The EU-LAT Network expresses its deep concern about the integrity of the electoral process in Guatemala, following the arbitrary suspension of the formalization of voting results of the first round of General Elections by the Constitutional Court (CC). In accordance with the statement by the EU Electoral Observation Mission in Guatemala (MOE), the EU-LAT Network supports their accompanying recommendations that call upon the respect for judicial integrity, citizen’s will, electoral procedures, the separation of powers and Rule of Law.

In a national context of corruption, criminalisation and impunity[1], exacerbated by the expulsion of CICIG in 2018[2], human rights defenders have repeatedly denounced the ever shrinking civic and democratic space. As such, the elections took place in a restrictive framework that continued to alarm international human rights organisations, as they were preceded by restrictive measures such as the disqualification of electoral candidates Thelma Cabrera and Jordan Rodas (MLP), or the curtailing of press freedom with the closure of the newspaper El Periódico.

In the presence of EU and OAS electoral observation missions, Guatemalan citizens participated in the first round of the General Elections on 25 June 2023, a voting day described as legitimate, fair and uneventful by the international community. However, after an unexpected victory by Sandra Torres (UNE) and Bernardo Arévalo (Movimiento Semilla), the Constitutional Court overturned the result, requesting the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) to suspend the publication of the votes. The TSE carried out this arbitrary demand on 2 July 2023, publicly announcing the official suspension of the qualification, formalisation and publication of the results, and proposed to repeat the ballot review hearings.

The decision to prevent the publication of the results, the recount of votes and the overruling of the citizens’ will represents only the latest step of an increasingly less independent judiciary in an increasingly opaque democracy. Therefore, the EU-LAT Network echoes the call of national and international human rights organisations to the Guatemalan government to respect the due electoral process, the right to vote and citizen participation, and to the international community to continue monitoring the current situation.[3] Furthermore, the EU-LAT Network expresses its support for the EU Election Observation Mission in Guatemala, and reaffirms its call to resume the democratic electoral process based on the results of 25 June, at the second round on 20 August.

[1] Informe Mundial 2023: Guatemala | Human Rights Watch (

[2]Carta de Eurodiputados a Jimmy Morales sobre la expulsión de la CICIG (

[3] Organizaciones de Sociedad Civil saludan logros de CICIG e instan a proteger su legado | CEJIL