Guatemalan Authorities Obstruct Candidacy of Indigenous Leader
On Wednesday, the Movement for the Liberation of Peoples (MLP) denounced that Guatemalan Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) did not allow its militants Thelma Cabrera and Jordan Rodas to register as candidates for the upcoming elections.
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«It is evident that electoral authorities seek to commit fraud for the upcoming elections, in which they do not want that MLP militants to participate to avoid opposition politicians competing for the presidency,” the MLP member Leiria Vay-Garcia said.
The TSE rejected the MLP’s candidacies by alleging that Rodas, a former human rights attorney who wills to run for Vice President, is currently being investigated for a criminal complaint issued against him.
“The true reason is that our party’s political proposals oppose the right-wing politicians’ interests,” Vay-Garcia pointed out.
The TSE also did not allow right-wing politician Roberto Arzu, son of former president Alvaro Arzu (1996-2000), to register as a presidential candidate either by claiming that he started to campaign before he was allowed to do so.
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«Leaving the MLP presidential candidate Cabrera and me out of the elections is not allowing over 1.5 million voters to choose the candidate of their choice,» said Roberto Arzu, who wanted to run for president for the «We Can» party.
“While electoral authorities do not allow us to run as presidential candidates, they support Manuel Baldizon, who was sentenced to 50 months in prison in the United States for money laundering, and other seven lawmakers whom the U.S. Department of State included in its list of corrupt politicians,” Arzu stressed.
Cabrera, Rodas, and Arzu will have until June to present legal complaints against their exclusion from the registration lists.
On June 25, Guatemalans will elect their president, vice president, 340 mayors, 160 lawmakers, and 20 representatives to the Central American Parliament (Parlacen).
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