New blow to leftists in Guatemala after tense presidential appointment

There were a few hours of calm in the life of Guatemala’s newly appointed president, who took office last Sunday after a tense day in Congress, where the outgoing government made last-ditch efforts to stop the transfer of powers.

The country’s highest court has accepted this Wednesday a provisional protection against the election of the new board of directors of the Congress, headed by the deputy Samuel Pérez Álvarez of the Social Democratic Party and the winner of the Movimiento Semilla elections.

Although the decision of the Constitutional Court does not affect the investiture of Bernardo Arévalo and Karin Herrera as President and Vice President of the Republic, the Security Chamber forces a repeat of the presidential election, which is expected to take place this Thursday New In the first plenary session of the Legislature.

The decision was announced after supporting an appeal submitted by opposition representative Sandra Jowell, who lost the election for Congress president last Sunday. The high court’s proposal is based on the suspension of representatives of the Semilla Movement ordered last July by Judge Freddy Orellana, whom the United States accused of corruption and undermining justice. Within the framework of a judicial investigation into an alleged case of forgery of signatures during the party’s establishment process, the judge imposed the suspension of the party’s legal personality.

Following this court order, the Constitutional Court now supports that representatives elected to Congress are independent and cannot hold positions on boards of directors or legislative commissions. The Supreme Court’s decision comes after months of judicial harassment against the Semilla movement, the leftist party that won the election, which has for months been denouncing the coup attempt against it.

new judicial blow

The elected government of President Bernardo Arévalo is facing its first institutional crisis just four days after taking office. After spending tense days last Sunday in the congressional constitution, Semilla deputy Samuel Pérez secured the presidency of the chamber with 92 deputies in favor for a total of 160 seats.

Although his party only has 23 representatives, he managed to reach agreements with other groups and add the necessary votes. It was actually this support that allowed the Semila bench to table a proposal after the qualifying board declared him independent and, later, a list supported by the majority proposed Semila’s deputy as the new President of the Congress.

The losing candidacy, which received only 75 votes, was that of deputy Sandra Jovel, who filed an appeal before the Constitutional Court insisting that Semilla members had been declared independent by the justice system and that they were independent of the Congress. Could not preside over. Jovel, from the Valor party of former presidential candidate Xury Ríos – daughter of dictator Efraín Ríos Montt – is an ally of the Vamos political group, the formation of outgoing President Alejandro Giammattei.

Along with him, four others have filed an amparo action before the Constitutional Court requesting the annulment of the Congress’s board of directors. Among them, the Foundation Against Terrorism, a far-right organization, has tried to torpedo the inauguration of the new government on several occasions.

The High Court now orders a repeat of the election of the Board of Directors of the Congress “to guarantee the effective establishment of this Legislature”, it announced in a statement issued on Wednesday afternoon.

a chaotic embellishment

Parliament became the hero during the investiture day of the new executive last Sunday. After a legislative commission created obstacles to providing credentials to newly elected representatives, suspicions were in the air of a possible coup that would prevent the inauguration. After more than 12 hours of uncertainty and tension, the congressman managed to take the oath of office and was sworn in as the new President of Guatemala just after 12:00 am.

Semilla’s suspension is part of the fight that the prosecutor’s office and opposition politicians are maintaining against the entire electoral process that gave Arévalo victory. Meanwhile, social organizations and indigenous movements have already called for rallies in front of the headquarters of the Constitutional Court. This followed 105 days of mobilization promoted by indigenous communities in defense of democracy, which ended after the investiture was formalized.

Pending the final decision and the fresh vote to be held today, the Semila Peeth will remain a minority in the Congress and will have to continue to form alliances with the rest of the political forces to ensure the governance of the country.


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