Thursday, October 17, 2019 | ePaper

Guatemala Presidential election

Ex-First Lady leads in 1st round of voting

  • Print

Sandra Torres, former first lady and presidential candidate for the National Unity of Hope (Union Nacional de la Esperanza) party, center, displays an inked finger after voting during presidential elections in Guatemala City, Guatemala.

AFP  :
A former Guatemalan first lady leads early counting in Sunday's presidential election in the Central American country, where the electorate is hoping to find a candidate who can tackle its high unemployment, violence and corruption.
Sandra Torres, a 64-year-old businesswoman, was leading with 24% of the vote, followed by four-time presidential candidate Alejandro Giammattei, 63, a former director of the country's prison system, with 15%, according to The Associated Press. A runoff election is expected.
Torres of the centrist National Unity of Hope (Union Nacional de la Esperanza) party and Giammattei of the center-right Vamos party leads a field of nearly 20 candidates vying to replace incumbent Jimmy Morales, a former television comedian whose term ends in January.
Businessman Robert Arzú, Edmond Auguste Mulet Lesieur, a former chief of staff to U.N.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Thelma Cabrera, an indigenous rights campaigner, were also in the top rung of vote-getters. More than 8 million citizens are eligible to vote and officials said the large number of candidates was slowing the count. This election was also the first in which Guatemalans who live abroad could cast ballots.
The campaign lasted three months, with Torres, running on a platform of investment in health, education and agriculture, maintaining her front-runner status throughout.
Torres was married to former President Álvaro Colom, who served from 2008 to 2012, but the couple divorced in 2011.
As part of an anti-corruption drive by current President Morales, Colom was arrested last year. He is awaiting trial. Morales himself has also become a target of the anti-corruption drive.
The AP notes that, "The campaign season was marked by a chaotic flurry of court rulings, shenanigans, illegal party-switching and allegations of malfeasance ..."
Whoever becomes president will face not only the difficult task of alleviating poverty, corruption and violence, but also of handling increasingly complex relations with the U.S. The Trump administration has pressured Guatemala to become a "safe third country" to divert refugees from neighboring El Salvador and Honduras who might otherwise seek asylum in the U.S. via Mexico.
According to Voice of America, "Under the terms of the proposed deal, migrants fleeing persecution in El Salvador and Honduras would be forced to request asylum in Guatemala, a gateway to Mexico and the United States. In all but rare exceptions, those migrants who chose to continue north to the United States without first exploring their chances in Guatemala would be returned to their home countries by U.S. immigration forces."

More News For this Category

Police obstructed a procession of Non-Monthly Pay Order (MPO) teachers near the Kadam Fountain intersection in front of Jatiya Press Club before marching towards the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) on Thursday.

Police obstructed a procession of Non-Monthly Pay Order (MPO) teachers near the Kadam Fountain intersection in front of Jatiya Press Club before marching towards the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) on Thursday.


FIFA to back BD's soccer dev efforts

FIFA to back BD's soccer dev efforts

UNB, Dhaka :President of the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) Gianni Infantino on Thursday said, FIFA will continue its support to Bangladesh for the promotion of its football.Gianni

Foreigners in S Africa appeal to be relocated after attacks

Foreigners in S Africa appeal to be relocated after attacks

AFP, Cape Town :Hundreds of foreign nationals on Wednesday took to the streets of Cape Town, demanding to be relocated from South Africa after camping at the UN refugee

Man held with Yaba from SBMC interns hostel

UNB, Barishal :Police on Thursday arrested a man along with 520 Yaba pills from a dormitory of interns at Sher-e-Bangla Medical College (SBMC) in the district.Rifat Khan Ronti, a

Pelosi walks out of Trump meeting after he calls her 'third-grade' politician

Irish Times  :US president Donald Trump and House speaker Nancy Pelosi have traded verbal blows after a fractious meeting at the White House.Mr Trump called Ms Pelosi is a

Catalan regional chief calls for independence vote

Reuters, Barcelona :Catalonia should hold a new vote on independence from Spain within two years, the head of the region's government said on Thursday in a fresh challenge to

Pry school teachers continue work abstention

Staff Reporter :The assistant teachers of government primary schools continued their work abstention programme for the consecutive three days across the country on Thursday for the realisation of upgrading

ACC starts case against Moosa Bin Shamsher

Staff Reporter :The Anti-Corruption Commission has initiated a case against controversial businessman Moosa Bin Shamsher on charges of forging the registration documents of a car imported under the 'Carnet

Motorcyclist killed in road crash on Hanif Flyover

Staff Reporter :A motorcycle rider died and  two others including a woman got injured in a motorcycle accident on the Mayor Mohammad Hanif Flyover, Dhaka on Thursday around 2:30

Five killed in Kashmir's deadliest day since losing special status

The Guardian :Five people were killed in Indian-administered Kashmir on Wednesday, thought to be the deadliest day in the region since it was stripped of its autonomy this summer.Two