Court maintains veto to opponents for elections

Court maintains veto to opponents for elections

The Guatemalan Constitutional Court announced Thursday that it maintains the refusal to register candidates from two opposition parties for the June presidential election. In contrast, for the moment it endorsed the registration of two other candidacies of policies allied to the government who have been denounced for having a constitutional prohibition.

The Court decided to deny appeals presented by the rejected parties that sought to reverse the decision of the Supreme Court of Justice to accept the initial refusals of the Registry of Citizens and the Supreme Electoral Tribunal.

He also denied appeals from other political parties seeking to get two other groups out of contention. The decisions of the Court are temporary until it resolves definitively.

Guatemala will renew its president, vice president, congressional deputies, mayors and deputies to the Central American Parliament on June 25 and, less than a month before the deadline for registering candidates, two parties are out of the electoral contest by decision of the entity of Constitutionality, which has the last word. The presidential race has been marked by controversy since the call to the polls was called.

This is the Movement for the Liberation of the Peoples (MLP), a left-wing party founded by indigenous people and peasants that advocates a plurinational state. Thelma Cabrera leads her team and is the only indigenous woman nominated for the presidency and Jordán Rodas Andrade, a former human rights attorney, accompanies her as a candidate for vice president.

Ramiro Muñoz, electoral registrar, initially refused to register the party’s candidacies due to an administrative matter, arguing that Rodas Andrade lacks a document attesting that he has no pending accounts with the State. The so-called settlement is a requirement established in the Law of Probity and Responsibilities of Public Officials and Employees.

However, the former attorney general, a staunch critic of the government of Alejandro Giammattei, has no constitutional prohibition (which stipulates the impediments to accessing the position) to run in elections.

The other rejected party is Podemos, of a right-wing tendency, which promotes Roberto Arzú García Granados as a candidate for president. His candidacy was initially admitted by the Citizens’ Registry, but was challenged before the Supreme Electoral Tribunal. He withdrew his registration for allegedly campaigning early, despite the fact that at least two other candidates who received early campaign warnings still retain their registrations.

The candidacies that the Constitutional Court maintains in force are those of Zury Mayté Ríos Sosa and Sandra Torres Casanova.

Ríos Sosa, daughter of José Efraín Ríos Montt, the deceased former dictator who received a conviction – later annulled – for genocide, is running for the radical right-wing Valor-Unionista coalition of parties.

In its article 186, the Guatemalan constitution prevents warlords, coup leaders or similar, and their relatives from running for president and vice president. Based on that restriction, Ríos Sosa was prohibited from participating on previous occasions. However, for the next race, it was one of the first registered candidates.

The nomination of Sandra Torres Casanova, former first lady (divorced from the late former president Álvaro Colom Caballeros 2008-2012) and that of his vice-presidential candidate, Romeo Guerra, a former evangelical pastor, who run for the National Unity of Hope (UNE) party were also challenged by the constitutional prohibition, since no religious minister can run for the presidency or vice presidency.

Although the decision of their participations were challenged by the political parties Cabal and Todos, both the electoral court and the ordinary justice -with decisions of the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court- ratified their admission.

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Written by Editor TLN

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