The long-awaited court ruling on the controversial results of the Guatemalan presidential election has finally been made.
A massive lawsuit brought by 10 opposing parties, including the party that was leading the election, has fallen in favor of presidential candidate Bernardo Arévalo, reported AP.
This means the Insurgent Party can remain on the ballot and Arévalo is now headed for a runoff election.
Keep It the Way It Is
The election was being scrutinized for the sheer number of “null” votes that had been recorded.
From the early reports, there were more “null” votes (ballots that had been disqualified because the intent of the voter was not clear to ballot readers) than votes for candidates.
Arévalo will now face off against Sandra Torres, a former first lady.
Ramiro Muñoz, director of the citizen registry, stated, “We are, I believe, before a historical moment that is marking the whole nation. We are doing the right thing,” reported the New York Times.
Ironically, the prosecutor in the case is already on a list by the United States as a corrupt Central American officer, which is more than likely why the State Department encouraged the court to keep the election as it was.
Arévalo celebrated the decision, stating, “All of Guatemala is vigilant. Those of us who are defending democracy are the majority, and we are clear in our rejection of that corrupt minority that is desperately trying to manipulate public institutions and violate the constitutional order.”
Mr. Arévalo’s party, called Semilla, is now fighting to block the appeal.
This is far from over, however, even if the appeal is blocked. This is not the United States and these opposing parties are not going to take this decision lightly.
Edgar Ortiz Romero, a constitutional law expert, stated the obvious, “This places us in the sad group of countries with advanced authoritarian features in which the legal system is used to attack opponents.”
Stay tuned, my friends, because something tells me there will be blood in the streets before this is all over.