Party of Guatemala's president-elect appeals its suspension, calling it illegal

Party of Guatemala’s president-elect appeals its suspension, calling it illegal

GUATEMALA CITY — The party of Guatemala’s president-elect Bernardo Arévalo appealed Tuesday to the country’s top electoral authority to lift a suspension by a lower election agency, saying it was an illegal move aimed at thwarting the anti-corruption campaigner.

The petition by Arévalo’s Seed Movement comes after a night of political chaos in the Central American nation following one of its most tumultuous elections in recent history.

Hours before the country’s Supreme Electoral Tribunal certified late Monday that Arévalo won this month’s presidential election, another government body – the electoral registry – suspended his party from all political activities. Arévalo appears certain to take office as president on Jan. 14, but the suspension throws into doubt whether Seed Movement lawmakers can take their seats in Congress.

Arévalo called the suspension legally void during a news conference late Monday. “As of this moment, no one can stop me from taking office on Jan. 14,” he said.

The move has underscored the uphill battle faced by Arévalo, who campaigned on a progressive and anti-corruption platform. He has faced a slew of legal challenges and allegations of irregularities since he unexpectedly became a top contender during the first round of presidential polling in June.

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