It was the chronicle of a death foretold. The future president of Guatemala, Bernardo Arévalo, was left without a political party today, after the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) complied with the order of the seventh judge, Fredy Orellanato suspend the legal personality of the formation, Semilla, following an investigation by the Prosecutor’s Office for alleged false signatures and signatures of people who died at the time of establishing itself as a political force in 2018. This procedure had been suspended after a resolution by the TSE that temporarily lifted the disqualification of the legal personality of the Semilla Movement until the electoral process ended on October 31.
In this way, the TSE suspended the decision of the director of the Citizen Registry of this organization, Ramiro Muñozto comply on August 28 with the court order to provisionally suspend the legal personality of Semilla, the same day on which Bernardo Arévalo’s victory in the August 20 elections was ratified, after obtaining 2.4 million votes in the second round. Muñoz made this decision after Judge Orellana ordered it on July 12, after requesting it from the Special Prosecutor’s Office Against Impunity, in charge of the investigation into the political party.
However, when the results of the first round were made official, held on June 25, in which the Semilla Movement came in second place, the director of the Citizen Registry refused to comply with the court order, alleging that it went against the article 92 of the Electoral and Political Parties Lawof constitutional rank, which establishes that “a party may not be suspended after an election has been called and until it has been held.”
Likewise, the CC granted provisional protection to Semilla the next day, which stopped the judge’s order, allowing Bernardo Arévalo to run for the second round, which he ended up winning after surpassing his rival. Sandra Torres, who only obtained 1.5 million votes. After this victory, the judicial machinery was launched again to suspend the political party, although the judge’s order could not be activated until the TSE concluded the judicial process, something that happened on October 31.
He has been the spokesperson for the TSE, Luis Gerardo Ramirez, the person in charge of reporting that this time the legal personality of Semilla has been suspended “in compliance with the order of the seventh judge and taking into account that the electoral process has ended.” Ramírez has explained that this means that the formation of Bernardo Arévalo “cannot carry out administrative procedures within the Registry of Citizens” and this will directly affect the 23 deputies from this party who will take office in Congress on January 14 and the seven current deputies who will be declared independent.