World: Guatemalans to choose president amid distrust, flight to US - - PressFrom - US
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WorldGuatemalans to choose president amid distrust, flight to US

08:26  16 june  2019
08:26  16 june  2019 Source:   msn.com

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General elections were held in Guatemala on 6 September 2015 to elect the President and Vice President , all 158 Congress deputies, all 20 deputies to the Central American Parliament, and mayors and councils for all 338 municipalities in the country.

The President of Guatemala (Spanish: Presidente de Guatemala ) officially known as the President of the Republic of Guatemala (Spanish: Presidente de la República de Guatemala ), is the head of state and head of government of Guatemala , elected to a single four-year term.

Guatemalans to choose president amid distrust, flight to US© The Associated Press Women walk on the pedestrian path next to campaign posters promoting the ruling party presidential candidate Estuardo Galdamez, in Guatemala City, Saturday, June 15, 2019. The road to Sunday's presidential election in Guatemala has been a chaotic flurry of court rulings and shenanigans, illegal party-switching and allegations of malfeasance that torpedoed the candidacies of two of the top three candidates. (AP Photo/Oliver de Ros)

GUATEMALA CITY — Guatemalans will vote for their next president Sunday in elections plagued by widespread disillusion and distrust, and as tens of thousands of their compatriots flee poverty and gang violence to seek a new life in the United States.

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With 19 candidates in the race for president, and the winner needing an absolute majority, a runoff between the two top vote-getters is likely in August.

The road to this presidential election has been a chaotic flurry of court rulings and shenanigans, illegal party-switching and allegations of malfeasance that torpedoed the candidacies of two of the top three candidates.

Three of the last four elected presidents have been arrested post-presidency on charges of corruption. Graft allegations have also targeted current President Jimmy Morales and his inner circle, though he denies wrongdoing and has been protected from prosecution due to his immunity while in office.

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Guatemala 's former President Otto Pérez Molina gives a press conference at the Interior Ministry in Guatemala City. Amid a corruption scandal that has been punctuated by daily protests in the country, Guatemala 's President Otto Pérez Molina resigned and, hours later, was sent to jail to await

GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — Pressure grew Thursday on Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina to The Associated Press. GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — Pressure grew Thursday on Guatemalan Even Guatemala ’s national Council of Bishops issued a statement saying “ we believe the president

A recent poll from CID Gallup Latinoamerica found that nearly a third of Guatemalan adults surveyed believe the election will be plagued by fraud. Another 20 percent said the election's legitimacy would be suspect because so many candidates were kept from running.

The election marks the first time that Guatemalans can cast ballots from abroad: At least 60,000 are eligible to vote in Los Angeles, New York, Maryland and Washington, D.C., all home to large numbers of Guatemalan emigres.

Unemployment, violence, corruption, rising costs of living and the shoddy state of the country's highways are among top concerns for the country's electorate. Surging migration has not emerged as a major campaign issue, even as an estimated 1 percent of Guatemala's population of some 16 million people has left the country this year.

The top five candidates are: former first lady Sandra Torres of the National Unity and Hope party, who is expected to finish first but without enough votes to win in the first round; former prison director and four-time presidential candidate Alejandro Eduardo Giammattei Falla; businessman Roberto Arzú, lawyer and journalist Edmond Auguste Mulet Lesieur; and Thelma Cabrera, the only indigenous candidate.

Elections will also be held Sunday for vice president, Congress and for mayors.

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