UN chief calls on Guatemalans to hold peaceful elections

UN chief calls on Guatemalans to hold peaceful elections
# 04 September 2015 01:26 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday called on Guatemalans to ensure peaceful elections after the resignation of President Otto Perez Molina, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

The embattled president of Guatemala resigned earlier Thursday and voluntarily handed himself over to judicial authorities.

This came after the country's congress stripped Perez Molina of his immunity from prosecution on Tuesday, given his suspected involvement in a criminal enterprise to defraud the country's customs bureau.

"The Secretary-General is aware of the deep desire shown by the country's citizens to put an end to corruption and impunity, as well as ongoing calls for legal and political reforms," said a statement released by Ban's spokesperson.

"The Secretary-General trusts that the authorities will abide by the Constitution and ensure an orderly democratic transition," said the statement. "He calls on all Guatemalans to ensure that the upcoming elections are held in a peaceful environment."

Meanwhile, Ban welcomed Guatemalan people's efforts to contribute to their country's political system and appealed to the authorities and all sectors of society to work together in order to strengthen institutions and the rule of law in the country.

Upon arrival at the Tribunal Tower in Guatemala City, Perez Molina addressed the press, saying "this is part of the due process that I am ready to face."

Soon afterwards, judge Miguel Angel Galvez oversaw a declaration about the accusations being made against the former head of state. Prosecutors stated that the president and his former Vice-President Roxana Baldetti received 3.7 million U.S. dollars in bribes in just one year.