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Observers report that parties, courts interfered in Guatemalan elections.

The Organization of American States observation mission has concluded that some Guatemalan political parties and other actors unnecessarily dragged the June 25 election into the courts in an attempt to ignore the will of the people.

“The mission considers that the misuse of legal instruments by actors dissatisfied with the results created extreme uncertainty in the electoral process and threatened the country’s democratic stability,” election observers wrote in a report released on Wednesday.

Guatemalan prosecutor strips presidential candidate of legal immunity

For more than two weeks, election results that pitted conservative former first lady Sandra Torres against progressive former diplomat Bernardo Arevalo have been unconfirmed. Several losing parties requested an injunction and the Constitutional Court ordered a review of the challenged vote count.

Observers said some political parties tried to use very isolated errors to cast doubt on the credibility of the election and suggested there were systematic problems. After the review, for which observers were also present, the results were “almost identical to the initial results,” the mission wrote.

Demonstrators gather in support of Guatemala’s electoral process and the presidential election scheduled for Saturday, July 15, 2023 in Guatemala City. (AP Photo/Moses Castillo)

Observers called the election “successful”, saying it was peaceful and the delivery of results satisfactory.

Guatemala High Court Blocks Presidential Frontrunner’s Candidacy

Once the review of the vote count was completed and the results unchanged, the Attorney General’s Office moved to allege that Arévalo’s Seed Movement committed crimes in its collection of signatures to form as a party years ago. A judge suspended the party’s legal status, but the Constitutional Court granted a preliminary injunction to prevent the suspension.

Both candidates are now just over a month away from the August 20 runoff, but legal hurdles continue to loom. The special corruption prosecutor who called for the suspension of the Seed Movement party’s legal status has said the investigation is still open.

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About 90 observers from 20 countries made up the Organization of American States electoral mission to Guatemala.

Source by [Fox News]



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