Created: 1/3/1984

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GUATEMALA: Election Maneuvering

The draft electoral law proposed by the government is being criticized by most ot theolitical groups hoping lo contest the elections tor the constituent assembly nextays the parties want the assembly to have broad legislative powors and lorovisional president. They are demanding that candidates be permitted to runational at-large basis. The rightist National Liberationcountry's strongest partythreatening to boycott the election unless revisions are made.|

ead ot State Majla appears willing to revise the law. and he may agree io some at-large candidacies. Few of the parties have strong organizations outside of Guatemala City, and they probably fear that Indian leaders and other rural delegates could dominate the assembly II the proposed proportional representation system is used. Mejia Is unlikely, however, to allow the assembly torovisional president. This would return the government to civilian hands before the military is ready to do so and damage the prospects of the new groups by denying them time to get organized.

lJVuary ISM

Original document.

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