15/05/2019 German Parliamentarians Concerned about the Electoral Process in Guatemala

German Parliamentarians Concerned about the Electoral Process in Guatemala

Peace, Democracy and Law, 15/05/2019

Photo: Wolfgang Schmidt

Thelma Aldana. Photo: Wolfgang Schmidt

After a multiparty meeting in the Bundestag, representatives of all the political party groups of the German parliament, with the exception of the far-right wing, signed a statement expressing worry about the legitimacy of the next government in Guatemala. The Presidential election will be held on 16 June, but 2018 Right Livelihood Award Laureate Thelma Aldana is still waiting for the Constitutional Court to decide on her candidacy.

The members of the German parliament are “concerned about the complex political and social climate in which the general elections will take place.” They are calling for “a clean electoral process”, “that the right to political participation is respected”, and “that the physical integrity of candidates is guaranteed.”

The parliamentarians especially asked the Constitutional Court of Guatemala to urgently solve the situation of Thelma Aldana and not to yield to political pressure from the government, which seeks to influence the decision.

Thelma Aldana is the presidential candidate of the Semilla Movement Party. More than 50 days after the electoral campaign began in Guatemala, she remains in El Salvador waiting for the Constitutional Court to definitively decide whether to officially register her candidacy. According to the legal provisions of the country, this decision should not have taken more than 25 days to deliberate and resolve. Yet it has to date taken nearly twice that long.

After being recognized with the Right Livelihood Award last November, Thelma Aldana, the former Head of the Public Ministry of Guatemala, met with German legislators and said:
“In Guatemala, everything has been stolen and they also want to steal the Rule of Law”.

“Transparency, independence, and justice should be fundamental values during the electoral process”, stated the MPs of the German parliament, who in February had already delivered a pronouncement condemning the unilateral closure of the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), ordered by President Jimmy Morales.

STATEMENT
As international observers of the situation in Guatemala, we are concerned about the complex political and social climate in which the general elections will take place. It is worrying to see the different standard of justice about candidates’ participation and the lack of legitimacy that the next government will have if these irregularities continue during the remaining days of the election campaign.

We ask:
– That uncertain situations with candidates are finally settled to have a clean electoral process.
– That the right to political participation is respected.
– That physical integrity of candidates is guaranteed.
– That transparency, independence and justice should be core values during the electoral process.
– That the Constitutional Court solves urgently the situation of Thelma Aldana.
– That the Constitutional Court can do so without being influenced by pressure from the government.

Members of the cross-party group “Alternative Nobel Prize” in the German parliament:

Christoph Matschie, MP for the Social Democratic Party, Committee on Foreign Affairs, Chair of the cross-party group
Gyde Jensen, MP for the Free Democratic Party, Chair of the Committee on Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid
Bärbel Kofler, MP for the Social Democratic Party, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid
Margarete Bause, MP the Green Party, Committee on Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid
Michael Brand, MP for the Christian Democratic Union, Committee on Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid
Gesine Lötzsch, MP for the Left Party, Budget Committee
Daniela de Ridder, MP for the Social Democratic Party, Committee on Foreign Affairs

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