The Constitutional Court of Guatemala, in order to ensure the country’s electoral process, annulled, this Thursday (13), the suspicion of the Semilla Movement, the party of presidential candidate Bernardo Arévalo, who is contesting the second round against the former first -lady, Sandra Torres, from the National Unity of Hope (UNE).
The decision of the Court, equivalent to the Federal Supreme Court of Brazil, came after first instance judge Fredy Orellana determined on Wednesday (12) that the Supreme Electoral Court suspend the party within 24 hours due to a complaint by the Public Ministry of that more than 5,000 Semilla affiliation records were false.
The Court followed the provisions of the Constitution of Guatemala, which determines that the entire electoral process in the country is regulated by the Electoral and Political Parties Law.
“The Electoral Law establishes that a political party cannot be canceled when the electoral process has already started, precisely to protect it from this type of decision”, he explained to the Brazil in Fact Professor of Sociology of Law and Theory of the State at the Universidad San Carlos de Guatemala Javier Monterroso.
Monterroso further claimed that the judge’s order was illegal. “A criminal judge has no competence in electoral matters. On the face of it, his order is illegal. Therefore, the TSE would not be required to comply with this order. I could even denounce the judge for prevarication, ”he said.
The Court’s determination does not annul the process against the party, it only guarantees what the legislation requires regarding the electoral process. With that, according to Monterosso, if Arévalo is elected and the process goes ahead and his party is suspended, the candidate will have difficulties to govern. “He would have the support of a minority of deputies. And with Justice against it, it will be very difficult to advance in its agenda”, said the professor.
The suspension of the party mobilized different countries in defense of Guatemalan democracy.
In a note, the European Union asked for “an end to the judicialization of elections with maneuvers that have a dubious legal fit in the Guatemalan legal system and that public authorities guarantee the free exercise of voting, without impediments of any kind.”
Chile, on the other hand, asked for respect for the rule of law and said that it “views with concern the suspension of the Semilla Movement, in the midst of an electoral process for the second round.” And he asked that “the government guarantee the free exercise of suffrage on August 20, with candidates approved by the TSE”.
The Electoral Observation Mission of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Guatemala reiterated its “deep concern with the judicialization of the process” and with “attempts to disrespect the popular will expressed at the ballot box.”
Editing: Thales Schmidt