He General secretary of the UN, António Guterres, “follows with great concern the situation surrounding the elections in Guatemala,” according to a statement released this Saturday by the Organization’s spokesperson.
Guatemala held general elections on June 25, in which candidate Bernardo Arévalo, progressive leader of the Movimiento Semilla party, and Sandra Torres of the right-wing United National of Hope party advanced to the second round.
According to news from the region, last Friday there was a raid at the headquarters of the Movimiento Semilla and the Prosecutor’s Office has tried to suspend the candidacy of the Movimiento Sevilla. In addition, the official results of the first round have not been released yet. The second round is scheduled for August 20.
In the statement, Guterres recalls that “Member States are responsible for guaranteeing transparent, free and fair elections, free of intimidation and coercion.”
The Secretary General calls on Guatemalan institutions to respect the human rights of their citizens, “including the right to vote in genuine periodic elections that guarantee the free expression of the will of the voters.”
Also remember that voters must be protected from any form of coercion and from any unlawful or arbitrary interference in the voting process, and that electoral institutions must be able to carry out their work independently.