HomeCurrent affairsGuatemala President halts transfer of power due to doubts

Guatemala President halts transfer of power due to doubts

The President-elect of Guatemala halts transfer of power amidst doubts

Bernardo Arevalo, the Guatemalan President-elect, stopped the transition of government powers earlier this week. He did so because actions by the authorities raised concerns about the transfer of power. 

(Image Source: Moises Castillo/AP)

The top prosecutor of the Central American country raided the offices of Guatemala’s election tribunal. Arevalo describes the prosecution’s raid as an attempted coup. He states that the raids are a blatant abuse of power and hinder the electoral process. It violated the Constitution of Guatemala. 

Arevalo will resume the transition once the required institutional and political conditions have been met. The Organization of American States (OAS) is concerned with the raid on the electoral office. It involved opening electoral packages, which violated Guatemalan election laws. 

OAS states that these raids prove that the Public Prosecutor’s Office is heavily questioning the election process. They are undermining the authority of the electoral personnel and thousands of voters who voted calmly and transparently. 

Former President Alejandro Giammattei’s government states that while they agree with Arevalo’s decision, they respect it. The decision was due to action taken beyond the reach of the executive branch. They have not interfered with the process to date. Giamattei’s government expressed a firm willingness to resume the transition process at the request of the elected party. 

Dispute over Guatemala elections

Arevalo and his party, i.e., Semilla, won the August 20 elections by a landslide majority. He had campaigned to tackle corruption once he came into power. Prosecutors, however, had threatened to bar his party from the elections. It caused an international outcry. 

Before Arevalo was declared victorious, the electoral tribunal announced that the elections had barred Semilla. The tribunal branch claimed that the party had flaws in the registration process. The tribunal has since revoked the suspension.

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