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Asia and the Pacific
Western Asia

Guatemala - September 2023

Raids on Electoral Tribunal hinder transition process after elections

On 12 September, the president-elect, Bernardo Arévalo, announced he would suspend his participation in the transition hand-over process with the Giammattei administration, over the raids carried out the same day by prosecutors of the Attorney General’s office in the Electoral Tribunal’s premises. Both Arévalo and officials of the Electoral Tribunal expressed concern over the “unprecedented” measure, as prosecutors opened electoral packages and handled ballots, compromising the chain of custody and the integrity of the election. Guatemalan law exclusively authorizes officials of the Electoral Tribunal to handle electoral material, yet prosecutors argued a citizen complaint had triggered the search, which was authorized by a judge.  

In early September, Arévalo had denounced an “attempted coup” against him, after prosecutorial actions against his Movimiento Semilla (Seed Movement) party. International bodies, such as the Organization of American States (OAS), have also expressed concern over such measures. Scores of citizens have rallied in support of Arévalo, calling for the Attorney General and other high-level officials to resign. In late September, Arévalo asked that the transition process be reactivated, in accordance with OAS recommendations.  

Sources: Al Jazeera, France 24, La Prensa Latina, La Hora

Primary categories and factors
Rule of Law -1 Rule of Law  (-1)
Predictable Enforcement
Secondary categories and factors
Representation Representation
Credible Elections
Free Political Parties

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