Guatemala

Alejandro Maldonado named interim President


Published

Alejandro Baltazar Maldonado Aguirre has been named as the interim president of Guatemala. He will serve as president until 14th January 2016 when he will be replaced by a newly elected president. The first move of the interim president was to dismiss the entire Cabinet.

The interim president replaces President Otto Fernando Pérez Molina who resigned at 7 p.m. on Wednesday 2nd September before being taken into custody on corruption charges.

Things moved fast this week after weeks of demonstrations against the government following a corruption scandal called “La Linea” (The Line). The scam involved officials who were paid bribes to help businessmen evade customs duties. Prosecutors called on Congress to remove the immunity of the president, leaving them free to arrest him over allegations that he was involved in the scam, something which he vigorously denies.

On Monday 132 members of Congress voted unanimously to remove the president’s immunity with the remaining 26 absent from Congress. On Wednesday the country’s Attorney-General issued an arrest warrant and the president submitted his resignation to Congress which was accepted by 118-0; soon after the former president was taken into custody.

Alejandro Maldonado (79) was made Vice-President of the country on 14th May after the resignation of Roxanna Baldetti who is also being prosecuted under ‘The Line’ corruption case. The new interim president is a former Guatemala City council member, Congressman and former Minister of Education. He has also served as Ambassador to Mexico and the United Nations.

You can find a biography (in Spanish) of the new president here.

More detailed briefing on the politics and risk of doing business in this country is available to clients and subscribers. If you would like to know more then please contact enquiries@tradebridgeconsultants.com