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News > Guatemala

Irregularities Reported in Guatemala’s Presidential Elections

  • There were problems with the opening of four polling places in San Jose del Golfo. Jun. 25, 2023.

    There were problems with the opening of four polling places in San Jose del Golfo. Jun. 25, 2023. | Photo: Twitter/@DiarioTalCual

Published 25 June 2023

9.3 million Guatemalans are registered for the elections in which the country's next president and vice president, deputies to the Congress, representatives of the Central American Parliament (PARLACEN) and mayors will be elected. 

Some irregularities have been reported during the election day, which began at 7:00 local time on June 25. The president of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE), Irma Palencia Orellana, has said that the highest authority in electoral matters has the support of the National Police and the Army to monitor and maintain order during this process.

Guatemala Update: Candidate Mulet Accuses the Ruling Party

Social Democrat candidate Sandra Torres, who leads the polls on voting intention, denounced this Sunday that the ruling party was buying votes in the Guatemalan elections.  

After voting in the Valle Verde School in Guatemala City, Torres told the press that "the official party cannot give gifts or buy votes because we have complaints that they are buying votes" with the distribution of food.

During the day, there have also been reports of voter harassment, pressure against voters, and intimidation by the police.

Agents of the National Civil Police of Guatemala have used tear gas in the municipality of San José del Golfo, where since Saturday there have been disturbances preventing the start of voting.

The altercations began with the arrival of electoral personnel, who were forced by a group of people to get off the buses, sprayed with gasoline, and threatened to set them on fire. Neighbors denounced the alleged harassment of voters  in the municipality. 

The TSE president denounced the problems with the opening of four voting centers in San Jose del Golfo, where, according to the official, the ballot boxes were placed in alternative locations so that "citizens can arrive freely and with the feeling that everything is fine."

For their part, members of the Municipal Electoral Board (JEM) of the Malacatán municipality, in the department of San Marcos, denounced having received death threats via telephone. "We were threatened with death by telephone, and we have resigned for fear of an attempt on our lives," said the entity in a communiqué. They demanded that "security measures be reinforced" for the people in charge of receiving the votes and guaranteeing the transparency of the elections.

Guatemalan security forces announced this week the deployment of more than 68,000 police and military agents to guarantee security during the elections.

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