National Liberation Movement (Guatemala)

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The National Liberation Movement (Spanish: Movimiento de Liberación Nacional or MLN) was a Guatemala military-backed party formed in 1960 by Mario Sandoval Alarcón as a breakaway from the National Democratic Movement.

The 1963 coup that saw the government of Miguel Ydígoras Fuentes led to the MLN becoming the main party of the military. Although they were not successful in the presidential election of 1964 their candidate in 1970, Carlos Manuel Arana Osorio, was elected President, in coalition with the Institutional Democratic Party. Victory was also secured in the 1974 election when Kjell Eugenio Laugerud García's candidacy was also endorsed by the PID. However they later broke their alliance with the PID for the 1978 elections. Its candidate, former President Enrique Peralta Azurdia, placed second in the election.[1] The party was close to the MANO death squad.

In the 1982 election, the MLN's candidate was former vice-president Mario Sandoval Alarcón, who placed second in what was considered to be a fraudulent election, followed by the coup d'état of 1982. For the 1984 elections to the Constitutional Assembly, the party was allied with National Authentic Central, another right-wing party, and the 23 seats won was the largest bloc in the assembly, albeit outnumbered by reformist parties. They renewed their alliance with the Institutional Democratic Party for the 1985 election. Once more, Mario Sandoval Alarcón was its presidential candidate, and placed fourth in the race whilst the alliance won 12 seats in Congress. The party faded therefater: it ran alongside the National Advancement Front in 1990 without much success, winning just 4 seats in Congress. Left to continue alone, it secured less than 1% in 1995 (winning a single seat) and again in 1999 (when it lost representation).[2]

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