During a virtual intervention at the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS), she criticized the interference of the Guatemalan Public Ministry after the first round of the presidential elections held on June 25th. They attempted to invalidate the results that led Bernardo Arevalo, candidate of the Seed Movement (Semilla), to the second round.
Palencia defended that "electoral integrity prevailed unequivocally" in that first round, which she saw as "a civic and eloquent exercise in Guatemala's democratic vocation."
Furthermore, she highlighted that the preliminary results published by the Supreme Electoral Court were cross-verified and endorsed by three electoral missions deployed in the country, including the OAS mission.
We sat down for an interview with @BArevalodeLeon, the candidate which, together with his party SEMILLA, Guatemala's attorney general's office is trying to suspend from the Guatemalan elections.@palabrasdeabajo and Ampa Rodriguez produced this, Ricardo Lopez filmed and edited. pic.twitter.com/4JWKMhG3Q1
"However, this favorable climate did not last long," lamented Palencia, recalling that several losing parties did not accept the results and initiated judicial actions that resulted in "arbitrary raids and requests."
Palencia considered it unjustifiable that the Public Ministry occupied the Electoral Court's facilities, retaining its workers for over 10 hours behind closed doors.
"The actions cannot be justified given that the Electoral Court has always supported and collaborated with any request" from the authorities, she stated.
Moreover, in the face of attempts by the Public Ministry to derail the Seed Movement from the second round on August 20, Palencia reminded them that the law stipulates that "a party cannot be suspended" during an ongoing electoral process.
The Electoral Court president urged the Guatemalan State to "adopt protective measures" towards her institution and asked the OAS electoral mission to continue its work for the second round on August 20.
The extraordinary session of the OAS Permanent Council was convened at the request of Colombia, Antigua and Barbuda, Canada, Chile, and the United States.
The first round of the Guatemalan general elections resulted in the former first lady Sandra Torres and the social-democratic candidate Bernardo Arevalo of the Semilla Movement being declared as winners.
On August 20, they are scheduled to participate in the second round of the elections. However, the Prosecutor's Office has attempted to disqualify the Seed Movement and has taken actions against state institutions that endorsed the results of the first round.