Electoral Briefing 2023: Overview and Registration
Requirements for candidates vary depending on the post they are running for. Parties can nominate a candidate that does not meet all requirements.
The 2023 Guatemalan General Elections process has started. On June 25th, registered voters will vote for 340 Municipal authorities, 160 Congress representatives, 20 Central American Parliament Representatives and President. Voters cast a total of 5 ballots, 2 of which are determined by their municipality of residence: Municipal authorities and their district representatives for Congress. All registered voters cast ballots for National List representatives for Congress, Central American Parliament representatives and President. There are three phases for the General Election: Candidates registration, Electoral Campaign and Voting. The law establishes a Presidential runoff with the two main contenders, if the main contender fails to get 50% plus one vote.
Only Political Parties can nominate candidates for National posts. Self nominated candidates are not allowed to participate. Currently, 30 Political Parties are authorized to participate in the General Elections. One-time electoral groups are allowed only for Municipal Elections.
All candidates need to meet legal requirements to be registered. Requirements for candidates vary depending on the post they are running for. Parties can nominate a candidate that does not meet all requirements. Electoral Authorities decide which candidates meet the criteria. Their decision is subject to appeals. But it is likely that a candidate that does not meet all of the legal requirements is finally not registered to participate. In the 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019, there were one or more Presidential Candidates that were nominated but failed to be registered, for one reason or another.
The representatives for Congress and City Council in any multimember voting district are allocated by proportional representation.
Residents vote for their local Mayor and the Council Members in a total of 340 Municipalities. The Council is constituted like a local Congress, adjudicating council members in proportional representation. The Prime Municipalities are Guatemala City, Mixco and Villa Nueva.
Citizens get two ballots for Congress representatives. A ballot serves to elect 32 representatives from the National List while another ballot elects their Voting District Representative. The representatives for each Voting District vary depending the size of the population and it ranges from the smallest District, which elects two representatives, to the largest, which elects 18 representatives.
Central American Parliament
Citizens get one ballot to elect 20 PARLACEN representatives, each seat is allocated in proportional representation.
One ballot is to vote for President and its accompanying Vice President. Unlike other countries, the President and Vice President candidates are nominated by a party and elected together, in tandem. Both have to meet the legal requirements to be registered.\
Currently, the General Election is the Registration phase, when most parties are busy nominating and presenting all legal requirements for their candidates to be registered. Registration ends on March 26.