The president of Guatemala, Alejandro Giammattei, urged the electoral authorities yesterday Monday to respect August 20 to carry out the ballot, before legal actions that seek to reverse the victory in the first round of two Social Democratic candidates.
In an open letter, the right-wing president reiterated the “call for the second round of elections to take place on the date established by law” and then, with whomever is elected, start “the respective transition process.”
The ruler made the call because the results of the June 25 elections were subject to review at the request of several losing parties, which denounced irregularities.
In the general elections, the former first lady Sandra Torres (15.86%) and the sociologist and son of former reformist president Juan José Arévalo (1945-1951), Bernardo Arévalo (11.77%), were the most voted among the 22 aspirants.
Respect the deadline
Giammattei assured in the letter that he will respect the term for which he was “democratically” elected. “My constitutional term ends on January 14, 2024, a non-extendable term that I will respect,” he wrote.
The legal actions have prevented the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) from making official the two winners of the first round of the presidential elections, causing rumors on social networks that it is a strategy by Giammattei to perpetuate himself in power, something that he called a “campaign of disinformation” in his letter.
– ‘You win at the polls’ –
The president of the TSE, Irma Palencia, urged citizens to participate in the ballot on Monday, since the established date is maintained, although she clarified that by court order she cannot disclose the names of the winners.
“It is maintained that the second round takes place on the scheduled date. You win or lose at the polls,” not in court, Palencia said at a press conference.
“We want the public to know that the electoral calendar is being respected, we favor it and we are in time for the second round to be fulfilled on August 20,” the magistrate insisted.
Palencia acknowledged that they had not “contemplated” the legal actions that stopped the officialization of the results of the elections, but “we still have time and we believe that we are going to achieve it.”
The results of the election were submitted for review by the Constitutional Court (CC) at the request of several parties, a process that concluded on Thursday without alteration in the first ballots.
However, on Friday the president of the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ), Silvia Valdés, issued a resolution ordering the TSE to report on the procedure used to review the results.
This resolution was signed only by Valdés and not by the full CSJ magistrates, something that has generated rejection at the international and local level.
On Sunday, Arévalo asked the CC to annul the decision not to make the results of the general elections official.
A day earlier, Torres also reacted to the Supreme Court resolution and asked the TSE to “officialize” the results of the first round of the presidential election.