Guatemalan high court blocks presidential frontrunner’s candidacy

Guatemala’s highest court blocked the candidacy of another presidential candidate on Friday, this time ending the campaign of poll leader Carlos Pineda over alleged violations of electoral law.

gave Constitutional Court Pineda’s appeal was rejected after election officials disqualified him just a month before the first phase of voting on June 25.

“The Constitutional Court has destroyed the democracy of this country,” Pineda said A.P In a phone interview.

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“State cooperation prevails, corruption and dictatorship rein in,” Pineda said. “It’s unbelievable. I feel dead.”

Pineda said his last hope rested on the people of Guatemala, that the majority would reject the annulment vote and call new elections.

Guatemala’s Constitutional Court has blocked the presidential candidacy of independent candidate Carlos Pineda. (AP Photo/Moses Castillo)

Pineda is the third presidential candidate to be disqualified from running. The court on Thursday rejected final appeals by candidate Roberto Arzo, and earlier ruled against Thelma Cabrera over a paperwork issue with her partner.

A fourth candidate, Edmond Molt, also faces the possibility of expulsion as he awaits a court ruling on his candidacy. The attorney general’s office called for an investigation into the journalists for allegedly starting their campaign too early by commenting on the persecution.

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Some observers have accused Guatemalan election officials of using the judicial system to field candidates acceptable to the establishment.

European UnionThe United States and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights expressed concern over the exclusion of candidates.

Pineda, a conservative populist, is running a campaign that has caught fire on social media, emerging as the surprise leader in elections earlier this month.

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Officials said there were problems with the way his party, Prosperidad Ciudadana, chose its candidate, which invalidated his candidacy.

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