Top Guatemalan presidential candidate disqualified ahead of race | Elections News

Guatemala’s Constitutional Court has ruled to terminate presidential campaign of black horse candidate Carlos Pineda, with only a month left before the voting begins.

Pineda, a conservative businessman with a strong following on social media, appealed to the country’s highest court after a judge suspended his candidacy a week ago, citing disobedience. the country’s electoral law.

But the Constitutional Court on Friday upheld the lower court’s ruling, which found Pineda failed to collect signatures from party deputies and submit the necessary financial reports, as required in the bill. nomination process.

That decision prompted a harsh reaction from Pineda, who recently emerged as the lead in an election poll.

“Corruption wins, Guatemala loses,” Pineda wrote in a social media post.

In another statement, he said the Constitutional Court upheld “election fraud” with its ruling: “We are no longer a democracy!!

One man, lifting himself above the crowd by propping himself up against a car, reached out to shake hands with supporters around him.
Supporters greet Carlos Pineda after he leaves the Guatemalan Constitutional Court, which hears his appeal to stay in the presidential race on May 20 [File: Moises Castillo/AP Photo]

Pineda is the third candidate so far to be eliminated from the presidential race, with the first round of voting scheduled for June 25.

His disqualification follows the case of fellow conservative Roberto Arzú on Thursday.

Earlier this year, a left-leaning indigenous candidate, Thelma Cabrera, was also barred from the race after her running mate, former human rights official Jordán Rodas, was disqualified.

Rodas allegedly failed to produce a letter confirming he had no pending legal proceedings against him, prompting the court to rule that his entire ticket – including Cabrera’s included – unable to register to vote.

Critics have criticized the removal as politically motivated, in order to weed out candidates seen as unprofitable to form a government.

On Twitter, Juan Pappier, Human Rights Watch’s acting deputy director for the Americas, denounced Friday’s ruling as an “obvious tool of the judiciary to ensure ‘election results’ ‘”.

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

Manage dispatches President Alejandro Giammattei has been accused of strangling dissent in Guatemala.

Earlier this month, ElPeriodico, a 27-year-old investigative news agency, said it was “forced” to stop its daily publications after the “mistreatment” of its employees “intensified”. Its founder, José Rubén Zamora, was previously arrested for money laundering and extortion.

And under Giammattei, an estimated 30 legal experts and anti-corruption officials — including judges and lawyers — have run away from the country after his administration pursued investigations against them.

Many of these numbers with links to are now closed International Commission Against Immunities in Guatemala (CICIG)an independent United Nations-backed organization to root out corruption in the country.

The rest are likely to be arrested and prosecuted. On Friday, Guatemalan police arrested Stuardo Campos, a prosecutor focused on crimes against migrants who has previously worked in anti-corruption cases.

The far-right anti-terrorist organization has filed a complaint against Campos alleging that he abused his powers.

Campos responded: “This claim is fake. “I know that my work as an anti-corruption prosecutor has brought me hatred in many areas.”

Giammattei is ineligible for re-election in the June race, but his conservative party, Vamos, has a contender: Manuel Conde. However, no Guatemalan political party has ever succeeded in winning back-to-back presidential elections.

On Wednesday, days before his disqualification, Pineda topped a poll ranking presidential candidates. He led with the support of 22% of voters. Following him is former First Lady Sandra Torres with 20%, followed by Zury Ríos – daughter of the former President. Efrain Rios Monttaccused of genocide—and diplomat Edmond Mulet.

About 30 political parties are expected to compete. Pineda represents the party Prosperidad Ciudadana – or “Prosperity Citizens” -.


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