After Guatemala lived through a weekend marked by citizen protests and clashes between protesters and police , the Congress of that country backed down on the approval of the budget for 2021.
Allan Rodríguez, president of Parliament , in the early hours of Monday on a national television channel justified the decision by saying that “in order to maintain the governance of the country and social peace, we have agreed to suspend the processing of the budget for income and expenditures of the State and the Legislative Body 2021 ”.
The nation’s budget for next year was approved by Parliament early last Wednesday.
Two days later, the vice president of Guatemala, Guillermo Castillo, asked President Alejandro Giammattei that both resign from their respective positions . Castillo also expressed dissatisfaction with the way the budget approval had been handled.
The President Alejandro Giammattei reported on Sunday that the protests sought to give a coup and, according to the agency The Associated Press , asked the Organization of American States (OAS) to intervene to achieve solve the crisis far more serious than his government.
According to information published by the AFP news agency , the discontent among different sectors of the citizenry is due to the fact that the Guatemalan government did not prioritize in the capital allocated to the nation’s expenditures “the fight against poverty, which affects 59 3% of the almost 17 million inhabitants ”-according to official figures- and left aside education and health, at a time when the pandemic has claimed more than 4,000 lives and almost 120,000 infections in the country.
However, it privileged the development of infrastructure.
After the announcement of the suspension, Guatemalan parliamentarians will have until November 30 to approve a new budget, adhering to the law of the country. Otherwise, the one that governed this year will remain in force, for about 10,390 million dollars.
For the President of Parliament, this situation will create a “space for discussion for the governance of the country.