Guatemala elections back on track after attempt to suspend party

Guatemala City, Jul 13 (EFE).- Guatemala’s Constitutional Court and the Supreme Electoral Tribunal put the country’s elections back on track Thursday after an attempt by the Public Ministry (Attorney General’s office) to suspend one of the two parties contesting the presidency.

Guatemala’s highest court annulled the suspension against the leftist Movimiento Semilla (Seed Movement) party, which the Public Ministry had requested and obtained before a judge on Wednesday.

Along the same lines, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal said that it would not take into account the Public Ministry’s order and that Semilla could contest the presidential runoff on Aug. 20 with its candidate, leftist academic Bernardo Arévalo de León.

The first round on June 25 was won by right-wing former first lady Sandra Torres Casanova, from the National Unity of Hope, as all the polls announced.

However, Arévalo took out a surprise second place after polls had placed him in seventh or eighth.

Since then, the members of Semilla have warned that there would be moves to stop his candidacy.

Some 2,000 people demonstrated Thursday afternoon against the attorney general and head of the Public Ministry, Consuelo Porras, over the attempt to suspend Semilla.

At the headquarters of the Public Ministry, in the center of Guatemala City, protesters demanded Porras’ resignation.

“Now that the people have decided on a change at the polls, they want to twist the laws in an arbitrary and illegal way,” one of the protesters, Angelina Aspuac, leader of a group of indigenous weaving women, told EFE.

The accusation of the Public Ministry created 24 hours of turmoil and tension around the country.

Casanova and Arévalo now head to the runoff to select the president of the Central American country for the period 2024-2028.

Semilla was born from the anti-corruption demonstrations in the Central American country during 2015 and among its principles is social justice and the end of impunity. EFE


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