Sat | Sep 23, 2023

Guatemala’s president-elect says he’s ready to call people onto the streets

Published:Monday | September 18, 2023 | 2:18 PM
Guatemalan President-elect Bernardo Arévalo gives an interview in Guatemala City, Friday, September 15, 2023. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo)

GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — President-elect Bernardo Arévalo plans to call Guatemalans into the streets next week to protest efforts to derail his presidency before he can take office, he said Friday in an interview with The Associated Press.

It would be Arévalo's first such request since winning the election on August 20.

Since his landslide victory, the attorney general's office has continued pursuing multiple investigations related to the registration of Arévalo's Seed Movement party and alleged fraud in the election. International observers have said that is not supported by evidence.

Arévalo said he has tried his own legal manoeuvres to stop those who want to keep him from power, but now it's necessary for the people to come out to the streets to support him.

He said he wants to see businesspeople, farmers, Indigenous groups, and workers all come out to reject what has been happening.

Arévalo, a progressive lawmaker and academic, shocked Guatemala by making it into an August 20 presidential runoff in which he beat former first lady Sandra Torres by more than 20 points.

The attorney general's office has said it is only following the law but has come under intense criticism within Guatemala and abroad for what appears to be a brazen attempt to keep Arévalo from coming to power or to weaken him.

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