Guatemalan prosecutor Rafael Curruchiche suggested Friday that last August's elections won by Bernardo Arevalo of the Seed Movement should be declared "null and void" due to anomalies in the records, in a new attempt to hinder the president-elect's arrival to power, scheduled for January 14. The remarks made at a press conference in Guatemala City drew swift condemnation from the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (OAS), which criticized what it considers an "attempted coup d'état by Guatemala's Attorney General's Office."
Curruchiche, a prosecutor who has been heavily questioned in his country and who has been singled out as a corrupt actor by the United States, said he will present the evidence of the alleged irregularities to the Supreme Electoral Tribunal for analysis. "We're not talking about a political party or a candidate being affected. All the parties, all the candidates in all the elections were affected. It is a scientific investigation and it will be the TSE who makes the decision," he said, quoted by the newspaper Prensa Libre.
Since winning the elections in August, the Attorney General's Office has tried to hinder the president-elect's progress in taking office by opening several judicial proceedings. Arévalo, for his part, has been accusing the Public Prosecutor's Office and its chief, Consuelo Porras, for months of carrying out a "coup d'état" aimed at preventing his inauguration, scheduled for January 14.
Shortly after Rafael Curruchiche and Leonor Morales held a press conference in which they issued the statements, the OAS issued a statement in which it said that they "constitute an alteration of the constitutional order of the country, a breach of the rule of law and a violation of the human rights of the population of your country."
"The attempt to annul this year's general elections constitutes the worst form of democratic breakdown and the consolidation of a political fraud against the will of the people," reads the statement in which the organization calls on outgoing President Alejandro Giammattei, the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court of Justice and Congress to defend the country's institutions and constitutional order "by taking action against the perpetrators of the attacks this attack in order to preserve democracy in Guatemala."