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Wednesday
June, 19

Runner-up party in Guatemala election alleges fraud

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GUATEMALA CITY: The party of Guatemala’s losing presidential candidate Sandra Torres on Friday alleged fraud in the vote won by dark horse candidate Bernardo Arevalo.
Arevalo, the son of former reformist president Juan Jose Arevalo, won the election Sunday with 58 percent of the vote against the 37 percent won by Torres, who has yet to concede defeat.
“There are many inconsistencies, contradictions and above all variation of data,” Torres’ National Unity of Hope (UNE) party said in a statement, alleging that “the true results of the voting” had been manipulated.
UNE’s lawyer, Carlos Aquino, also filed a complaint with the attorney general’s office against the five magistrates of the TSE electoral tribunal for dereliction of duty and abuse of authority.
According to the complaint, the magistrates “provoked an electoral fraud that altered the true results of the elections, thus violating the popular will expressed by the people through the vote.”
Aquino has asked for the TSE’s computer system to be audited.
“Until the truth about the events of August 20 is clarified, the results will not be accepted,” he said.
Gerardo Guerrero, a lawyer for Arevalo’s Semilla party, described the lawsuit as a “political and legal absurdity” due to the overwhelming margin of victory — some 875,000 votes.
Arevalo, a 64-year-old sociologist and former diplomat, campaigned against government corruption by the political establishment, a message that resonated with voters seeking fresh faces in power.
Ahead of the vote, Arevalo accused authorities of political persecution, after prosecutors tried to suspend his Semilla (Seed) party and ordered raids against his party offices.
He is set to succeed outgoing President Alejandro Giammettei on January 14, ending 12 years of right-wing rule in the Central American country.
On Thursday, new measures were put in place to protect the president-elect due to reports of alleged plots to assassinate him.





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