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Date: Sat, 18 Nov 1995 01:45:50 GMT
Sender: Activists Mailing List <>
Subject: Guatemala: Comunicado FDNG 16/11, ingles
reg.guatemala: 241.0
Topic: Comunicado FDNG 16/11, ingles
Written 4:04 PM Nov 17, 1995 by laneta:fdng in cdp:reg.guatemala

The electoral process showed grave anomalies which have created serious doubts among the population

Press release by the Frente Democratico Nueva Guatemala, 16 November 1995

Press release

Guatemala, November 16, 1995. The Frente Democratico Nueva Gutemala (FDNG), after analyzing the serious anomalies which were observed during the electoral process, declares:

  1. Our electoral system, which forces people to vote in the municipal capitals, combined with problems of transportation, which was the object of innumerable manipulations which were duly documented by international observers, limited the participation of thousands of citizens. We regret the lack of political will on the part of the government to guarantee free transportation and provide the poorest sectors of the population with the necessary conditions in order to cast their votes. It is outrageous that now the government wishes to use, in the second round, the international economic aid it could not or would not use in the first one.
  2. The cutoff of electricity at a crucial time in the counting of votes for the general elections has created serious doubts among the population about the possibility that the results were altered. The lack of appropriate data and the peremptory time limits established by electoral law make it impossible for us to determine how far the mysterious tendencies which appeared after the blackout, mainly in favor of the Alianza Nacional (DCG, UCN, PSD), correspond to reality. The department of Chiquimula is worthy of note, because the Alianza Nacional received more than 17,000 votes, with the highest percentage of voting in the country.
  3. The cutoff of electricity, which was explained in a childish manner by the government (this explanation was disqualified on television by an INDE engineer in charge of the sector where the problem allegedly occurred), forced the party supervisors to leave the voting centers and gave rise to actions such as the machine- gunning of Nuevo Mundo Radio, the presence of armed men in the park in Escuintla, the burning of ballot boxes, and other preoccupying events. The system of supervision by the political parties was disactivated, due to the natural fear on the part of supervisors and voting committees when the blackout occurred. The lack of certificates of the results in the voting centers, due to the breakdown in supervision, opened up the possibility that the ballots in the ballot boxes might not correspond to the figures on the certificates, and that the certificates might not correspond to the electronically processed data. In countries with a democratic tradition, the breakdown of the system of supervision would in itself lead to the immediate annulment of the elections.
  4. In addition to creating doubts as to a possible alteration of results, which we perceive as designed to detract from the force of the Frente Democratico Nueva Guatemala in Congress, it is worthy of note that before the blackout took place members of a certain political party were already prepared for the eventuality with candles and lanterns. Moreover, there is testimony that in the department of Huehuetenango a vehicle announced in shops and other places that there would be a blackout.
  5. The presence of civil patrollers close to some voting centers and verbal aggression against our candidates and activists also prevented the citizenry from exercising freely their political rights. The inhabitants of Ixtahuacan and Zacualpa were coerced, four days before the elections, into marking the symbol of one of the parties on documents similar to the ballots. Even more serious is the fact that Mr. Romulo Tomas Sunuc was kidnapped on Friday in San Martin Jilotepeque and was found dead with signs of torture on election day. We cannot fail to mention the campaign against the FDNG by high government officials, including the President of the Republic and high-ranking army officers, who constantly accused us of being the party of the guerrilla.
  6. Due to the following, we demand of the government of Guatemala and in particular of President Ramiro de Leon Carpio that there be a thorough investigation of the blackout on Sunday night, November 12, in order to establish all the causes and those responsible for them. We ask the Supreme Electoral Tribunal to investigate the anomalies we have reported, in recognition of the fact that it is the duty of all political forces and all citizens to report all actions which work agains the purity of the electoral process. This is the only way to begin to restore faith in democratic institutions.
  7. The Frente Democratico Nueva Guatemala reaffirms its position that, as long as there is no official confirmation of the candidates for the second round of elections, the first round has not ended. In this sense, we once again express our position that we have not made, nor are we interested in making, any kind of alliance. Our commitment is to a political project which can defend and struggle for respect for human rights, the creation of a true democracy, the modernization of our political and socioeconomic model, as well as the achievement, fulfillment, and development of the peace accords.

FDNG, Guatemala, November 16, 1995

Guatemala, November 16, 1995