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Losing Guatemalan presidential candidate files voter fraud complaint

The party of former first lady Sandra Torres, who lost Guatemala’s presidential elections this week, filed a complaint Friday alleging fraud in the way the votes were counted.

Torres, a candidate who came to exemplify the political establishment in a country that’s grown tired of endemic corruption, has remained silent since her Sunday loss.

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She has refused to accept the results announced by the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, which recognized progressive Bernardo Arévalo, of the Semilla Movement party, as the winner of one of the most tumultuous elections in the Central American nation’s recent history.

Sandra Torres

Sandra Torres, presidential candidate with the UNE party, votes in the run-off presidential election in Guatemala City, Sunday, Aug. 20, 2023.  (AP Photo/Santiago Billy)

Carlos López, a lawyer for Torres’ National Unity of Hope party, filed the complaint on behalf of the party, citing irregularities in the vote counting and saying they amounted to fraud.

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In comments to reporters, López alleged that there had been duplicate vote tallies that called into question the country’s vote-counting system. He also said that his party’s monitors were not given copies of documents tallying the votes. He presented no initial evidence to journalists to back up his claims, nor did he say if his judicial complaint contained evidence.

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Arévalo’s victory has left much of the country’s political establishment reeling, and earlier attempts to disqualify his candidacy have raised international alarms over the state of Guatemala’s democracy.

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