Guatemala asks other countries to stay out of attorney general election


FILE PHOTO: A man walks past the Guatemalan Congress which is decorated with Guatemalan flags as part of the 191th Guatemala Independence Day celebrations in Guatemala City September 10, 2012. REUTERS/Jorge Dan Lopez/File Photo

GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) - Guatemala asked a group of international donors, including the United States and United Kingdom, to avoid meddling in its election for attorney general, a powerful anti-corruption office in the Central American nation.

Guatemala has come under scrutiny by the international community over anti-graft efforts. The United States last month said it was concerned that Guatemala's fight against corruption had not advanced enough. Rampant corruption is considered a major factor driving an uptick in U.S.-bound migration from Central America.

Guatemala's foreign minister said a group of aid-providing countries and institution called the G13 requested a meeting with the commission tasked with reviewing the profiles and selecting the candidates for attorney general for an election between February and March.

The Guatemalan government in a statement called on the G13 group to "respect the laws and not interfere in internal affairs."

Guatemala said the meeting was requested by the Swedish ambassador to Guatemala, Hans Magnusson, who is the pro-tempore president of the G13.

The Swedish embassy in Guatemala could not immediately be reached for comment.

The term of current Guatemalan Attorney General Maria Porras will end in May. The United States included Porras on a list of "undemocratic and corrupt" officials last year.

(Reporting by Sofia Menchu; Writing by Cassandra Garrison; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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