OAS warns of constitutional ‘violations’ in Guatemala following election

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – The Organization of American States (OAS) said on Friday that Guatemala’s attorney general’s latest actions against electoral authorities are an “intolerable violation” of the country’s constitution, in one of its strongest condemnations yet.

The Central American country’s attorney general team conducted a fresh raid on the offices of the national electoral authority, which the OAS sees as political persecution, the statement said.

Bernardo Arevalo, who campaigned on pledges to tackle corruption, resoundingly won the Aug. 20 run-off election, but his victory has been overshadowed by a bitter post-election battle from his adversaries.

Prior to the final vote, prosecutors moved to suspend his party, Semilla, alleging registration flaws.

They have also conducted raids on the party’s headquarters and the country’s electoral authority office, prompting an international outcry.

“An attack of this nature… constitutes a shameful example for the hemisphere. The attorney general’s office has decided to ignore the numerous calls of the international community and its behavior violates democratic standards,” the OAS statement said.

Earlier this month, the United States urged Guatemalan authorities to end their “intimidation efforts” targeting election officials and members of the party voted to power.

(Reporting by Carolina Pulice and Valentine Hilaire; Editing by Isabel Woodford)