Guatemala’s public prosecutor wants to withdraw the immunity of the electoral authorities after the election

Guatemala's election crimes prosecutor has asked the Supreme Court to strip immunity from five judges at the country's top elections body to investigate allegations of fraud by the loser of the August 20 presidential election.

It is the latest example of elections that observers have declared free and fair being taken to court as President-elect Bernardo Arévalo begins an official transition with outgoing President Alejandro Giammattei.

Former first lady Sandra Torres' National Unity of Hope party filed a fraud complaint after the election. Party lawyer Carlos López said there were double votes in 164 district censuses. The party wants Supreme Electoral Court judges to be investigated for alleged failure to perform their duties.

On Monday, Arévalo and Giammattei had their first transitional meeting in the presence of the Secretary General of the Organization of American States, Luis Almagro. Giammattei made his most direct comments since the election, saying: “Dr. Arévalo will be the next president of the Seed party that won the elections.”

Arévalo had previously accused the forces in Giammattei's government of attempting a coup to prevent him from taking power. The head of the Organization of American States' Election Observation Mission had said that legal efforts since the election appear to have been aimed at preventing Arevalo from taking over the presidency.

Over the weekend, the Supreme Electoral Court blocked the suspension of Arévalo's Seed Movement party at the request of prosecutors. They allege that years earlier there was a misconduct in collecting the signatures needed to register the party, which Arévalo himself reported to the authorities before the election.