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Election in Guatemala: Uncertainty prevails as top candidates are excluded



  An election banner with a picture of Sandra Torres, presidential candidate of the National Unity of Hope (UNE), is shown during a rally in Guatemala City, Guatemala, on June 8, 2019.

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Reuters

Caption

Sandra Torres is the leader, according to recent polls

If Guatemalans go to the polling stations on Sunday, two of the candidates who until recently were voted favorites to win will not be on the ballot.

Both former Attorney General Thelma Aldana and Zury Ríos, the daughter of the late military ruler Efraín Ríos Montt, were disqualified from the candidacy, and another candidate was arrested in Miami on suspicion of conspiring to import cocaine to the US.

Here is a look at the candidates and the main topics.

Who is elected?

  A woman sorts ballots in a warehouse in Guatemala City.

Reuters

Election in Guatemala Source: Guatemalan Supreme Electoral Tribunal

How does it work?

The President is elected by an absolute majority for a term of four years. Under Guatemalan law, current President Jimmy Morales can not serve a second term.

If no candidate reaches more than 50% in the first round on June 16, the two best candidates enter a second round on August 11th. [19659007] Nineteen candidates compete from the original 24 for the presidency.

Who are the top candidates?

Sandra Torres: & # 39; Leave a loving marriage for the sake of a nation & # 39;

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EPA

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Sandra Torres divorced her husband to run for President

Sandra Torres, 63, hopes she will be lucky for the third time. She failed in her two previous attempts to be elected president, but recent opinion polls took her to the top.

Ms. Torres was married to Álvaro Colom, who ruled Guatemala from 2008 to 2012 and is currently being investigated for alleged investigations.

She divorced him in 2011 to circumvent a law that prohibited close relatives of the president from succeeding. At the time, she said that "I divorce my husband but marry people."

She also said that she found it "very difficult" to leave her "loving marriage" with Mr. Colom.

In 2011, her candidature was rejected by the Constitutional Court, but she was allowed to stand for election in 2015. At that time she had enough votes to get into the second round, in which she was defeated by Jimmy Morales by far, almost 35 percentage points.

Ms. Torres is running for the Social Democratic party "National Unity of Hope" (UNE).

She and her party are being investigated for suspected illegal campaign financing during the last elections they rejected.

Ms. Torres will offer "comprehensive solutions such as development, poverty reduction and job opportunities" to convince the Guatemalans to stay in the country instead of emigrating to the US.

Alejandro Giammattei: & # 39; wall of prosperity & # 39;

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Reuters

Caption

Alejandro Giammattei was once responsible for the Guatemalan prison service

The 63-year-old candidate stands for the right-wing Vamos party (Let's Go), and this is his fourth attempt to become president. Every time he ran for another party.

Mr. Giammattei is a trained physician who was appointed Director of the Guatemalan Prison System in 2006.

In the same year he led a controversial operation to take control of Pavón Prison, which has been run by inmates for a decade. Seven inmates died during the raids of the security forces.

Mr. Giammattei was among eight people accused of the incident and was acquitted after ten months in custody for lack of evidence.

He finished fourth in the 2015 elections.

He says if elected, he will build "a wall of prosperity" to prevent the Guatemalans from emigrating to the US.

In order to reduce the inequality between rich and poor, he wants to attract more foreign investment to Guatemala by strengthening the protection of private property.

Roberto Arzú: & # 39; Make Guate great & # 39;

Picture credits
AFP

Caption

Roberto Arzú is the son of former Guatemalan President Álvaro Arzú

The 49-year-old conservative businessman wants to follow in the footsteps of his deceased father Álvaro, who ruled Guatemala from 1996 to 2000.

Roberto Arzú never held a public office but presided over one of the most successful football teams in Guatemala. He had a number of shops ranging from sports centers to shopping malls.

Outgoing President Jimmy Morales appointed him ambassador with a special mission to promote trade between Guatemala and South America.

He supports a coalition of the parties PAN and Podemos. His motto was "Make Guate great!" Use of the abbreviated word for Guatemala and imitation of US President Trump's electoral claim.

He was mainly involved in security issues and declared he would fight the crime.

A Florida judge has ordered his arrest for outstanding guilt, which he owes to Miami-based political campaign strategist JJ Rendón. Mr Arzú said that he had never signed a contract with Mr Rendón and was therefore not liable for breach of the contract.

What are the main topics?

The election was overshadowed by the Constitutional Court's decision to exclude Thelma Aldana, who led the elections, and Zury Ríos from the election.

Surveys suggest that many voters are undecided and therefore the election result is difficult to predict.

Guatemalans have informed respondents that corruption in the government is their main concern.

Four years after the resignation of then President Otto Pérez Molina in large-scale anti-corruption protests, many Guatemalans believe that Jimmy Morales' government has not done enough to fight corruption.

Mr. Morales was outraged when he tried to throw the UN-sponsored Guatemalan anti-corruption commission when investigating him for alleged corruption.

Thelma Aldana, who has worked closely with CICIG as Attorney General Guatemalas, is the most vocal proponent of the commission. Before being banned, she said she would strengthen the CICIG and make the government more efficient and transparent.

On the other hand, Mr Arzú openly criticized the CICIG and accused it of "violating national sovereignty" and Mr. Giammattei said he was against the Commission because "Guatemalan justice must be for Guatemalans of Guatemala".


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