Guatemala: Observers Warn of Irregularities in Next Elections
On Tuesday, the Guatemalan Electoral Observation Mission (MOE-GT), a consortium of civil society organizations, warned that the ongoing electoral process is losing legitimacy due to multiple irregularities and arbitrariness.
Guatemalan Authorities Obstruct Candidacy of Indigenous Leader
More specifically, the MOE-GT highlighted that last-minute legal actions taken against some candidates generate a critical situation, «which we have reached due to the irresponsibility of political parties that do not adhere to the electoral laws requirements.»
The political moment worsens even more since the electoral authorities have failed to comply with their obligations in a timely manner, which has diminished the functionality of «the institutions in charge of guaranteeing the rule of law, defending the exercise of citizen liberties, and attending to the needs that enable society’s effective and efficient functioning.»
«We found abundant evidence that the institutions set up to defend the citizenry have become a threat to it,» the Electoral Observation Mission pointed out, mentioning that the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) has made multiple errors during the processes of accepting or denying candidacies, which has also been highlighted by international observers.
Three candidates in Guatemala’s upcoming presidential elections have been blocked from running so far including now the frontrunner Carlos Pineda. No matter who wins this will be a sham election. https://t.co/qB5kcJpato
— Michael Paarlberg (@MPaarlberg)
May 23, 2023
On Wednesday, for example, the Norwegian Foreign Affairs Ministry said that Norway shares concerns about the electoral process and the exclusion of several presidential candidates.
«We call on the authorities to guarantee free elections and the right to stand for election according to the Guatemalan Constitution,» it said.
Previously, the TSE prevented the registration of Thelma Cabrera and Jordan Rodas, a presidential couple sponsored by the leftist Peoples’ Liberation Movement. Similar obstructions occurred with candidates such as Roberto Arzu and David Pineda.
The latest case of this type of irregularity occurred with the Citizen Prosperity Party candidate Carlos Pineda, who was leading polls for electoral preferences but was suspended by the TSE less than a month before the June 25 elections.
Meanwhile, the electoral authorities endorsed the registration of the presidential candidacy of Zury Rios Sosa, the daughter of former dictator Efrain Rios Montt. This happened despite the Guatemalan Constitution prohibiting the participation of relatives of dictators.
#FromTheSouth News Bits | Guatemala: Families return to their homes after Fuego volcano ceases activity. pic.twitter.com/OA6PhzzfBz
— teleSUR English (@telesurenglish)
May 12, 2023