Guatemala’s president stripped of immunity

Guatemala’s president has been stripped of immunity, following recommendation issued by five-member congressional committee

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

People react outside of the Guatemalan Congress building after the congress voted to strip President Otto Perez of immunity, in Guatemala City, September 1, 2015

Guatemalan President Otto Perez was stripped of immunity on Tuesday, after an unanimous Congress vote. This will allow prosecutors to file charges against him over corruption allegations, which his government was allegedly involved in.

Perez, a 64-year-old, denied any wrongdoing so far. He has repeatedly said that he will not resign over the scandal that has sent thousands of protesters onto the streets and gutted the country’s cabinet in the run-up to Sunday's presidential election.

On Tuesday, sources from the attorney general's office involved in the case, told Reuters that If Perez’s immunity was lifted, prosecutors will be able to charge him legally and freely.

Following allegations of fraud and corruption, Perez administration has been under pressure. The top government officials are allegedly accused of helping businessmen evade import duties in return for bribes, Reuters reported.

Last month, the congress voted on a similar decision, but was unable to attain the required 105 votes.

The country's vice president is jailed and awaiting a trial, after being forcibly resigned. Several cabinet ministers had quit in protest, and there was a nation wide protest demanding Perez to step-down.

Several experts argue that Perez has been abandoned by his cabinet, and he will fail to finish his term due to social protest and pressure coming from all over the country.

Perez however, has kept denying the allegations of corruption and has so for not shown any signs of stepping-down.


TRTWorld and agencies