Tribunal revokes suspension of Guatemala presidential election winner’s party

Guatemala’s top electoral tribunal revoked the suspension of the presidential election winner’s party on Sunday.

The tribunal announced the decision to give reprieve to president-elect Bernardo Arevalo’s party, the Movimiento Semilla (Seed Movement), suspended soon after the election results were out.

The Supreme Electoral Tribunal urged the state to “respect the popular will” expressed through the vote.

The party had been suspended on Aug.28 by the Registrar of Citizens of the top electoral tribunal.

Five top judges of the tribunal signed the revocation order.

The judges had disassociated themselves from the suspension decision.

Judge Fredy Orellana of the Registrar of Citizens had ordered the suspension of the party at the request of the public prosecutor’s office.

On Aug.20, Arévalo de León, a social democrat, pulled out a surprising win in the second round of the presidential election, defeating former first lady Sandra Torres.

According to the official count, the progressive candidate obtained 60.9 percent of the valid votes against 37.2 percent by the right-wing Torres.

He called the suspension of his party a “coup d’état” to prevent him from assuming the presidency scheduled for Jan. 14.

The president-elect said the Attorney General and head of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, Consuelo Porras, was the main instigator of the coup.

He said prosecutor Rafael Curruchiche, the Board of Directors of Congress, a judge, and “other corrupt actors” supported the coup attempt.

The US had reacted sharply to the move that “seek to undermine Guatemala’s democracy.”

“Such anti-democratic behavior, including efforts by the public ministry and other actors to suspend the president-elect’s political party and intimidate election authorities, undercuts the clear will of the Guatemalan people,” the US State Department said in a press release on Aug.29.