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Report of secretary general Luis Almagro on his fact-finding mission to Guatemala regarding the electoral process and adherence to democracy

– Summary by the Chair (Sir Ronald Sanders, Ambassador of Antigua and Barbuda) of the Consensus arising from the deliberations of the Special Meeting of the Permanent Council on Thursday, 10 August 2023.

ColleaguesI thank the delegations which have contributed to this Council’s deliberations today. A full note has been taken of the many important statements that have been made, and they will all form part of the record of this meeting. Now I would like to summarise today’s meeting and to set out what appears to be a consensus, arising from it.

We convened today to receive and discuss the report submitted by Secretary-General, Luis Almagro.

At the invitation of president Alejandro Giammattei of Guatemala, the secretary-general undertook a mission to evaluate the integrity of the electoral process, particularly regarding the run-off Presidential election on August 20th, and the overarching commitment to democratic principles by government institutions and others.

On behalf of the Council, I commend secretary-general Almagro for his thorough engagement with diverse sectors of Guatemalan society, including the two candidates contending for the presidency of the country – Sandra Torres and Bernardo Arévalo.

The assurances received from the government and other state authorities about the forthcoming run-off elections being conducted with transparency and fairness are encouraging.

So, too, is the assurance that they will accept the result of the elections, including the run-off presidential elections, and that there will be an open and transparent transition of power.

We are grateful for the reaffirmation of these assurances by the foreign minister of Guatemala, during our meeting today.

The invitation of president Giammattei, for the OAS Elector Observation Mission to continue its role, not just for the run-off elections, but until the inauguration of the new president on January 14th, 2024, is very encouraging.

However, members of this Council remain concerned about actions of the public ministry in relation to the work of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, including 13 cases, or even more, which have been brought against the Tribunal.

These include requiring information about causal workers employed to carry out data entry during the elections of June 25th, 2023.

The Council has taken good note of the government of Guatemala’s assurances that it wishes to ensure a democratic and transparent process from now, through the August 20th run-off presidential elections, and up to and including the installation of the new president in January.

Member states this morning have expressed their support for the ongoing work of the general secretariat and for the recommendations made by the secretary-general in his report. That work should include supporting the Supreme Electoral Tribunal in its efforts to carry out a free, fair and transparent process.

Conscious that we are now only ten days away from the run-off presidential elections and desirous of contributing to a peaceful, free and fair process, this Council agrees that the OAS, through its strengthened and bolstered electoral observer mission, will accompany the process including the installation of the new president, with vigilance and keen attentiveness.

Further, the Council will meet as soon as possible thereafter to receive a report on the run-off elections, when it will further review the situation in Guatemala, in the context of adherence to the OAS Charter and the Inter-American Democratic Charter.

Unless there is any objection, I believe this summary accords with the Council’s consensus.

(No objection. Adopted)

  • The meeting was Webcast earlier today.
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