo has temporarily suspended his participation in the government transition, he said in a news conference on Tuesday.

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The announcement came after the country’s top prosecutor’s office raided facilities run by Guatemala’s main electoral tribunal on Tuesday.

Arevalo has called the prosecutor’s investigation of his electoral victory part of a coup attempt, and described Tuesday’s raids as “flagrant crimes of abuse of authority for electoral purposes” that violated Guatemala’s constitution.

In a statement, President Alejandro Giammattei’s government said it respected Arevalo’s decision but did not agree with it because it was made as a result of actions beyond the executive branch, “which do not interfere with the process that had been developed to date.”

“We reiterate our firm willingness to immediately resume the transition process as soon as the elected authorities request it,” the government added.

Arevalo, who campaigned on pledges to tackle corruption, resoundingly won the Aug. 20 second-round run-off election.

Prosecutors had threatened to bar his party, Semilla, from the election, prompting an international outcry.

Shortly before electoral tribunal officials declared Arevalo the victor, his party Semilla was notified that a branch of the tribunal suspended the party over registration flaws.

The tribunal has since temporarily revoked the suspension order through October.


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