The Supreme Electoral Tribunal of Guatemala will today call for general elections to be held on June 25. Despite its
The Supreme Electoral Tribunal of Guatemala will today call for general elections to be held on June 25.
Despite its history of democratic elections, Freedom House ranked Guatemala as only partly free in the organization’s 2022 Freedom in the World report due to severe corruption and infiltration of the government by organized crime. Last April’s elections for the country’s attorney general were marred by allegations of illicit influence in selecting the candidate list and the eventual winner. Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei’s administration was also recently condemned by the UN and EU for prosecuting judges, whistleblowers and anti-corruption officials, including those investigating illicit financing of Giamettei’s 2019 election campaign.
Public backlash against Giamettei’s corruption will likely harm his Vamos party in next June’s election to the benefit of other parties like the National Unity of Hope. Nevertheless, the vote itself is still likely to be unfair due to large-scale voter intimidation and vote buying by the largest parties. Although the persecution of anti-corruption officials may decrease in the next administration, the ubiquity and power of corruption in Guatemalan politics will likely continue to impede efforts to fight it. Truly free and fair elections in Guatemala are unlikely to occur unless anti-corruption efforts inside and outside the country succeed in increasing government transparency and removing corrupt politicians from office.