Guatemala’s Supreme Electoral Court (TSE) announced the dissolution of the Renewal and Order Commitment (Creo), the National Outpost Party (PAN) and the Vision with Values (Viva) political parties after an audit found out about financial irregularities.
Leopoldo Guerra, from the parties’ registry office, said Wednesday that the TSE audited the parties’ financial balance during 2014 and 2015 and found unreported expenses, illegal financing and mysterious loans for millions of dollars.
In the case of PAN, for example, auditors found out about US$2.5 million unreported expenses and two irregular millionaire loans given by a company whose legal representative is a member of the party’s executive committee.
Guerra pointed out that the TSE also found irregularities when auditing the Convergence, the Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity and Everyone political parties and informed the TSE that a decision will be taken later on the week.
The TSE announced earlier in October that the National Change Unity (UCN) and the Encounter for Guatemala (EG) political parties were also to be disbanded.
UCN was accused by the TSE of illegally receiving about US$3 million, while Encuentro failed to report their financial balance correctly and on time.
However, the TSE’s resolution might not be enforced, as the process to disband a party needs at least 90 working days and no political organization can go through this if there’s an open electoral process, the next one starting on January 19, 2019. That’s less than 80 days.
The National Convergence Front (FCN), the political party that took the comedian Jimmy Morales to the presidency, is also walking on the thin line, as the TSE also announced that its cancellation process is on the way. But the case of the FCN it is slightly more complicated.
Both the Public Ministry (MP) and the United Nations-backed International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) have accused the FCN of illicit financing for US$2 million dollars and are demanding a full investigation on the party and Morales.
Even though the accused business owners have admitted to illegally financing Morales’ 2015 presidential campaign and asked the Guatemalan people for forgiveness, the investigation has been blocked by the congress multiple times and the president is even attempting to expell the CICIG out of the country to avoid further problems.
The FCN and the EG have filed appeals to avoid their dissolution.