Vigilance needed for Presidential elections in Guatemala and Ecuador – Progressive International


“Progressive International Observatory continues to watch the electoral process closely — to ensure that the results of the race are certified — and the popular will of the Guatemalan people respected.”

By Progressive International

The long Sunday has come to an end — as the results of the presidential elections in Ecuador and Guatemala have trickled in. The people of Guatemala and Ecuador took to the polls yesterday after weeks of uncertainty and concerns over electoral integrity. Here’s the latest from the Progressive International Observatory. 


It’s official: Bernardo Arévalo of the centre-left Movimiento Semilla has won. Arévalo won 58 percent of the votes, with his rival Sandra Torres trailing with a vote share of 36 percent.

For Movimiento Semilla, this election was a long fight against lawfare — In the first round, against attempts to disqualify the party and its candidates; and ahead of the second, against extraordinary suspension of election protocol and baseless demands by right-wing forces for recounts of earlier results. Even after the courts intervened, a special prosecutor continued to attempt to unilaterally dissolve the Movimiento Semilla party on supposed discrepancies in party registration signatures from over four years ago.

Despite Sunday’s results, the danger is far from over. In his victory speech, Arévalo said: “We know that there is a political persecution underway” and “there is no place for attempts to derail the electoral process.” Despite the clear defeat, Sandra Torres has refused to concede, and promised to pursue legal action against the electoral results.

Ten days from now, once Guatemala’s electoral process officially ends, Movimiento Semilla will no longer be legally protected against dissolution. That is why Progressive International Observatory continues to watch the electoral process closely — to ensure that the results of the race are certified — and the popular will of the Guatemalan people respected. 


With 93 percent of the votes counted, Luisa González of the left-leaning Citizen Revolution Movement is set to face off against a surprise candidate, Daniel Noboa, in the second round of Ecuador’s presidential elections.

To win the presidency without a runoff, a candidate must secure 40 percent of the people’s votes and a lead of 10 percentage points over other contenders. While González led the results with a sufficient margin, no candidate has secured 40 percent of the votes — and the fight now moves to a second election in October.

In the early hours of yesterday, Ecuadoreans overseas began to report complains with the National Electoral Council of Ecuador’s online voting system. International observers were on alert in response to increasing reports of failure to vote from migrants, a constituency that tends to favour the Citizen Revolution Movement. Of the 81,000 registered, only 24,000 voted — in sharp contrast to the first round of the 2021 presidential elections, where more than 85,000 Ecuadorians in Europe, Asia and Oceania voted.

The weeks leading up to Sunday have been fraught with uncertainty. The snap election was a consequence of the current President Guillermo Lasso dissolving the Congress in a brazen attempt to avoid impeachment. Two weeks ago, presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio was assassinated during a campaign rally in the capital city of Quito — unprecedented in the country’s recent history. 

Reactionary forces — both inside Ecuador and abroad weaponized the heinous attack to stigmatize the Citizens Revolution, its leading presidential candidate Luisa González, and her ally in former president Rafael Correa during this round. 

Ecuador’s democracy remains under threat — and the Progressive International Observatory is on high alert for the second round in October. 

In both Ecuador and Guatemala, political violence and lawfare remain a serious threat. With your support, the Observatory will continue to track these attacks — and stand ready to defend democratic institutions and popular power. If you can afford it, do consider making a small donation to Progressive International.

  • This article was originally published by the Progressive International Observatory on August 22nd, 2023.
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Featured image: Official potrait of César Bernardo Arévalo De León, Deputy of the Congress. Photo credit: Public Domain image from the Gobierno de Guatemala (Government of Guatemala)

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