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Supporters of former Guatemalan first lady withdraw appeal

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Political parties backing Sandra Torres had appealed to a regional court
  • Earlier this month Guatemala's highest court ruled she could not run for president
  • Supporters say they're dropping the case to avoid "conditions of instability" as elections near
  • The political controversy began when Torres and Guatemala's president filed for divorce

Managua, Nicaragua (CNN) -- The latest chapter in a political controversy surrounding Guatemala's former first lady came to a close Monday after her supporters withdrew a legal appeal aimed at allowing her candidacy in next week's presidential elections.

A representative for political parties backing Sandra Torres filed a formal request to withdraw their appeal with the Central American Court of Justice, the judicial body's president told CNN en Espaņol.

"Continuing with the substance of the suit in front of the court could eventually generate conditions of instability that could be used irresponsibly by other sectors against the rule of law in detriment to tranquility, peace and democracy," the request said, according to Francisco Dario Lobo, the court's president.

Monday's announcement from the Nicaragua-based regional court was the latest twist in a political drama that began in March, when Torres filed for divorce from current President Alvaro Colom. She declared her candidacy for president soon afterward and hit the campaign trail.

But several courts in Guatemala, including the nation's highest court, banned Torres from running, saying that she committed fraud when she divorced Colom to avoid a constitutional provision barring close relatives of the president from running.

Earlier this month Torres slammed those rulings, saying they left Guatemala's neediest citizens without anyone to represent them in the country's highest office.

"Without any legal basis, they made decisions that were political, not legal," she told reporters Tuesday.

"For me, it is anti-democratic, this political lynching, this lynching in the media," she added.

Guatemalans will head to the polls on September 11.

Journalist Samantha Lugo in Managua, Nicaragua, contributed to this report.