Guatemala: We call for the electoral process to be respected.

The national elections on June 25 were suspended by the courts. Almost two hundred organizations urge the State of Guatemala to take the necessary actions to ensure the integrity of the electoral process.

Almost two hundred organizations from the region urge the State of Guatemala to take the necessary actions to safeguard citizen participation and ensure the integrity of the electoral process. The national elections on June 25 were suspended by the courts, although the reports from all the national and international observation missions indicated that the elections took place without incident.

These organizations that have followed the elections in Guatemala for the presidency of the Republic, deputies and mayors, are deeply concerned about the suspension by the Constitutional Court (CC) of the official results of the voting held on June 25.

The Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) concluded the review hearings on June 30 in accordance with the legal deadlines and confirmed the results obtained in the voting on June 25. Accordingly, Sandra Torres of the UNE party and Bernardo Arévalo of the Semilla party will participate in the second round of elections, scheduled for August 20.

However, on July 1, nine political parties dissatisfied with the citizens’ votes filed injunctions with the CC, alleging alteration of the election results. The CC decided to allow 5 days for a new hearing to review the vote count reports through a provisional injunction (3731-2023). During this period, the “legitimized parties may assert the objections and challenges they deem pertinent.” In compliance with the resolution of the CC, the TSE announced the suspension of the official results of the General Elections on July 2.

The international electoral observation missions of the European Union (EU EOM) and of the Organization of American States (OAS EOM), as well as of the national observation mission (GT EOM), all reported that the voting on June 25 took place without any incidents that could justify the invalidation of the electoral results.

Furthermore, in a context in which the State of Guatemala has undertaken processes to criminalize independent justice operators, journalists and human rights defenders, and in which the participation of presidential candidates with the potential to dispute power was prevented, it is alarming to observe messages threatening the improper use of the criminal system against Electoral Board members. The legitimacy of the elections rests on the Electoral Boards that are made up of men and women performing their civic duty.

We call for the June 25 vote to be respected and to desist from using the justice system to improperly influence this stage of the electoral process in an attempt to invalidate it and disregard the will of the citizens expressed at the ballot box. We urge the State of Guatemala to take the necessary measures to guarantee that the right to citizen participation and the integrity of the electoral process are respected.

We call on the international community to closely monitor events in Guatemala. This is a historic moment in which national and international oversight is essential to protect democracy and prevent arbitrary acts that distort the will of the people.

The list of 196 national and international organizations that sign this statement is here.