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Guatemalans fight for their democracy

by Prof. Dr. Stefan Jost

Large parts of the country and the capital paralyzed in Guatemala

Guatemala cannot rest easy. Following Bernardo Arévalo's surprising success in the first round of the Guatemalan presidential elections and his convincing victory in the runoff elections on August 20, tensions are intensifying. Influential forces are doing everything they can to prevent the president-elect from taking power on January 14, 2024. The Guatemalan population is resisting this "coup d'état on the quiet" (Arévalo) more strongly by the day. Since the weekend, large parts of the country and the capital have been paralyzed. There is no end in sight to this power struggle.

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Justice against election results

The harbingers of the current political crisis could not be overlooked. Already after the first round of the presidential elections in June 2023 and the unexpected entry of Bernardo Arévalo, candidate of a party belonging to the left spectrum SEMILLA, into the run-off elections, parts of the judiciary began to question the legitimacy of the party, the candidate and the election result itself. The attorney general, a head of a special prosecutor's office as well as a frontline judge.

Initially, proceedings were initiated against Semilla to annul this party on the grounds that protocols had been falsified during its founding process. The intention was to prevent the party and Arévalo from being admitted to the run-off elections. This was prevented by the Constitutional Court, but the process as such was and still is ongoing.


The full-length country report is currently only available in German. 

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Prof. Dr. Stefan Jost

Prof. Dr

Representative of KAS office Philippines +63 2 8539 38-41, -42, -43, -44 ,-45 +63 2 8893 6199


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