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Guatemala President pledges to ensure fair elections; Meets OAS Chief amid concerns

Posted: Wednesday, August 2, 2023. 7:12 am CST.

By Breaking Belize News Staff: President Alejandro Giammattei of Guatemala met with the Organization of American States (OAS) chief Luis Almagro on Tuesday, affirming his pledge to ensure transparent and peaceful elections in the country, according to a Reuters report.

In the meeting, the president committed to providing the essential budget, infrastructure, and security to enable electoral authorities to oversee the vote. This commitment is particularly crucial in light of concerns raised over the integrity of the election process. Local authorities had earlier attempted to suspend the party of anti-corruption candidate Bernardo Arevalo, a move reversed by Guatemala’s top court.

“The upcoming election holds particular significance, with the main contenders representing diverse ideologies and political approaches. Arevalo’s anti-graft stance has attracted supporters who are frustrated with political corruption, while Torres brings her experience as a former first lady to the contest,” the report by Reuters stated.

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OAS chief Almagro, who will be in Guatemala until August 4, is anticipated to meet other stakeholders to ensure that the government’s promise is fulfilled. His visit comes at a critical juncture, with the presidential runoff vote scheduled for August 20, where Arevalo will compete against former first lady Sandra Torres.

The meeting between Giammattei and Almagro underscores Guatemala’s resolve to demonstrate adherence to democratic principles. According to Reuters, the government’s statement following the meeting emphasized its ability and readiness to conduct an election that meets international expectations.

The international community’s watchful eye, represented by bodies like the OAS, underscores the critical nature of the upcoming vote not only for Guatemala but also for the broader region’s faith in democratic governance.

 

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