Guatemalan prosecutor asks Congress to suspend president-elect’s party

Guatemala City, Aug 24 (EFE).- Guatemalan authorities have requested the suspension from Congress of the party of president-elect Bernardo Arévalo, Special Prosecutor Against Impunity Rafael Curruchiche said Thursday.

Arévalo, of the left-wing Movimiento Semilla (“Seed Movement”), on Sunday won a runoff presidential election against former first lady Sandra Torres of the center-right populist Unidad Nacional de la Esperanza (“National Unity of Hope”).

Curruchiche said he had sent a letter on Wednesday informing the president of Congress, Shirley Rivera, that on July 12, the Seventh Criminal Court provisionally ordered the suspension of Semilla for an alleged case of forged signatures in 2018 when the party was formed.

However, the suspension was later annulled by the Supreme Court, Semilla spokespersons pointed out on Thursday.

Since July 12, the Public Prosecutor’s Office has been trying to stop Arevalo’s candidacy by conducting raids at the party’s headquarters and at the Supreme Electoral Tribunal.

Meanwhile, the United States State Department included both Curruchiche and the head of the Attorney General’s Office, Consuelo Porras, on it’s Engel List of sanctions against corrupt individuals who undermine democracy or obstruct corruption investigations in Central America.

The US later singled out Porras with stronger sanctions for “involvement in significant corruption.”

“We know that there is an ongoing political persecution that is being carried out by the institutions, the prosecutors and the judges that have been co-opted,” Arevalo said Sunday night after winning the second round of voting.

“We know that this is underway. We would like to think that this victory will be so resounding that there will be no attempts to derail the electoral process. The people of Guatemala have spoken clearly,” he concluded.

The president-elect’s political group currently has five deputies, including Arevalo, and won 23 seats in the 160-member Congress in the June 25 elections, making it the third largest political force in the country. EFE


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