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“We don´t want elections under these conditions”, stated the participant of a Citizen Sit-In that was held for five days outside the Guatemalan Congress in the capital city, demanding the suspension of the elections scheduled for October. They are also demanding the passing of a constitutional reform as a response to the widespread outrage for the corruption that reaches the high levels of Otto Perez Molina´s administration.
The Citizen Sit-In was an initiative of the Social and Popular Assembly made up by indigenous movements, peasant and Garifuna people, Mayan ancestral leaders, students and other sectors, who have been demanding since April the resignation of the governmental authorities involved in corruption activities according to an official investigation commission.
The main demands of the Sit-In, which had the participation of men and women from all regions of Guatemala, was to pressure MPs to pass some reforms of the political and electoral system.
The demands of the “Dignity Sit-In” included the creation of a gender-based, equity-based political representation system, with an ethnic and age balance in the internal bodies of political parties and the electoral lists for municipal authorities and MPs. They also demand the elimination of private funding for political parties “so that they don´t have to pay the bills with money of the Guatemalan people”.
They also demand to ensure equal access to communications media for all political organizations, thus avoiding million-dollar contracts with TV and radio monopolies; to allow for the creation of District Committees that can propose MP candidates and limit the reelection of MPs and municipal mayors.
“Mayan, Xincas, Mestizo, peasants and workers, artists, writers, students and teachers, professionals and academics, children, young people, adults, elders from the countryside and the city, from different towns, regions and struggles, are here at the Sit-In. Together with our life partners, parents, brothers and sisters, children, as part of the peoples, communities, organizations and groups that make up the Social and Popular Assembly, we are here at the Dignity Sit-In”, reads the Sit-In Political Statement.
“Our democracy was bought; we need a real and participatory democracy, with equal participation, because this crisis is a proof of the fact that the current model of State has failed”, said Sandra Moran, of the Women Political Alliance, to Real World Radio.
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