The Dragging Feet

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The Guatemalan government resumed its presidential transition with representatives of President-elect Bernardo Arévalo this week, a move that comes after weeks of disputes and controversy following Arévalo’s landslide victory in an August run-off, Reuters reported.

Arévalo won Guatemala’s presidential elections on promises to root out corruption in the Central American country. But his transition to the presidency has faced a series of challenges. For example, Guatemalan authorities have launched raids on his leftist Seed Movement party’s offices and the country’s main electoral tribunal.

Last month, the president-elect temporarily halted his participation in the government transition, saying that actions taken by Guatemalan authorities have raised doubts about the peaceful transfer of power.

But the resumption of talks came after Arévalo traveled to the United States earlier this week, where he met with senior officials in the Biden administration, as well as business leaders and the secretary general of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro.

Almagro and others urged the president-elect to resume talks.

Meanwhile, the OAS and the US State Department have been closely monitoring the situation and expressed grave concerns about the actions of Guatemalan officials, Reuters wrote separately.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva also complained about the actions of Guatemala’s prosecutors, noting that these could undermine the integrity of the electoral process and the rule of law.

Meanwhile, Arévalo and his supporters have labeled these attempts to stymie his transition as a “coup d’état.”

The president-elect is expected to assume the presidency in January.

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