Statement from Lawmakers on Guatemalan Attorney General’s Attempt to Nullify Fair Election
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Peter Welch (D-VT), and Laphonza Butler (D-CA) and U.S. Representatives Norma J. Torres (D-CA-35) and Delia C. Ramirez (D-IL-3) released the following statement regarding the Guatemalan Attorney General’s attempt to nullify the fair election of anti-corruption reformist President-elect Bernardo Arévalo and Vice President-Elect Karin Herrera:
“We categorically condemn and reject the Guatemalan Attorney General’s declaration that Guatemala’s national election results are ‘null and void.’ The Attorney General’s continued efforts to overturn the election and brazenly defy the will of the Guatemalan voter yet again threaten to undermine Guatemala’s political and economic stability and its standing in the international community. The election results must be upheld, and we call on the Constitutional Court to reject the Attorney General's arbitrary attempts to nullify the election. President Giammattei must demonstrate leadership and uphold his stated commitment to a peaceful transition of power. We call on President Giammattei and Attorney General María Consuelo Porras to immediately stop this attempted coup.”
The Attorney General had previously filed spurious charges against President-elect Arévalo, Vice President-Elect Herrera, and other officials and attempted to strip them of their pre-trial immunity. While President Alejandro Giammattei has publicly acknowledged Arevalo’s electoral victory, the Attorney General has continued to systematically attempt to undermine the electoral transition and engage in targeted investigations against the President-elect's political party and other democracy defenders. Guatemala’s Supreme Electoral Tribunal, the country’s top electoral court, has indicated it will not hold a repeat of these elections and that the results are unalterable. In November, Senators Kaine, Durbin, Merkley, and Welch condemned those attacks on democracy in Guatemala, and underscored how those actions are destabilizing for the entire region.