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GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala – Guatemala President Alejandro Giammattei said on Tuesday, August 29, the path was set for an “orderly and transparent transition” of power following the presidential election, after a new bid to suspend the winning party sowed fresh doubts.
Giammattei added he would meet with president-elect Bernardo Arevalo, who was swept to victory vowing to tackle corruption, on September 4.
“The doors are now open towards an orderly, transparent, and above all, efficient government transition,” said Giammattei, speaking in a video message published online.
Giammattei’s statement came after a document from the citizens registry ordering a temporary suspension of Arevalo’s Semilla party’s legal registration caused new confusion over the election results.
Arevalo, a 64-year-old ex-diplomat and son of a former president, won the August 20 second-round run-off with more than 58% of the vote after prosecutors had earlier threatened to bar Semilla from the election, prompting international outcry.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said later on Tuesday the United States looked forward to working with Arevalo and “will stand firm against attempts to undermine Guatemala’s democracy.”
On Monday the country’s electoral tribunal officially declared Arevalo the victor at a press conference, but faced questions about the new suspension attempt.
Arevalo has said the suspension is illegal.
The Organization of American States (OAS), which observed the country’s electoral process and called the suspension attempt unjustified, would also be present until Arevalo is due to take office on Jan. 14, Giammattei said. – Rappler.com