GUATEMALA.- Everything seems to indicate that the presidential candidates in elections on October 25 will be Jimmy Morales of the National Convergence Front and Sandra Torres of the National Unity of Hope.
According to the Supreme Electoral Tribunal’s (TSE for it’s Spanish initials) results, based on 99.09% of tables scrutinized, Torres received 5,958 more votes than her rival Manuel Baldizón.
Torres, with 19.76 of the votes in her favor remains in second place behind Morales, at 23.85 with a total vote of 1,167,003.
TSE statistics show that of the 5,390,005 votes cast in the presidential binomial, 270,970 were blank and 225,026 were null and void.
LIDER candidate Baldizón, lost the presidency in 2011 to retired general Pérez Molina, who was recently detained in preventative custody for crimes of passive bribery, corruption, illicit association and a special customs fraud case.
The Renewed Democratic Freedom (LIDER in Spanish) denounced alleged electoral fraud although he admitted “not having sufficient evidence” to substantiate the charge.
Claiming that he was the victim of a conspiracy against his organization, he told the local Radio Sonora station that the TSE has a double count system.
According to his version, it is illogical that with LIDER having taken at least 150 mayors and 40 seats that this degree of support is not reflected in the presidential elections.
He said that „it is also strange that the Tribunal is still keeping the rest of the information sealed, because many tables have supposedly been cancelled. It is obvious that the system has been interfered with and there are clear indications of fraud.”
Julio Solórzano, magistrate of the highest Guatemalan electoral institution, refuted the alleged fraud and clarified that the count delay is by no means malicious because vote reception groups have a five day time-frame to conclude review hearings.
Guatemalans went to the polls in an unusual climate marked by a political crisis following the uncovering of various corruption cases, one of which involves the former leaders Otto Pérez Molina and Roxana Baldetti.
For the first time ever, elections take place with both a president and vice president behind bars, because both Pérez Molina and Baldetti resigned from their offices due to citizenship demands arising from their alleged steering of a customs fraud network.
During the campaign that commenced on last May 2, academic and social sectors have called for the cancellation or postponement of the elections due to an absence of adequate conditions.
According to the Public Ministry, who deployed more than 23,000 observers across the country, at least 532 people were arrested and 34 police injured during nationwide protests.
The governance of Guatemala, which in a few short months suffered the collapse of the Patriotic Party administration – described by the now incarcerated Perez Molina as a U.S. perpetrated “soft coup” – has become increasingly complex.Share on FB Share on TT