Bernardo Arevalo
Bernardo Arevalo says he is confident he will take office as Guatemala's president in January 2024. AFP

Guatemala's President-elect Bernardo Arévalo announced his Cabinet picks on Monday, and the lineup had an even number of men and women — a first in the country's history.

Young people from his party were also given important positions, based on the announcement made ahead of the leader's swearing-in ceremony on Sunday.

The president-elect said during the announcement that he picked some of the honorable staff from his party and promised to create an anti-corruption commission to keep an eye on the work done by his administration.

Francisco Jiménez Irungaray, who served as minister of the interior of Guatemala from 2008 to 2009 under former President Álvaro Colóm, was named interior minister.

Irungaray previously came under fire for allegedly being involved in improper awarding of a government contract. However, when Arévalo was questioned about the matter, the president-elect said he was familiar with those allegations and reasoned that they were dismissed.

Carlos Ramiro Martínez, who served as deputy foreign affairs minister four times in the past, including under outgoing President Alejandro Giammattei, will be taking a top spot in the foreign affairs ministry.

"Even though this Cabinet has many attributes, it shows that the Seed party, being a young party, has to give its officials to external sectors," political analyst Cristhians Castillo at San Carlos University's Institute of National Problems said, according to AP News.

Castillo noted that the president-elect's choice of Cabinet members shows the team is capable of negotiating.

Arévalo's Cabinet announcement came amid an ongoing investigation into his party, Movimiento Semilla.

Movimiento Semilla was suspended by Guatemala's electoral body, Citizen Registry, in November 2023 after the 64-year-old president-elect won the elections by an overwhelming margin on Oct. 31 of the same year.

Guatemalans accused Attorney General Porras of making efforts to disqualify Arévalo's party and stop him from taking over the office. Several Guatemalans even took to the streets to demand the resignation of prosecutors accused of blocking Arévalo.

In the wake of safeguarding democracy and the rule of law in Guatemala, the United States imposed visa restrictions last month on nearly 300 Guatemalan nationals, including 100 political leaders and private sector representatives alongside their families.

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