Edwin Escobar has chaired the Anam during the last two periods (2016-2018 and 2018-2020). (Free Press Photo: Hemeroteca PL)
The meetings are being held in some departmental headwaters where their relatives from nearby municipalities attend. These activities have been carried out for several weeks; However, during these days they have intensified because the elections will take place on January 26.
Efforts to capture the votes of the 339 municipalities that make up the Anam -Moyuta, Jutiapa retired- keep the mayor busy, as they dedicate several days of the week to travel to different departments and meet with groups of mayors to explain their plans.RELATED
Miguel Ovalle Barrios, mayor of Salcajá, Quetzaltenango; Jorge Orellana, mayor of Guastatoya, El Progreso, and Hugo Sarceño, of Puerto Barrios, Izabal are the candidates and the winner will replace the current president Edwin Escobar, mayor of Villa Nueva, who held the position for two periods, from 2016 to 2018 and from 2018 to 2020.
At the same time there is a controversy as to who should assume the presidency of the association between January 15 and 26. Some believe that Escobar must continue, although he was not reelected, while others consider that he should assume his successor in Villa Nueva Javier Gramajo or the current Vice President Ovalle Barrios.
The candidate to preside over the Anam and current vice president of said association Miguel Ovalle, celebrated his life attended by President-elect Alejandro Giammattei (Free Press Photo: Public Relations, Miguel Ovalle) Among toasts and offers
Ovalle, who was reelected in Salcajá, Quetzaltenango, celebrated on Thursday the 19th “a Christmas holiday” in a hotel in zone 10. He previously circulated an invitation in which he specifies that it is for the edile chiefs “elected for the period 2020-2024 ”, And that the president-elect Alejandro Giammattei will attend the event.
The candidate to preside over the Anam said that the elected and re-elected mayors who have shown themselves in favor of their cause were summoned to the celebration and that Giammattei's presence would be to show his support and the "unrestricted" support they will have of the Executive as of January 14, 2020.
The Quetzalteco mayor explained that during the sessions they have been asked how to improve and strengthen the financial situation of the communes, as well as provide legal support to the mayors because they are currently very vulnerable to the demands, “because if we do things they accuse us of abuse of authority and if we do not syndicate us of breach of duties ”.
Ovalle affirms that at the institutional level they will receive the support of the new President of the Republic through the different ministries of the Executive “because there are many mayors that if they do not have this support, their management can be null or almost null. In this sense we are offering an excellent team to provide advice. ”
“I have always said that Dr. Giammattei- has the great opportunity to become one of the best presidents of Guatemala if he works together with the mayors, and we are the best of our municipalities if we get the support of the Executive. It's a two-way job, ”said Ovalle.
Ovalle says he has the support of approximately 180 mayor and takes as a reference that in each of the departments he has “the support of 50 percent plus one of the mayors, which is what is needed to win the presidency of the Anam. "
Jorge Orellana, mayor of Guastatoya, El Progreso, during the coexistence he carried out on Tuesday 17 in a hotel in zone 10. (Free Press Photo: courtesy Otto Galindo) "Let Anam return to the mayors"
Jorge Antonio el Congo Orellana, who was reelected to lead Guastatoya, El Progreso, also travels the country holding meetings with the chiefs of the mayor to present their work plan and request their vote. "We are making the mayors aware that Anam must return to the mayor."
“In Guatemala there are the Executive, Legislative and Judicial powers, which must be independent. The same must happen with the Anam and they cannot impose a candidate on us. We are 339 mayors who must decide this January 26 and if they do not continue to press them that they will not receive anything – if they vote for us – we are here to win, ”said Orellana.
His Christmas together was carried out on Tuesday 17 in a hotel in zone 9. "At the beginning it was a meeting where we were going to present the proposals of our return, but later it became a meeting for the holidays of the time," he says Enrique Arredondo reelected mayor of Nueva Santa Rosa, Santa Rosa, and who would occupy the first vice presidency in case Orellana triumphs.
Arredondo, who was Escobar's opponent in 2018 for the presidency of the Anam, says that 212 people from the country's 340 municipal corporations attended the meeting, of which 163 were municipal mayors.
Orellana says he will not rest in these days before Christmas, because on Wednesday 18 he was in Salamá, Baja Verapaz; on Thursday 19 he traveled to Cobán, Alta Verapaz, on Friday 20 he was in Chimaltenango, on Saturday 21 in Zacapa, on Sunday 22 in Chiquimula and on Monday 23 he met with mayors of the region in Jacaltenango, Huehuetenango. “My goal is to make municipalism the fourth power”
Arredondo explains that to provide a good service to the population, municipalities need to have resources so some reforms must be carried out to execute the entire budget assigned to municipalities, the funds received by the Development Councils and 1 per One hundred percent peace VAT that is addressed to Fonapaz, which no longer exists.
He adds that they also have to work to “raise the low amount that is currently Q25 thousand”, since the mayors have problems with the community because, for example, “a water pump that costs Q50 thousand is burned and they must wait 15 days in the system to authorize the purchase. Then you have to raise it to at least Q90 or even Q200 thousand to meet the offers. ”
Hugo Sarceño, mayor of Puerto Barrios, Izabal, – blue film and red tie – during a press conference held in the capital where he reiterated his intention to seek the presidency of the Anam. (Free Press Photo: Faceboock) The Buenos Aires candidate
The third candidate to occupy the presidency of the Anam is Hugo Sarceño, mayor of Puerto Barrios, Izabal, and who in 2018 was mentioned as a possible candidate for the presidency by the FCN-Nation party; however, he ran again as a candidate for mayor of the city of Buenos Aires and won under the banner of the Citizen Prosperity party of Edwin Escobar.
Sarceño held a press conference on Monday, November 25 at a capital hotel where he ratified his nomination to preside over the Anam. Twenty municipal mayors attended the event and on December 6 he wrote a tweet with a photo where he said: “Press conference after presenting the Anam 2020-2022 plan, Suchitepéquez.
The mayor of Buenos Aires says that during his tours he is presenting, in writing, his work plan 2020-2022 which revolves around three platforms: administrative, legal and financial.
In the administrative part, it proposes the training of mayors because not all are university graduates, some are entrepreneurs or ranchers for example, but have leadership, so it offers the creation of graduates, among other forms of training.
In the legal and financial part, it will lobby with the Congress of the Republic to reform some laws that have to do with raising funds such as the National Peace Fund, which grants 1.5 percent of the budget for municipal works, but currently the Executive is administering them, who uses them for administrative expenses.
In addition, it will seek to modify Article 10 of the Law on Value Added Tax and modify the Law on Purchases and Contracts because they currently have a ceiling of Q25 thousand for direct purchases and will seek to expand it.
Sarceño criticized that Giammattei is supporting Ovalle and that Escobar does the same with Orellana. “It is not loyal for the president-elect to take sides because it violates the Constitution and it is also not healthy for him to meddle in this civic celebration of mayors. Escobar is also doing the same and uses state funds to mobilize. ”
Controversy at the end of Escobar's period
As for what should happen from January 15 when the current president of the Anam, Edwin Escobar ceases to be the mayor of Villa Nueva and is replaced by Javier Gramajo, Ovalle is the criterion that Escobar “must continue to function as such , because his mandate, even if he ceases to be mayor, would end at the time of the Anam Ordinary Assembly, on January 26.
Arredondo on the other hand affirms that a mayor ceases to be on January 15, so Escobar does not have to exercise the functions of president of the Anam, if he is no longer mayor. "I think there is a legal loophole in those cases, however, I think that who should assume the presidency is the new mayor Villa Nueva -Javier Gramajo- or the first vice president of the Anam -Ovalle- for only 10 days."
Gramajo, on the other hand, says that Anam is a national association of municipalities not of mayors as a political figure. “There is a directive and in this case the vice president is Ovalle, so he should take on temporarily between January 15 and 26. "To me, as mayor of Villa Nueva from 15, I am not interested in being president of that association because I have enough problems to solve in that position."
The current president of the Anam, Edwin Escobar, assures that his term as mayor of Villa Nueva ends on 15, but his exercise in the association concludes on January 25 when the National Assembly elects a new president. “We must remember that the Anam is a private non-partisan association that summons all the municipalities of the country and its maximum body is its Assembly that will meet on January 25.
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