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Guatemala’s Congress Blocks Investigation of President Morales over Irregular Campaign Funds

By: Delia Pérez - Sep 12, 2017, 10:42 am
jimy morales
The proposal had been made by the country’s Office of the Prosecutor and a United Nations commission. Ultimately, 104 of the 158 Deputies in Congress voted against it, many of whom expressed reservation about moving forward so hastily. (Twitter)

EspañolGuatemala‘s Congress has rejected a proposal to strip President Jimmy Morales of his immunity this Monday, September 11, which would have allowed an investigation to move forward looking into irregular campaign financing within his party.

The proposal had been made by the country’s Office of the Prosecutor and a United Nations commission. Ultimately, 104 of the 158 Deputies in Congress voted against it, many of whom expressed reservation about moving forward so hastily.

“The pre-trial has been declared without precedent, and therefore with insufficient cause to lead to trial proceedings against the President of the Republic Jimmy Morales,” Deputy Marco Pineda, a member of Congress, said after the vote.

Twenty-five deputies voted in favor of withdrawing immunity.

Some #DeputiesGT accuse congress leaders of pressuring the vote

An investigating commission was made up of deputies from several political parties, who were assigned the task of deciding whether the President should have his immunity withdrawn in order to allow for preliminary hearings to take place. They said there was sufficient evidence linking Morales to the management of the Frente de Convergencia Nacional party (FCN-Nación) to do so.

According to the preliminary investigation, Frente de Convergencia Nacional hid information about the US $919,067 it received to finance an electoral campaign in 2015, and failed to explain to electoral authorities how the money was used.

Protests popped up around the country again, some in favor of the vote and some against. Citizens sympathetic to Morales began singing the National Anthem after the results of the vote went public.

Participants in support of @jimmymoralesgt sing the National anthem after congress voted against removing @jimmymoralesgt’s immunity

Congressmen Julio Ixcamey, Eva Monte and Dolores Beltrán changed their votes in the plenary in favor of Morales, while Gabriel Heredia and Juan José Porras, who also made up the commission, were absent.

Source: Prensa Libre

Delia Pérez Delia Pérez

Delia Pérez is a Venezuelan journalist and Spanish editor with the PanAm Post, a passionate educator and advocate of human rights and freedom of speech.