The president of Guatemala, Bernardo Arévalo, recognized that the political challenges he faces did not end with his inauguration and will continue throughout his government due to the pressure he will receive from the opposition, which attempted to prevent him from being sworn in until the very last minute.
On the day that Arévalo was scheduled to be sworn in, the outgoing administration delayed the ceremony for an interminable nine hours, forcing Arévalo and his supporters to wait and for various dignitaries, including the president of Chile, to leave before the actual inauguration could take place.
Finally, exasperated demonstrators marched on the National Palace and confronted riot police, demanding that Arévalo be sworn in by officials or they would perform the ceremony themselves.
“Today, four years are beginning that will be marked by obstacles that we cannot imagine at this moment,” explained the progressive leader during the early hours of this Monday, January 15, at the National Palace of Culture of Tegucigalpa, where he spoke before thousands of supporters who were waiting for him in Constitution Square.
The speech crowned a tense and historic day upon which the opposition repeated its attempts to prevent Arévalo from taking office. Similar maneuvers have been carried out by the opposition since Arévalo, candidate of the Semilla Movement, went to the second round in the elections held on June 25.
From that day on, the electoral process was judicialized with the intention of excluding Arévalo and his party from the race. Then, the opposition attempted to nullify his victory in the runoff election that took place on August 20. However, the role of the international community was decisive in permitting democracy to prevail in the Central American country, for now.
Uncertainty reigned on Sunday when the opposition attempted to delay the inauguration, but, ultimately, Arévalo was able to take office and celebrate in front of his followers, although with caution.
“We must assume responsibility for the present, and the present poses significant challenges,” said Arévalo. “We cannot accustom ourselves to our daily pain, nor take our eyes off the mirror so as not to see our painful realities. What we have experienced in all these years has been exhausting , exacerbated by these months of uncertainty.”
The newly inaugurated president warned that he did not want to offer the typical words of a politician but rather to build a new country together with society to end corruption, discrimination, and racism.
Vice President Karin Herrera expressed her regret at the endless maneuvers carried out by her adversaries to prevent them from taking office and fulfilling the mandate of the polls.
“They wanted us to be afraid until the last day, but the only thing we see here is courage,” said Herrera,” she said in front of the crowd that waited patiently for the outcome of the irregularities that on Sunday darkened the political climate and delayed the inauguration for hours.
Herrera added that she will not rest until there is “more justice, more equality, and more opportunities” in Guatemala, particularly for young people.
The certainty that it will not be easy for the Arévalo administration to govern was the common theme in opinion columns this Monday in the Guatemalan media.
“The possibilities of a government facing extreme difficulty in carrying out its work plans have not disappeared, nor has the continuation of the all-out war that began in August,” warned journalist and writer Mario Antonio Sandoval in an article published in the newspaper Prensa Libre.
However, he warned, the “embarrassing spectacle” that occurred as a result of the attempt to prevent the inauguration of the new president “will discredit its protagonists for a long time.”
“Yesterday the absolute irresponsibility of all the officials of [Alejandro] Giammattei [outgoing president] was proven, with dilatory and malicious actions, with the use of the law applied in a malicious manner and disguised as legalities,” he wrote.
The newspaper La Hora, for its part, published an editorial in which it expressed its hope that Arévalo’s administration would open “an enormous window of opportunity” to begin the reconfiguration of the state, eradicating criminal organizations that promote corruption.
“To be honest and sincere, this change does not depend on what Constitutional President Bernardo Arévalo can or wants to do, but, fundamentally, on the attitude that society has to unite in the essential task of producing the changes that are required,” he clarified.
The outlet highlighted that Arévalo will have to play the role of a leader who helps achieve agreements between all sectors of society, because that was his mandate, but they estimate that the responsibility will also fall on the citizens.
“Those who knew how to organize themselves to commit the crime of terrible looting of public resources will do everything they can to make this moment of hope and illusion that we are experiencing today dissipate in the midst of the divisions that they have known how to encourage to confront, over issues absurd and not at all profound, to society,” wrote the editorial in La Hora, agreeing that the interest groups that did not want an Arévalo government will continue to operate against it.
(RT) with Orinoco Tribune content
Translation: Orinoco Tribune
- orinocotribunehttps://orinocotribune.com/author/orinocotribune/March 4, 2024