Guatemalans Protest Ban on Leftist Presidential Candidate

Feb 22, 2023
10:10 AM

Supporters of the Liberation of the People (MLP) political party protest that the Supreme Electoral Tribunal denied the candidacy of their vice presidential hopeful Jordan Rodas in Guatemala City, Thursday, February 16, 2023. The court denied Rodas’ candidacy for allegedly failing to present financial documents that confirm he has no outstanding debt with the government. General elections are set for June 2023. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo)

GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — Thousands of people demonstrated in Guatemala on Tuesday to protest a court’s decision not to allow an Indigenous candidate to register for the country’s June 25 presidential elections.

Protesters blocked at least 15 local highways, demanding that the leftist candidate be allowed to run. Thelma Cabrera was to have been the presidential candidate for the leftist Peoples Liberation Movement, or MLP.

The dispute arose when Guatemala’s electoral tribunal ruled that former human rights official Jordán Rodas cannot be the vice presidential candidate for MLP because he allegedly did not have a letter certifying he had no legal cases pending against him.

Because he was part of the MLP ticket, Cabrera apparently can’t run either, despite the fact that some other candidates have been allowed to register to run even though they have pending cases.

Rodas has argued that the requirement is not mentioned in the Constitution.