Guatemala votes to elect new president

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Guatemalans on Sunday elect a new president who will face a major challenge after the country agreed with Washington to act as a buffer against illegal immigration under pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump.

Threatened with economic sanctions if it said no, the outgoing government signed an agreement in July to make Guatemala a so-called safe third country for migrants despite the endemic poverty and violence plaguing the Central American nation.

Voters must choose between conservative Alejandro  and his centre-left rival, former first lady Sandra Torres.

Between them, the two candidates have failed to win the presidency five times. Polling suggests that although Torres came out on top in a first found of voting in June, her unpopularity may prove her undoing.

A CID-Gallup opinion poll of 1,216 voters conducted between July 29 and Aug. 5 gave Giammattei the advantage going into the run-off vote, with 39.5% support, versus 32.4% for Torres. The poll had a margin of error of 2.8 points.

Whoever takes office in January will inherit a country with a 60% poverty rate, widespread crime and unemployment, which have led hundreds of thousands of Guatemalans to migrate north.

Via Reuters

 

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