Guatemalan Court Disqualifies Semilla Party, Preventing Social Democratic Candidate from Contesting Runoff
In a surprising turn of events, the Semilla party, led by social democratic candidate Bernardo Arévalo, has been disqualified by the Seventh Court of the criminal instance in Guatemala. This decision effectively prevents Arévalo from participating in the runoff on August 20.
Rafael Curruchiche, head of the Special Prosecutor’s Office Against Impunity (FECI), announced the suspension of Movimiento Semilla’s legal status in a video released on social media. Curruchiche, who requested the disqualification, cited alleged irregularities in the party’s collection of signatures for its legalization.
This judicial ruling follows the presentation of legal appeals by the parties that lost in the first round of the presidential elections held on June 25. The appeals further delayed the official proclamation of the runoff candidates, Sandra Torres and Bernardo Arévalo.
The United States has expressed deep concern over the situation, with Washington raising questions about the integrity of the elections. The Constitutional Court (CC) of Guatemala ordered the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) to review the results after several losing parties raised allegations of irregularities.
After a five-day review, the results confirmed that the runoff would be between former first lady Sandra Torres and sociologist Bernardo Arévalo, son of former reformist president Juan José Arévalo. However, the candidates have yet to be officially proclaimed for the second round.
It is worth noting that Prosecutor Curruchiche, who issued the disqualification, has been sanctioned by the United States for allegedly persecuting former prosecutors involved in fighting corruption.
As the political landscape in Guatemala remains uncertain, the outcome of the upcoming runoff is eagerly awaited by the public.