Top Guatemalan presidential candidate disqualified ahead of race | Elections News


The Constitutional Court docket of Guatemala has dominated to finish the presidential campaign of darkish horse candidate Carlos Pineda, with just one month remaining earlier than voting begins.

Pineda, a conservative businessman with a powerful social media following, had appealed to the nation’s highest court docket after a choose suspended his candidacy every week in the past, citing noncompliance with the nation’s election legal guidelines.

However the Constitutional Court docket on Friday upheld the decrease court docket’s ruling, which discovered that Pineda failed to gather signatures from occasion delegates and file required monetary reviews, as required within the nomination course of.

That call provoked a fiery response from Pineda, who had just lately emerged because the frontrunner in a single election ballot.

“Corruption gained, Guatemala misplaced,” Pineda wrote in a single social media submit.

In one other, he stated the Constitutional Court docket had endorsed “electoral fraud” with its ruling: “We’re left with out democracy!!”

Supporters greet Carlos Pineda after he leaves the Constitutional Court docket of Guatemala, which heard his attraction to remain within the presidential race on Could 20 [File: Moises Castillo/AP Photo]

Pineda is the third candidate up to now to be disqualified from the presidential race, with the primary spherical of voting scheduled for June 25.

His disqualification follows that of fellow conservative Roberto Arzú on Thursday.

Earlier this 12 months, a left-leaning Indigenous candidate, Thelma Cabrera, was likewise barred from the race after her operating mate, former human rights official Jordán Rodas, was deemed ineligible.

Rodas had allegedly failed to provide a letter confirming he had no authorized proceedings pending towards him, main a court docket to rule that his entire ticket — together with Cabrera — couldn’t register for the elections.

Critics have decried the disqualifications as politically motivated, meant to weed out candidates seen as unfavourable to the federal government institution.

On Twitter, Juan Pappier, appearing deputy director for the Americas at Human Rights Watch, denounced Friday’s ruling as a “clear instrumentalisation of the judiciary to ensure an ‘electoral’ outcome”.

Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei listens to the first annual report of the second four-year term of Attorney General Consuelo Porras in Guatemala City, Wednesday, May 17
The administration of Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei has been accused of repressing important voices within the nation, together with members of the media [File: Moises Castillo/AP Photo]

The administration of outgoing President Alejandro Giammattei has already been accused of stifling dissent in Guatemala.

Earlier this month, ElPeriodico, a 27-year-old investigative information outlet, stated it was “forced” to cease its each day publications after “persecution” towards its workers “intensified”. Its founder, José Rubén Zamora, had beforehand been arrested on fees of cash laundering and blackmail.

And underneath Giammattei, an estimated 30 authorized specialists and anti-corruption officers — together with judges and legal professionals — have fled the country after his administration pursued investigations towards them.

Many of those figures have hyperlinks to the now-shuttered International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), an impartial organisation backed by the United Nations to root out corruption within the nation.

Those that stay face potential arrest and prosecution. On Friday, Guatemalan police arrested Stuardo Campos, a prosecutor centered on crimes towards migrants who had beforehand labored on anti-corruption circumstances.

The far-right group Basis Towards Terrorism had filed a criticism towards Campos claiming he had abused his authority.

“This criticism is spurious,” Campos stated in response. “I do know that my work as an anti-corruption prosecutor earned me animosity in numerous sectors.”

Giammattei just isn’t eligible for reelection in June’s race, however his conservative occasion, Vamos, has a candidate competing: Manuel Conde. No Guatemalan political occasion, nonetheless, has ever succeeded in profitable back-to-back presidential elections.

On Wednesday, days earlier than his disqualification, Pineda had topped a ballot rating presidential candidates. He led with 22-percent assist amongst voters. On his heels was former First Woman Sandra Torres with 20 %, adopted by Zury Ríos — the daughter of former President Efraín Ríos Montt, who was accused of genocide — and diplomat Edmond Mulet.

Some 30 political events are anticipated to compete. Pineda represented the Prosperidad Ciudadana — or “Citizen Prosperity” — occasion.

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