Guatemala’s president-elect, Social Democrat Bernardo Arevalo, alleged on Friday that a “coup” plan was in motion to prevent him from taking power in January, following his August 20 election victory largely due to his promise to fight against of corruption.

“There is a group of politicians and corrupt government officials who refuse to accept the result [σ.σ. των εκλογών] and they have begun to implement a plan to dismantle the constitutional order and violate democracy,” the 64-year-old Mr. Arevalo said during a press conference.

On Monday, the Supreme Electoral Court (TSE) suspended, at the request of a judge, the legal status of Movimiento Semilla (“Seed Movement”), the faction of the president-elect. Mr. Arevalo denounced the decision “outside of any legal framework” which is part of a “political persecution process against his party.

Yesterday he spoke “about actions that constitute a coup promoted by institutions that should guarantee justice in our country”.

“As the elected president of the Republic, I call (…) all Guatemalans who reject corruption and authoritarianism to join forces to defend,” added the sociologist and former diplomat.

On Wednesday, the Guatemalan parliament proceeded to abolish the Seed Movement parliamentary group. Consequently, its five members, including Mr. Arevalo, will not be able to chair committees, nor participate in the formulation of the agenda.

In the next Congress, which will take office at the same time as Mr. Arevalos in January, the Sporos Movement has elected 23 members.

If Sporos loses its legal status, the only consequence will be that its deputies will not be able to assume duties as members of a parliamentary group, their swearing-in and assumption of duties will not be affected, even less that of the president and vice-president.” , independent analyst Luis Linares estimated, speaking to AFP.

But his opponents may use the court case as a lever of “pressure” to force the president and his team to “negotiate” to secure either “impunity” or “a share of power,” Mr. Linares added. .

The US and the EU, through their top diplomats, respectively strongly criticized “prosecutorial and other efforts to suspend the legal status of the president-elect’s political party and intimidate election authorities” and “ongoing efforts of undermining the election results with selective and arbitrary legal actions”.

Cancellation request

A lawyer for the president-elect’s party, Juan Gerardo Guerrero, told the press on Monday that he had filed a “cancellation request” with the TSE.

After the first round of the presidential elections on June 25, Judge Freddy Oreyana had already ordered the TSE, at the request of prosecutor Rafael Kuruchitse, to revoke Semiya’s legal status and conduct an investigation into alleged irregularities and irregularities in the registration of members of when it was founded, in 2017. The TSE refused to comply, as the Constitution did not allow the dissolution of a party in the middle of an election process.

The US government describes Mr. Oreyana and Kuruchitse “involved in corruption”.

The Constitutional Court intervened, guaranteeing the holding of the second round on the scheduled date between the two candidates who occupied the first positions, that is, Mr. Arevalos and the former first lady Sandra Torres.

On August 20, Bernardo Arevalo won the election outright, securing almost 60% of the vote. His opponent, who many Guatemalans consider corrupt, denounced “rigging” and to this day has not acknowledged her defeat.