Guatemala City, AFP – The highest court in Guatemala ordered the electoral results of the first presidential round held on June 25 to be made official, invalidating the actions filed by some political parties that denounced possible fraud. Hours earlier, the president of Guatemala, Alejandro Giammattei, had urged the authorities to respect August 20 to hold the ballot, without questioning the victory in the first round of Sandra Torres and Bernardo Arévalo.
After two weeks of doubts about the electoral results of the first presidential round and the run-off on August 20, the Supreme Court of Justice was clear: “Declares the appeals for amparo inadmissible” that were raised by political parties that alleged irregularities in the counting of votes.
This resolution contradicts the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, which had ordered the blocking of the certification of the results at the request of right-wing sectors that denounced irregularities in the vote count and viewed with suspicion the surprise victory of leftist Bernardo Arévalo.
Arévalo’s opponent, Sandra Torres, also asked to review the vote count, despite having won the first round of voting. As a result of the complaints and doubts, the UN electoral observation mission returned to the Central American country to supervise the recount.
This Monday, the Supreme Court resolved the doubts hours after in an open letter, the right-wing president reiterated the “call for the second electoral round to take place on the date established by law” and then, with the result elected, initiate “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 applicants.
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.
“You win at the polls”
The president of the TSE, Irma Palencia, urged citizens on Monday to participate in the ballot, 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.