At approximately 2030 EST, the Guatemalan Supreme Electoral Tribunal ordered the suspension of opposition party Movimiento Semilla. However, the Tribunal did allow Semilla’s presidential candidate, Bernardo Arevalo to advance to the second round with Sandra Torres. In the first round on June 25th, 2023, Torres, from the UNE Party, received 21% of the vote while, Arevalo received 16% of the vote, propelling them into the next round from the other twenty candidates.
La Fiscalía Especial contra la Impunidad informa: pic.twitter.com/uEXU3UkZOK
— MP de Guatemala (@MPguatemala) July 12, 2023
However, on July 1st, 2023, the Guatemalan Consitutional Court ordered the Supreme Electroal Tribunal to suspend those results due to several appeals and pending investigations into several parties, especially Semilla. Since then, the international community has urged the Guatemalan government to respect the results and move forward with the election.
The Guatemalan Constitional Court did not rule until today that the Tribunal had fulfilled it’s orders and accurately measured the national tally sheets against the polling sites’ sheets, thus the certification of the election results.
However, the separate issue of investigations has a much more complicated history dating back well into incumbent President Giammattei’s presidency in which anti-corruption investigations collapsed and dozens of Gautemalan officials fled the country. Guatemala has one of the most corrupt political systems in the Western Hemisphere. Leading up to this election, the incumbent administration employed national police and the judicial system against journalists, opposition political parties, and investigators. Almost all of the major presidential candidates and their parties have had legal challenges to their campaigns. The suspension of the Semilla party is borne from forgery allegations dating back to 2019.
After this dramatic certification period, the second election round will go on August 20th, 2023.
It is not currently clear as of this publication, what will happen with the 23 seats won by the Semilla party in the Guatemalan Congress. In the Guatemalan national elections, 160 members of Congress are elected by two methods; 130 are elected from 22 multi-member constituencies based on the departments, with the remaining 31 elected from a single nationwide constituency. Seats are elected using closed list proportional representation, with seats allocated using the D’Hondt method. (wiki)