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  • A staff member of Guatemala's Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) sets up voting equipment in Guatemala City.

    A staff member of Guatemala's Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) sets up voting equipment in Guatemala City. | Photo: Reuters

Published 24 June 2019

Some municipal and congressional seats may subsequently change the results in a considerable way, presidential results have not been compromised.

Guatemala's Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) confirmed on Monday that its system made an error in the vote-counting process from June 16 general elections, which may subsequently change the results in a considerable way for some municipal and congressional seats.

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The electoral authority's IT director ​​​​​​, Gustavo Castillo, explained the mistake is within the software designed by the IT department and that it has mainly affected municipal and congressional elections. As a consequence, some candidates received up to double the votes or had them subtracted. Yet the presidential results have not been compromised. 

The official added that the platform was designed to treat 20 candidacies by ballot and the software bug began when more candidates were added. He also said the error was the fault of a member of the team whose identity and position will not be revealed until TSE prosecutors decide whether or not that person will be charged.

"Without knowing what he/she was doing, the person in question modified the software code to repair the original error, unfortunately, the correction went wrong", Castillo added, explaining the error has already been corrected so they can reverify the votes in coming days, hoping this procedure will be completed within 15 days and the deadlines will be met before the run-off vote.

Representatives of Guatemala's major political parties denounced the work of the electoral body saying the institution was irresponsible by allowing such errors to happen. They also requested for them to freely audit the software.

Meanwhile, candidates for the second round of presidential elections, center-left Sandra Torres, of the  National Unity of Hope party, and center-right Alejandro Giammattei of Vamos, have taken up their political campaign again.

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