Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has warned of the “danger of coup” in Guatemala throughout an handle to the United Nations Normal Meeting, prompting a rebuke from the nation’s outgoing President Alejandro Giammattei.
Talking from the UN headquarters in New York on Tuesday, Lula voiced issues that the results of Guatemala’s 2023 presidential elections could possibly be overturned.
“In Guatemala, there’s a danger of a coup, which might impede the inauguration of the winner of democratic elections,” Lula mentioned in the course of the Normal Debate, an occasion that enables world leaders to talk on no matter subjects they select.
However hours later, it was Giammattei’s flip to take the rostrum — and he pushed again towards Lula’s allegations.
“Opposite to the supposed truths we’ve heard from this podium at this time, I’ll hand over energy to the one that was elected within the elections,” Giammattei mentioned.
He additional condemned “pointless worldwide involvement” within the election.
Guatemala’s President Alejandro Giammattei addresses the 78th Session of the UN Normal Meeting in New York Metropolis on September 19 [Mike Segar/Reuters]
“That involvement and interference was pointless as a result of our democracy isn’t good, however it has been a democracy which has allowed us to have the peaceable handover of energy and respect for the structure,” he added.
The high-profile back-and-forth comes a day after the US Ambassador to the Group of American States, Francisco Mora, mentioned Washington was involved about efforts to undermine democracy in Guatemala.
He pointed to current actions by Guatemala’s high prosecutor’s workplace that seem to target President-elect Bernardo Arevalo, the anti-corruption candidate who received the August 20 run-off election.
Since he emerged as a frontrunner within the election, Arevalo has seen his political occasion, the Seed Motion, threatened with suspension.
Prosecutors beneath Legal professional Normal Mar?a Consuelo Porras have additionally sought courtroom orders to raid the Seed Motion’s headquarters, in addition to the workplaces of Guatemala’s election authority.
A police raid final week concerned police opening bins with sealed ballots, a transfer that prompted worldwide outcry.
“In a wholesome democracy, establishments don’t tamper with poll bins after election outcomes have been formally licensed by the suitable authority,” Mora mentioned.
He known as the act “an assault on the rule of legislation” and known as on authorities in Guatemala to finish their “intimidation efforts”.
The lawyer normal’s workplace has maintained it’s following the legislation.
For his half, Arevalo briefly suspended his participation within the authorities transition to protest the prosecutors’ actions. He has additionally known as for Porras and different officers to resign.
These calls had been echoed on the streets of Guatemala this week, as Arevalo appealed to his supporters to march in defence of the nation’s election integrity.
On Tuesday, hundreds of Indigenous supporters and farmers erected 14 blockades alongside the nation’s seven fundamental highways and a number of other streets within the capital, Guatemala Metropolis, to exhibit towards the alleged election interference.
On Monday, a coalition of educational and rights teams additionally issued a press release urging worldwide stress to make sure Guatemala respects the election outcomes.
Arevalo is scheduled to take workplace in January.