Guatemala's President-elect Bernardo Arevalo on Friday forcefully rejected a legal maneuver from prosecutors to invalidate his election triumph, calling the effort "perverse" and an "attempted coup," APA reports citing Reuters.
Ever since anti-corruption crusader Arevalo did much better than expected in June's first-round election, qualifying for the decisive August runoff, he and his center-left Seed Movement party have faced a series of investigations from the attorney general's office, which has alleged irregularities in the party's registration several years ago.
The U.S. and other Western countries have backed Arevalo, saying the probes are a coordinated effort to undermine him and democracy in Guatemala, Central America's most populous country.
At a press conference on Friday, Arevalo blasted the allegations as "absurd, ridiculous and perverse," and vowed to take office as scheduled on Jan. 14.
"This attempted coup is real and it has brought us to a crucial moment," said Arevalo, who cruised to a landslide victory in the August run-off vote, besting an establishment-friendly candidate.