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  • Presidential candidate for the Movimiento para la Liberacion de los Pueblos party Cabrera greets supporters in a rally in Guatemala City

    Presidential candidate for the Movimiento para la Liberacion de los Pueblos party Cabrera greets supporters in a rally in Guatemala City | Photo: Reuters

Published 17 June 2019

The Movement for the Liberation of Peoples (MLP) and its candidate Thelma Cabrera denounced fraud and irregularities in country's presidential elections.

The Movement for the Liberation of Peoples (MLP), the party of presidential candidate Thelma Cabrera, announced Monday through a communiqué that it rejects the results of the presidential election’s first round which was held Sunday.

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Guatemala: Center-Left Sandra Torres Wins 1st-Round Vote, Goes to 2nd Round

Cabrera, the second Indigenous candidate in Guatemala's history and a campesino leader expressed her rejection of the results issued by the Supreme Electoral Tribunal of Guatemala (TSE). The communiqué published by the MLP affirms that the political symbol of the party did not appear in several departmental, local and national voting slips.

“The TSE did not assign to the movement the legal economic contributions that should have served for advertising its campaign, and subsequently no communication media has broadcasted the political messages of the organization nor was there any advertising billboards,” the party stated.

With votes tallied from 94 percent of polling stations, preliminary results from Sunday's election gave former first lady and center-left Sandra Torres 25.27 percent of the vote, followed by conservative Alejandro Giammattei with 14.08 percent, which means candidates will head to a runoff vote on August. 

The statement urges Guatemalan people to defend their right to elect and be elected in a transparent manner, it also repudiates the alleged collusion between the electoral entity and the financial sector in order to favor their candidates.

Cabrera’s political ascension can be considered as a historic accomplishment in a country ravaged by corruption and where approximately 60 percent of the population is indigenous with the MLP leader only the second indigenous person to run for president after the Nobel Peace prize winner Rigoberta Menchu in 2007 and 2011.

Indigenous groups in Guatemala face severe problems, including racism and socioeconomic exclusion, alarming rates of poverty, crime, health problems, and human rights abuses. In addition, Guatemalans overwhelmingly indigenous surpassed Mexicans in recent years as the largest group of migrants seeking to cross the U.S-Mexico border.

Cabrera had vowed to tackle inequalities in the country with a constitutional reform to guarantee fair representation for Indigenous, Afro-Guatemalan and mestizo peoples. Her other priorities included among many others, ending illegal land-grabs and immunity for elected officials, nationalization of electricity, and legal scrutiny of mining.

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