Bernardo Arevalo sworn in as President of Guatemala

Bernardo Arevalo International leaders were forced to express support for the president and demand respect for democracy after he was sworn in as Guatemala’s president in a chaotic day after a delay of more than eight hours.

Arevalo and Vice President Karin Herrera They were sworn in at the National Center for the Performing Arts after midnight. president of colombia, Gustavo Petro, The ceremony was also attended by Mexican Foreign Minister Alicia Bárcena, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission Josep Borrell and Secretary-General of the Organization of American States, Luis Almagro. Revallo was sworn in for a four-year term.

vice Samuel Perez, The 31-year-old Desemila was elected and sworn in as a member of Congress for 2024-2025 and was responsible for Arevalo’s swearing-in. Arevalo placed his left hand on the constitution and swore allegiance, loyalty and obedience to the constitution. “You remain legally, legitimately and dignified as President of the Republic of Guatemala from 2024 to 2028,” Perez said, as the public stood and applauded.

Also read: Video: Riots break out in Guatemala’s Congress as President Arevalo’s inauguration postponed

his predecessor, Alejandro Giammattei, He did not attend the ceremony or attend Congress, but he sent the symbols of the presidency: a sash, scepter and presidential necklace and asked that his term end shortly before midnight. Perez put on the presidential sash for the new president. He put the collar on him and handed him the baton.

Subsequently, vice president herrera.

The inauguration followed an unprecedented parliamentary session that delayed the inauguration by more than eight hours, as representatives of the previous and new legislative bodies discussed and voted for and against minority Arevalo MPs .

The day’s uncertainty led the international community to urge Congress to abide by the will of Guatemalans expressed in the vote.

Thousands of Arevalo’s followers waited for him for an hour at a popular party in Plaza de la Plaza, accompanied by music and dancing. constitutionin front of the National Palace, where the new president will greet them on the balcony of the palace.

The former diplomat and philosopher also unexpectedly entered the run-off presidential race in June alongside a conservative candidate aligned with the ruling party, whom he easily beat with 60% on an anti-corruption message .

Since then, Arevalo and his party seed movementHe faced a judicial offensive that he called a “coup” behind the political and economic elite that had dictated the country’s destiny for decades.

The prosecutor’s office sought to revoke his immunity as president-elect, dissolve his Progressive Party and annul the election, citing anomalies in the election.

Arevalo said the attack was based on a “fake” case and was condemned by the United Nations, the Organization of American States, the European Union and the United States, which sanctioned hundreds of prosecutors and judges for “corruption” and “undermining democracy.” and representatives.

Arevalo’s path to the presidency was circuitous until the end.

After hours of debate, the outgoing Congress announced 23 representatives from Semira, It argued it was complying with a court order that temporarily suspended the party over alleged irregularities during its creation in 2017.

But unexpectedly, after the new parliament was formed, Semira managed to overturn this decision with other parties. They regained their seats and even the position of president of Congress.

“Congratulations to the president,” Arevalo wrote on the social network X (formerly Twitter), celebrating the election of 31-year-old Samuel Perez as parliamentary leader.

“Yes we can!” chanted hundreds of other supporters outside congressional headquarters.

Also read: Once Guatemala’s new Congress is formed, the path to investing in Arevalo is clear

With the road paved, Arevalo will soon be sworn in to replace right-wing Alejandro Giammattei, who has ties to the “corrupt elite” and has killed dozens of people during his administration. Prosecutors, judges and journalists who denounced corruption were exiled.

“The people of Guatemala are fed up with so much abuse, theft, corruption and humiliation,” indigenous leader Alida Vicente, 43, told AFP.

Analysts warn that the hardest part is yet to come and do not rule out the prosecutor’s office continuing the persecution and asking Congress to revoke presidential immunity.

Arevalo said this week he would ask for the resignation of Justice Minister Consuelo Porras, who is leading the judicial offensive, and had received his approval. Giammattei Until 2026.

But analysts said it was unlikely Porras would resign. Despite his political deal this Sunday, he will face a Congress in which he holds only 23 of the 160 seats.

Arevalo recognizes that he will face significant challenges as “the political criminal elite, at least for a period of time, will continue to consolidate” state power.

The Guatemala he inherits ranks 30th out of 180 countries in Transparency International’s corruption rankings, with 60% of its 17.8 million residents living in poverty, one of the highest poverty rates in Latin America.

Arevalo said the “most urgent thing” was to restore institutions “cooped up by corrupt elements” but the “most important thing” was to work on social development.

son Juan Jose Arevalo (President 1945-1951) was a promoter of social reform, born in Montevideo and spent his childhood in Venezuela, Mexico and Chile. After Washington orchestrated a 1954 coup against the progressive Jacobo Arbenz, His father was exiled.

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