- The Attorney General has issued a warrant for his arrest in connection with the corruption scandal that’s engulfed his administration. That was followed by Pérez Molina submitting his resignation late Wednesday.
(CNN) Otto Pérez Molina is Guatemala’s President no more.
The Central American country’s Congress voted 118-0 on Thursday to accept Pérez Molina’s resignation, meaning the 64-year-old former military commander won’t serve until January 2016 as elected.
A short time later, Alejandro Maldonado — who had been vice president — was sworn in as successor.
Still, just because he’s out of office doesn’t mean Pérez Molina’s troubles are over.
The Attorney General has issued a warrant for his arrest in connection with the corruption scandal that’s engulfed his administration. That was followed by Pérez Molina submitting his resignation late Wednesday.
His action prevents impeachment proceedings and paves the way for his possible prosecution as part of a corruption investigation that has shaken the government and sparked protests calling for his resignation.
Attorney General Thelma Aldana told CNN en Español that the former President is prohibited from leaving the country.
According to the Attorney General’s Office and a U.N. investigating commission, Pérez Molina and a group of close aides within his administration received bribes in exchange for lowering taxes for companies seeking to import products into Guatemala.
In a message broadcast on Guatemalan national TV and radio last month, the then-President denied the charges and suggested he’s the target of a plot by his political enemies aided by foreign interests.
“I categorically deny and reject the accusation that I was involved (in a corruption scheme) and having received any money from that customs fraud scheme,” he said.
On Tuesday, Pérez Molina’s lawyer told CNN en Español that the President was prepared to appear in front of a judge in Guatemala and face the accusations against him.
“The President has not run away, has not hidden, will not flee and will not seek asylum,” attorney César Calderón said.
At least 105 votes were needed to strip the then-President’s immunity — a number opposition leaders have struggled to amass in the past. But on Tuesday, the vote was unanimous, with all 132 representatives who were present voting in favor of the move. An additional 26 lawmakers were absent and did not participate in the vote. Read full on CNN