Guatemala’s top electoral tribunal overturned the suspension of Bernardo Arevalo’s party, representing a victory for the incoming president’s Movimiento Semilla as he prepares to take office in 2024.
The president-elect and his party have faced a series of challenges by political opponents since his surprise win in the Aug. 20 vote. Arevalo, who has promised to increase oversight of government spending and tackle corruption, has had to fend off accusations of foul play in the election and scrutiny over his party’s formation in 2018.
In a video posted on social media Sunday, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal asked the government to preserve “respect for the people’s will” and the “efficacy of the electoral process.” The tribunal said the suspension will be lifted until the end of the electoral period, which runs through Oct. 31.
The tribunal’s decision could allow the members of his party to serve in Congress with their party affiliation. The Citizens’ Registry, an office within the country’s tribunal authority, had temporarily suspended the party in late August, a move that would have made members ineligible to serve on some key committees. Congress had moved to list seven lawmakers, including Arevalo, as independents.
Arevalo, who is set to be inaugurated on Jan. 14, said last week the case is part of “illegal political persecution led by those who refuse to accept that the people of Guatemala voted for change.”
(With assistance from Michael McDonald.)